The 30 Best Places to Live in Southwest England

Because of its beautiful landscapes, mild climate, and diverse possibilities, many people choose to live in Southwest England.

Whether you choose to reside near the sea in Weymouth or encircled by open fields in Thame – which has accessibility to the Chiltern Hills as well as the Cotswolds – you’re in for a treat.

The options on this list have excellent school systems, accessible transportation, and a charming ambiance. For those wondering where the perfect location to live is, here are the 30 Best Places to Live in Southwest England.

Table of Contents

1. Frome

The median sale price of a home in this lovely and active neighborhood, which recently earned the title of best in the region, is £300,000, and the median rental cost is £750 per month.

Cobblestone streets, impressive stores, vibrant marketplaces, and stunning works of art are just a few reasons you’ll fall in love with this city.

All kinds of organizations, from women’s cycling and inland water sports to knitting clubs, can be found in this community.

When it comes to the local council, all of its members are independents. Frome also has a Compassionate Frome project, which means patient care in the city isn’t just left to general practitioners.

Over 700 outreach “neighborhood connectors” have joined the program, significantly lowering hospital admissions by a large margin.

2. Harbourside

The median home value in this area (a part of Bristol) is £300,000, and the median rent is £1,050 per month. This may seem steep; however, the neighborhoods are stunning and new construction is constantly taking place

The new Harbourside has filled several of Bristol’s voids. People can assemble and unwind in Bristol’s new heart thanks to the revitalized harbor.

This a great city to visit because of its vibrant public art, stately residential areas, expansive waterfront, and many cultural events.

Wapping Wharf’s small retailers, most of which operate from cargo containers, include Little Victories Coffee and Oliver’s Gelateria, both serving excellent coffee.

You can reach the remainder of the town and Temple Meads Station on foot or by bicycle. Bristol is a pricey city, but don’t let that deter you. If you need reasonably priced accommodation, check out the areas of Totterdown and Easton.

3. Tisbury and Nadder Valley

The average home sale price here is £299,950 and the average monthly rent is £825.

Visit the high street, lined with small businesses and coffee houses, or the Beckford Arms, a village gastropub that is among the best in the area.

Both Messums Wiltshire and the Tithe Barn Arts Centre are impressive, and Tisbury shows that country lifestyle can be brilliant enough for city folks.

Tisbury also has decent public transportation, as it’s easy to get to London and Salisbury from its main terminal. For a break from the city’s hustle and bustle, take a stroll along one of the many chalk streams or lovely rural areas in the surrounding regions.

4. Chagford

Are you in the market to buy a house? You can expect to pay around £360,000 for a home here. If renting is more your thing, you’ll be paying about £735 per month.

Iconic Chagford is the ideal location to indulge in Dartmoor’s enchanting landscapes while being only a short distance from Exeter.

In addition to a patisserie from which roughly everything gets created by hand, this city has easy access to greengrocery, liquor, medicinal supplies, and more.

In Chagford, the true highlight is the Dartmoor scenery, which consists of rocky tors, steep valleys, beautiful villages, and primitive thatched cottages.

5. Bradford-on-Avon

This lovely area is less crowded than some on our list and is also less popular with tourists, which means that you’ll find a lot of peace and quiet if you choose to live here. With an average home price of £395,000 and a rental rate of £895 per month, living in Bradford-on-Avon is still affordable for most.

The town has a distinct historical flavor, and its river, waterway, and surrounding landscape are ideal locations for taking a stroll. If you’re looking for a place to eat, you’ll be impressed by restaurants like Gilou’s cafe and The Shambles for coffee and doughnuts.

6. Wadebridge

The median price in Wadebridge is £350,000, and the average rental is £800 per month. Homes for singles, couples, and professionals of all ages and backgrounds are available here, making this area rich and diverse.

Cornwall’s best surfing coastlines and untamed glens are just a short drive away from the town, which sits at the end of a region of breathtaking views.

