A village in the West Midlands has been named among the poshest villages to live in the UK, according to a list released by The Telegraph. Located in the borough of Solihull near Birmingham, Barston is praised for its “posh appeal” and its quality of life, with an average house price of £570,000.
According to recent research by property agent Savills, the exhaustive list includes 54 villages from up and down the country that were deemed “most desirable” in terms of costs and the lifestyle they offer. The report said Barston is popular among the locals thanks to its good transport links and rural life, with scenery overlooking the River Blythe.
It said: “Bordered by the River Blythe, Barston feels rural yet it has quick access to transport networks. It’s a five-minute drive to the M42, and the train to Birmingham runs from the neighbouring village of Dorridge.
“An HS2 interchange station is being built to the north of Barnston to provide Solihull, Birmingham AIrport and the NEC with a fast service to London.” With a population of over 500 people, according to the 2021 Census, Barston has many historic buildings, some of which are timber-framed.
The historic Church of St Swithin, which dates from 1721, is built on the site of an earlier church, and has also become an iconic landmark in the area.
A rise in demand for countryside homes
According to The Telegraph, the demand for rental homes in the countryside has increased since the pandemic because more individuals are moving to the countryside due to greater housing flexibility brought on by working from home. More than half of Savills estate agents nationwide reported an increase in demand in the most sought-after rural areas, with 57% of respondents indicating they were unable to purchase where they desired.
Frances Clacy, analyst at Savills, told The Telegraph: “People want villages that have a bit of everything, from schools to stunning countryside, with accessibility to cities and transport infrastructure. Less well-trumpeted factors count too, such as the main road through the village should only lead to other villages.”
The Telegraph’s top 54 "most desired" villages were chosen based on a combination of highest housing values, best lifestyle facilities, connectivity, and chocolate-box appeal along with trendy amenities like yoga studios, cycling shops and running clubs.
Along with general stores that offer zero-waste refill stations for domestic supplies and homemade ready meals and vegetable boxes, there is also the juxtaposition of an authentic architectural aesthetic (the older the better) around a green. In addition, it’s also critical to have a strong sense of history, identity, and community.