Village among UK’s best for families

Winscombe Scenery.

Winscombe Scenery. - Credit: Archant

The village of Winscombe can add another gong to its growing list of awards, after being voted the second best place in the country for families to live.

According to a report by family finance specialists OneFamily, the village ranks just below Wokingham in Berkshire, after a report rated places in the UK on childcare costs, affordable property, education, safety and green spaces.

In a study using more than 70 different criteria, Winscombe was narrowly pipped to the top spot.

The results represent a marked improvement for the South West, which failed to feature in last year’s top 20.

It is not the first time Winscombe has achieved fame of this sort – in 2013 the village was voted the third best place to live by the Family Friendly Hotspots report.

Set on the edge of the Mendip hills and close to the famous Cheddar Gorge, Winscombe received enviable ratings for its array of early years childcare, with nearly 40 per cent of its pre-school facilities rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

Winscombe, in the BS25 postcode, recorded a crime rate of 0.06 per capita, an average two-bed property price of £234,848 and a standard salary of £22,552.

The village, which has a population of 4,500, is also known for its annual Michaelmas fair, which offers locals a chance to showcase their craftwork and produce.

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Berkshire featured heavily in the top 10, with Wokingham rated number one and Lower Early, in the same county, coming in the top five.

Winscombe and Sandford parish councillor Kevin Joyce, who also acts as press officer for the Winscombe RNLI, said: “I feel the residents of Winscombe deserve a pat on the back. Wokingham deserves to be congratulated, but beware – we are after you.”

The annual report, now in its fifth year, aims to help families in finding somewhere suitable to live, by analysing everything from crime rates to the number of local amenities.

Karl Elliott, spokesman for OneFamily, said: “Life’s milestone moments are often exciting but they can also be stressful, and moving house is right up there with the most difficult.

“That’s why as one of the largest mutual insurers in the UK, which has been helping families for more than 40 years, we have created an easy way to help them find the best place to live.”

Last year’s report saw the north of England dominate the upper reaches of the leaderboard. But the South West has made a comeback into the top 20 with areas in Somerset and Devon scoring highly.

One Family have also created a calculator so people can check their post codes and compare them to others, as well as the national average. It shows information on average house prices, salaries, crime rates and exam results. It is available here.