Shops like Wadebridge Winery, Scandi Coastal, and Baker Tom’s are all within walking distance of the town center, and the Regal Cinema is a great place to catch a movie.

7. Kingsbridge

The average sale price in Kingsbridge is £262,000 and the average monthly rent is £750. For these prices, you can’t go wrong with Kingsbridge in the South Hams

Just like its more affluent neighbors, Dartmouth and Salcombe, this area is ideally situated to take advantage of the stunning shoreline and countryside without the steep price tag.

You’ll get a sense of community year-round in Kingsbridge, which has a charming downtown area featuring a butcher shop and supermarket.

Residents of this city work hard to take care of it, with volunteers from In Bloom working hard to pick up trash, manage weeds, and make the area more environmentally friendly.

8. Topsham

Average home prices in Topsham are $485k and the average monthly rent is $925.

Topsham is a long-time favorite of locals and visitors alike, thanks to its friendly, self-sufficient community and its proximity to Exeter.

An organization known as the Estuary League serves the community by managing the postal service and library. It also organizes the community’s pandemic response.

Love Topsham is a non-profit organization that supports the local economy and community. The town offers open-air tables for food and drinks and plans a series of street artists’ performances during the warmer months. Even if you don’t end up living in Topsham, consider visiting in autumn to see the area’s incredible fall foliage.

9. Swanage

This idyllic and welcoming town’s average sale price is $375,000 and the average rental price is £765 per month. Swanage is an excellent illustration of an antique coastal town.

In addition to its Victorian Pier, the town has a vibrant community of clubs and organizations, and it’s only a short distance from some of Dorset’s most beautiful scenery.

In addition to Fortes ice cream parlor’s award-winning chocolate gelato, people who live here enjoy taking part in numerous sports groups, such as the sailing club.

This town is family-oriented and immaculate – residents participate in frequent beach clean-ups and litter removal efforts in order to keep Swanage clean.

10. Lizard Peninsula

If you’re looking to buy or rent a home in England’s most fantastic escape, the average sell price is £360,000 and the average monthly rent is £765.

You can surf and cruise at Helford Sailing Club and marvel at Kynance Cove’s pristine beaches and spectacular rock formations.

Poldhu Beach Cafe, the Cornish Curry Company in Mullion, and Ann’s dessert, which are the finest in Cornwall, are great places to eat while vacationing or living in Cornwall.

Porthleven, a trendy culinary destination, and Cadgwith Cove, among Cornwall’s last fishery inlets, are notable spots to check out. The town has initiated a campaign to acquire the historic angling lofts so that the fishery can remain vibrant.

11. Chipping Sodbury

Excellent access to public transit, a top-notch school district, and a wide range of benefits await you in Chipping, where the median house price is £317,106.

Even though Chipping Sodbury sits in a rural area of South Gloucestershire, it is easily accessible via the M4 highway, which journeys east to London and west to Cardiff and Bristol.

There is a two-hour commute time and a two-hour train ride to London if you board Yate and make a few transfers.

As a crossroads between Bristol, Oxford, and London, Chipping Sodbury has been a strategic market town since medieval times.

The M4’s proximity to the city’s central business district has bolstered its vital position. At the southernmost tip of the Cotswolds, there is still a good deal of open land to explore.

With all that is available in Bristol, it’s no surprise that many people consider Chipping Sodbury to be the perfect destination.

12. Clifton Village

The average house price in Clifton is £578,620, making it a great place to raise a family or retire.

Many properties in Clifton, which sits at the city’s highest point, have stunning views of the Bristol skyline and good accessibility to The Downs, a neighboring open green area.

The village of Abbots Leigh, located just across the suspension bridge from Bristol, is one of the most sought-after places to live in the city’s outskirts.

The Leigh Woods Nature Reserve and the town’s large, single-family homes have earned it a reputation as a desirable location.

There are several excellent public and private schools, as well as convenient public transit. It takes about an hour and twenty minutes to get to London from Clifton Village, which means that it’s never too far away if you need a weekend escape to the city.

