Much Wenlock beats Shrewsbury in top 10 places to live in Midlands
Much Wenlock has been named one of the top 10 places to live across the whole of the Midlands.
The picturesque Shropshire town placed sixth in the Sunday Times Best Places to Live in Britain Midlands category, a guide that ranks places based on a wide range of criteria including employment, schools, culture, community spirit and local shops.
Statistics including house prices as well as on-the-ground experience of judges is also used to rate each place.
The town, famed for the Wenlock Olympian Games, Mary Beard and an array of magnificent sights such as the Guildhall and Wenlock edge, did enough to impress the panel.
Much Wenlock beat Shropshire’s county town Shrewsbury in the list, which placed eighth.
Montgomery also earned a spot in the guide’s top 10 list for Wales, landing seventh place.
David Turner, Shropshire councillor for Much Wenlock, thinks there’s a lot to love about the town, but said it could have landed further up the list if house prices were not so high.
The average price is £346,000, the fourth highest on the Midlands top 10 places list.
He said: “There are lots of leisure activities for people to do and there are good schools in the area. It’s an historic town with impressive buildings. It’s convenient for the West Midlands and the coast. There is a strong sense of community.
“For a certain type of home, demand is very high, but we have a shortage of smaller properties suitable for bringing up families.”
Paddy Ryan, of A Ryan & Son Butchers in the town’s High Street, believes that the people are a big part of making Much Wenlock a pleasant place to be. He said: “I think it’s quite a compliment to be named in the top 10.
“Wenlock has managed to retain that sort of friendly atmosphere. It still has the feeling of an English village even though it is classed as a small town. People talk to you when you walk down the street.
“You have every generation here, there is a sense of everyone belonging together."
Mr Ryan said the town had some wonderful architecture.
“The town has been developed on the outside so it has retained a nice town centre," he said.
“There is quite a varied social scene, and there are a lot of clubs and societies.
“If you want the hustle and bustle of a big town, it’s perfectly located for going to Shrewsbury and Telford. And if you want the quiet life you can stay at home. We’ve got a particularly good secondary school and a primary school that is stable and successful.
“There is a nice selection of shops. It is mainly independent shops and cafes rather than the big chains, which is different to a lot of places.”
Fellow High Street retailer Anna Greda, who runs Wenlock Books, also believes the friendly nature of residents is a big factor in its appeal.
She said: “It normally takes me about half an hour to walk up the High Street because there’s always someone you want to chat to.
“We call it Wenlock Time. You go out for a loaf of bread and end up taking an hour.
“We treat our visitors very well. One person in the shop came up to us and was so surprised that someone they didn’t know actually smiled at them. We make people welcome. We have a single track High Street which has so many beautiful buildings. There’s a lot of history here.”