Has Covid-19 made you reevaluate your living situation? If you're one of the many people considering relocating to a property in a quieter, more scenic area, then it's important to choose that area wisely.
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You won''t see Devon or Surrey, or the Cotswolds on our list of property hotspots to consider. With skyrocketing prices and demand that was high even before Covid, these areas are worth zooming in on only if you've always wanted to live in that particular area or have family there you'd like to be closer to after moving.
And while it is true that prices are rising everywhere, as is demand, we think that some areas are still underestimated and should be on your radar. They all offer spectacular landscapes and the chance to taste a quieter life without living anywhere too remote, as all of these areas are within easy reach of major cities (should you need them).
1. Wiltshire: like the Cotswolds, but cheaper
Wiltshire is ever popular with commuters to London, with trains from Winchester taking just over an hour to London Waterloo. The countryside is as luscious as in the neighbouring Oxfordshire (the New Forest alone is worth moving here), but house prices are still, somehow, reasonable, with the average standing at just over £311,000 as of September 2020. Popular with families, so be aware that you will have competition.
2. Suffolk: great for a slower pace of life
Suffolk has probably the most spectacular sunsets we've seen in England, as well as offering seaside pleasures (Aldeburgh, in our opinion, is one of the best places to live by the sea), unspoilt rural areas, and postcard-perfect thatched cottages. It's less urbanised than Surrey and less exclusive than Sussex, but with as much countryside charm. Offering an easy commute in London, Cambridge, or Norwich, house prices in Suffolk stand at a very reasonable £288,390 on average.
3. Herefordshire: the best of the West Midlands
Herefordshire is stunning and is only an hour and half from Birmingham, although it really feels like proper countryside, with rolling hills and luscious valleys. It also borders Wales – Cardiff is just one hour away by train. The idyllic county has a current average house prices of £280,530.
4. Aberdeenshire: not as far away as you think
Aberdeenshire is quite a bit further out than Edinburgh or Glasgow – both of which, sadly, are now quite expensive places to live. However, Aberdeen has a lovely airport that will take you just about anywhere in the UK, including London in just under an hour and a half. It's not the Highlands, but it's still got some spectacular scenery, and house prices are affordable, with just over £211,000 being the current average.
5. Northumberland: rugged beauty and activities
Northumberland is perfect for those who love history, rugged coastlines, surfing...or all three of those things. Newcastle is often reported as one of the friendliest UK cities and is easily commutable to Leeds, Mancester, or Sheffield. House prices in Northumberland stand at a very decent £186,791.