13. Frampton on Severn

With good schools, convenient public transportation, and ease of access to the airport, who wouldn’t want to live in Frampton?

The average house sale price in Frampton is £438117, making it a bit higher than some other places on this list but not too unattainable.

Around 1,400 people call Frampton their home, which is located on the banks of the River Severn. This is a town rich in history and surrounded by the Cotswolds, meaning you’ll be surrounded by charm and greenery if you decide to settle down here.

If you’re searching for the freshness of rural life but don’t want to be too far from the city, this village is an excellent choice.

14. Sherston

The average price of a home in this beautiful town is £436,957, and if you decide to settle here, you’ll have access to some of the best schools in the country.

Sherston is in Wiltshire’s northwest corner, near the Gloucestershire boundary. The Fosse Way, an ancient route, passes through the city in the southwest.

It’s easy to get to London from the east or even to South Wales from the west thanks to Sherston’s excellent location.

In addition to being located in the Cotswolds, the village does have some of the finest pubs in the region. If you’re looking for a peaceful place to call home, look no further than Sherston.

15. Wye Valley

Wye Valley is a Region of Outstanding Natural Beauty because of its abundance of beautiful, serene, and rural townships. The largest town here, Hereford, connects you to England’s Midlands and Wales.

Families with children will feel right at home here because the local schools are all highly regarded. A house in Wye Valley won’t set you back too far either, as homes here cost an average of £293,095.

Traveling on the nearby M4 can get you to London in just over two hours, but there are also thirty-two trains daily from Gloucester railway station to London Paddington that get you there half an hour faster.

16. Wells

According to the Sunday Times, Wells, a city of just 12,000 people, is among the best places in the United Kingdom. Buying a house in this lovely town will set you back an average of £349,605 – not too shabby considering what a great place this is to live.

The town’s location between the Mendip Hills and Somerset Levels makes it one of the most picturesque on our list. Two of the five primary schools have excellent ratings and the private schools here are outstanding.

Wells, despite its status as a primary cathedral city, is a long way from prominent highways and train stations. By way of several trunk roads, it is accessible from Bristol and other important towns. Drive time for the 124-mile journey to London is about 2.5 hours.

17. Lympstone

There are plenty of restaurants and pubs in Lympstone where you can enjoy a drink or two after a long day of exploring the locale, which stretches for 26 miles and is just nine miles outside the city of Exeter.

Low crime, quick access to Exeter, and shared culture render Lympstone among the most excellent places in England’s rural areas.

Families flock to this neighborhood (with a median house price of £503,150) because of the excellent schools in the area.

To get to Lympstone, you can take either the M5, the A303, or M3 to get to the city of Exeter and take its motorway connection. It will take about three and a half hours to drive nearly 180 miles to London.

However, traveling to London Paddington via train takes approximately three hours. Gatwick and Heathrow are both easily accessible from the neighboring Exeter International Airport.

18. Tharverton

Formerly, people referred to Thorverton as the fruit central of Devon because of its abundant apricot orchards. Buying a house here will cost you a median of £453,851.

As author Jane Austen described it in her novel Sense and Sensibility, the community here is a good representation of the county’s lifestyle in general, and this is still true today.

To get to a private school you’ll have to leave the city limits and travel to the outlying suburbs of Exeter, but Tharverton is well-connected making transportation a breeze.

Several Devon hamlets, including Tiverton, are located near Thorverton. In Exeter, the A303 trunk route leads you to the M3 motorway and from there it’s a 180-mile or three-hour journey to London.

A train from Exeter St. David’s to London Paddington takes about three and a half hours.

19. Dartmouth

Among the most stunning neighborhoods in the United Kingdom, Dartmouth has certainly earned its nickname of “the ideal place to resettle.”

In the South Devon Region and surrounded by outstanding natural beauty, this village is a big attraction for tourists.

