Find your Happy Place in a Market Town
Residents of market towns have cause to celebrate. Apparently, the happiest place of all to live is in a market town. The secret is a combination of their community spirit and perfect size. Small enough for you to know your neighbours and feel part of the community, yet large enough for you to quietly go about your business incognito. There are roughly 400 market towns across England and Wales, with many of the finest examples in Michael Graham’s region.
Many city-living home owners dream of escaping to the country but are nervous about a life without the amenities they’re used to having on their doorstep. The perfect solution is a property in a market town. Once the place for a lively trade in sheep and cattle, today the best market towns have a bustling high street at their heart offering a bank, butcher, bakery and independent shops. Chains will always sneak in, but a smattering of high end brands can add value. Fashionable cafes and restaurants are also a big part of desirable market towns, as are independent book shops, museums or galleries. A dash of culture is important and an independent coffee bar with home-made cakes non-negotiable.
Michael Graham’s region includes Hitchin in Hertfordshire, which last year entered the list of the top ten happiest places to live in the UK. Its medieval market town status could well be the reason why. Hitchin also holds the largest traditional open-air market in the Home Counties. Buckinghamshire is famous for its variety of market towns, including Olney where a weekly market in the Market Place sells everything from local meat and vegetables to flowers and clothing. Olney also holds a monthly farmer’s market. Bedfordshire also has its fair quota of market towns, including Dunstable and Sandy, which is also known for being the headquarters of the RSPB. Oundle in Northamptonshire has a large farmers’ market on the second Saturday of every month which is well worth a visit for foodies who like locally produced speciality sausages for a weekend breakfast.
All these market towns have fantastic road and rail links making them ideal for commuters who want to live the rural dream, but are not quite ready to say goodbye to a takeaway latte on a Saturday morning. If you’re dreaming of country life with convenience, take a look at our website and see if we have the property for you at www.michaelgraham.co.uk. You can also find us on Facebook.