Salisbury, the medieval city that made world headlines after a nerve agent attack, was on Sunday named as the best place to live in Britain.
It earned the top spot in the annual top places to live survey by the Sunday Times, which also included the Isle of Dogs as No.1 place to live in London and Dundee, home of a new V&A Museum, named top spot in Scotland.
Cathedral city Salisbury became a virtual no-go area after a former Russian agent and his daughter were left fighting for their lives after coming into contact with potentially fatal Novichok in March 2018.
The community spirit shown after the attack helped push Salisbury to the highest scoring town or city, said the Sunday Times.
“Business in Salisbury is returning to normal and the city’s beauty, fine schools, culture verve and medieval architectural remain defiantly intact,” said the newspaper.
In its citation, the Sunday Times adds: “Whatever foes this beautiful city has faced, from the Celts to the Vikings to the recent Novichok poisonings, it has emerged victorious. It remains divinely attractive with its cathedral at the heart of things.”
A 90-minute train journey from London, Salisbury has a cinema in a 15th century building. This time last year the shops were empty and tourists were staying away. Now the tourists are returning after the biggest ever clean-up operation Britain has seen.
The report quote local council woman Pauline Church, a key player in the city’s recovery operation, saying: “There is no longer a dark cloud over us.”
The Dean of Salisbury Nicholas Papadopulos described the cathedral precinct as the most beautiful urban space in Britain. The spire of the city’s iconic cathedral, more than 123 meters high, rises above the city like a beacon, said Papadopulos, adding: “Whenever you see it you get an unmistakable sense that you are home.”
The Isle of Dogs, once almost entirely populated by dockers working at London docks, was named top place to live in Britain’s capital.
“Most Londoners have never set foot here yet it could be an empty nester’s perfect new nest,” said the Sunday Times. Less than 15 minutes by light rail from the City of London it’s a tranquil riverside retreat that feels worlds apart from the capital, particularly on the Thames Path which is lined with converted wharf buildings, parks and majestic views.”
The average house price of 688,375 U.S. dollars is cheaper than second placed Battersea and much cheaper than the average 3.72 million U.S. dollars asking price for property in London’s third-place Belgravia.
Cross the border into Wales, property costs an average 528,226 U.S. dollars in the number one place to live, Crickhowell in the county of Powys. Close to the scenic Brecon Beacons, Crickhowell is described as a place for multigenerational living, just an hour from Cardiff, the capital city of Wales.
York, the walled-Roman city that is a hot spot for international tourists, takes top spot in the North east of England, while scene Kirkby Lonsdale in the Lake District of England is number one place to live in North west England. Across the Irish Sea, Holywood earns the best place to live title in Northern Ireland.