You can expect nothing less than the best from the local public schools and those that surround them. The average price of a home in this area is £473,967, which despite Dartmouth’s popularity, isn’t the most expensive on our list.

Situated in South Devon, at the edge of the River Dart and adjacent to the A38 trunk route linking Exeter and Plymouth, this neighborhood has it all.

Exeter’s proximity to the M5 and M3 motorways makes it a central transportation hub for the rest of the country. Nearly four hours and 209 miles separate you from London, however, so know that a journey to the nation’s capital will take you some time.

20. Beaminster

Beaminster has a laid-back vibe with a contemporary twist. It’s hidden away in remote Dorset but provides a peaceful, secure, and pleasant environment to call home.

It’s a great place to raise a family; all three primary schools are rated highly and some of the best private schools in the area are located here. The average cost of a home isn’t too bad either at £383,222.

Located in Dorset’s westernmost region, Beaminster is about 15 miles northwest of Dorchester and roughly halfway between Crewkerne and Bridport, the county seat.

Due to its remoteness from major highways, the 144-mile trip to London will take two and a half hours.

An eleven-mile trip to Crewkerne will get you on the train to London, which takes about two and a half hours from there.

21. Bridport

Part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, Bridport leans quietly out from the Dorset shoreline in Lyme Bay.

As a result, the city has been dubbed “London by the Sea” because of its bustling streets of small retailers and informal dining facilities.

In terms of schools and transportation, it’s a great place to live. Bridport, which rests on the A35 among Exeter and Southampton, has average house prices of £319,104 which makes it quite affordable for most.

Just over two and a half hours of travel will put you in London, which is 140 miles away. Weymouth mainline depot is where you’ll need to go for railways to London Waterloo, just know that it’s 21 miles away.

22. Poole

Poole has a plethora of options, and only some towns can match it. It’s conveniently located near the capital and the Home Counties and also provides easy access to the World Heritage Jurassic Coast, Bournemouth’s beaches, and the New Forest.

As a commuter town for Bournemouth or London or simply a venue to work remotely, Poole is an ideal place to call home.

The average price of a home here is £451,265, but considering Poole’s excellent location, it’s not too unreasonable.

Families with children of all ages can take advantage of the high-quality schools in this area. Poole is also well-served by the main A35 thoroughfare, which runs through the city.

This route takes you to Southampton, where you can take the M3 to London in about two and a half hours. More than 60 trains daily pass through Poole, which sits on the London Waterloo central line.

23. Piddle Valley

With a population of just 1,220, the Piddle Valley is home to many small towns, such as Piddlehinton. The average cost of a home in this area is about £473,583.

The area is far from the fuss of the city and larger towns but what it may lack in city conveniences it makes up for with its brilliant countryside.

From the area, there is still easy access to the remainder of southern England via the county village of Dorchester. Three new primary schools have recently opened in the area, and others have received high marks in the past.

The A35 trunk route from Dorchester to Poole straddles the Piddle Valley, which extends south via the center of Dorset.

The 127-mile journey to the capital takes just over two hours, making it one of the quickest routes to London. IF you prefer taking the train, London Waterloo takes an average of three hours to reach.

24. Sherborne

Located on the periphery of Blackmore Vale in northwest Dorset, this village fits the description as a “portrait market town of serene stone, Middle Ages, and Georgian dwellings.” Sherborne’s average home price is £342,635.

The 95-mile-long Jurassic Shoreline, which extends from Dorset to East Devon, is only a quick ride away from the town and offers some stunning scenic beauty. With just a brief drive or train journey to London, you can enjoy the rural lifestyle at its finest.

Sherborne is a great place to raise children, with a private school for boys and girls that dates back more than 1,300 years. Sherborne lays adjacent to the primary A30 trunk road, but the neighboring significant road ties to the M3 highway and, from there, straight into the heart of London.

The 120-mile journey will take just over two hours to drive. From Sherborne to London Victoria, there are 19 trains a day, the fastest of which takes just two and a half hours.

