City breaks

Best place to live in the UK: Cornish village overtakes London for property searches

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Megan Murray
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Cornwall village

Could London finally be toppled from the top spot as the most popular place to live in the UK? If Cornwall’s picturesque Truro has anything to do with it, then maybe.

It makes sense that a global crisis would change our perspectives on things, but after decades of soaring housing prices, who could have anticipated that the pandemic would mean a mass exodus from London?

It’s a trend that anecdotally has been building steadily over the last year. The Stylist team have frequently talked of friends who have scored ‘rona deals’ with cheap rent because the demand to live in the capital is currently so low. 

In fact, Chloe Gray, Stylist’s fitness writer, describes the response to her advertisement for a new flatmate as “dismally quiet” when trying to recruit someone new for her house of four friends.

So, it seems that city life is out and therefore, country living is well and truly in. But where is the new hotspot? It seems RightMove has the answer. 

As one of the biggest property rental and buying platforms in the UK, RightMove has interesting insight into the areas that are booming with popularity. And right now, after a year of being cramped inside, it seems that people want to be close to the coast and immersed in nature as some of Cornwall’s most idyllic towns and villages are spiking in searches.

RightMove reports that the village of Stithians near Truro in Cornwall has risen to the top of the list for most searched area and is 224% up compared to February 2020.

Other rural areas which have also seen an uplift are East Sussex, Norfolk and the Isle of Skye, all known for their beautiful scenery.

So what is it about Truro and the surrounding areas that’s so special? Well, one impressive fact is that Truro is part of the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which is an area protected like a national park because of its picturesque nature. 

There are beautiful coastal views, the River Fal and lots of woodland to explore. You can take a boat trip, try the ferry and visit enchanting humanmade sites of beauty such as Poppy Cottage Garden and Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm.

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If you’re still hooked on the idea of living in the capital, though, check out our run-down of the best areas in London to buy and rent. And, if you’re planning on booking a trip away to get your fill of country life, then these Airbnb properties are on the hot list for 2021.

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Images: Getty Images/ Instagram

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a senior digital writer for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about homeware (particularly candles), travel, food trends, restaurants and all the wonderful things London has to offer.

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