25. Malmesbury

Malmesbury, Britain’s oldest township, has a rich legacy, including a famous abbey constructed in the twelfth century. In this neighborhood, the average price of a home is £488,245.

As a thriving market town, it’s convenient for daily driving and quick access to London via roads and railways, making it an ideal location for remote and semi-rural residents alike.

There are three primary schools and one state secondary school in Malmesbury, all highly regarded. In addition, a co-ed independent school a few miles away has excellent ratings.

Eighteen miles from a major junction on the M4 highway, Malmesbury lies on an elevated plateau overlooking the Cotswolds and is just 93 miles from London – it takes less than two hours to get there. Dozens of trains travel daily to London Paddington in less than an hour.

26. Fowey

Fowey is among the loveliest areas in Cornwall, and it’s situated right in the middle of the county’s most stunning location. The cost of a home in this neighborhood ranges from £145,000 to £1,195,00, which means that you can easily find something within your desired price range here.

Daphne du Maurier’s original home in Fowey, Cornwall, has a vibrant cultural scene that includes the yearly du Maurier Festival and the Fowey Regatta, along with an array of fine dining establishments.

27. Salcombe

Salcombe, inside the South Devon Region of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), is a celebrity’s playground, luring a slew of second-home buyers from all over the country.

With a large percentage of properties valued at more than £1 million, the naturally protected waterfront, stylish properties, and scenic and serene setting attract purchasers. Average house prices in the area are £831,987.

Boat and yacht cruising are popular pastimes here, and there is a variety of cozy bars and top-notch eateries to choose from. If you’re interested in buying a home here, act quickly as its popularity is increasing fast.

28. Gloucester

Historic Gloucester sits in the Cotswolds region of England, surrounded by natural beauty spots like the Malvern Hills and the Wye Valley.

In addition, it’s just a short drive from South Wales, making it ideal for a day trip to the beach or a hike in the mountains. The average price of a home in the area is £250,255.

If you’re looking to buy a home in Gloucestershire, you’re more than likely interested in a period property.

Cheltenham’s breathtaking royal court residences have nudged Gloucester’s real estate values up. Still, the city’s proximity to the Cotswolds and its low-key lifestyle make it an excellent place to buy.

Gloucester has a good number of beautiful Royal courts and Classic dwellings in the downtown area.

As a result, purchasers with a wide range of budgets will have more options from which to choose. Those looking for a more traditional Cotswold stone cottage can look to the eastern section of the county.

The tiny but gorgeous downtown area has a lot of chain stores and many local retail shops, restaurants, and entertainment.

29. Plymouth

Our next stop is the waterfront borough of Plymouth, which has a median home price of £223,662.

As a gateway to Cornwall, Devon’s southerly coastlines, and the stunning Tamar Valley, it is a fantastic location for outdoorsy types.

Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City, boasts a plethora of cultural offerings, including annual events and rich maritime history and heritage.

The Plymouth Pavilions, Theatre Royal, multiple marinas and yacht associations, and more amenities are all within a short distance of the city. In the notable Sutton and Barbican Harbour, there’s a myriad of art museums.

The city’s central shopping district is just a short walk from the waterfront. You can find everything from quaint cottages and mansions in Mannamead and Stoke to waterfront condos and townhouses, meaning that you’ll have plenty of options when it comes to choosing housing.

30. St. Ives

St. Ives, a thriving seafront resort on Cornwall’s spectacular northern coast, is home to miles of golden sand and a slew of art galleries. The average cost of a home in this area is £455,446.

The workplace harbor is a magnet for artists and sculptors from all over the globe, with its position only a few feet from the shoreline.

In addition to Barbara Hepworth displays, there are numerous works of art and statues scattered around the city, and the St. Ives Literary Festival attracts hordes of tourists each year.

Living here is shaped by a friendly atmosphere, and real estate values rise in direct proportion to their proximity to the sea.