The Chalke Valley in Wiltshire has been named as the winner of The Sunday Times Best Places to Live in the South West of England for 2022.

The community-run Chalke Valley Stores is new to the list this year and tops nine locations in the area as chosen by The Sunday Times.

Released online on Friday, the comprehensive rundown features 70 locations and an edited version will be available in the paper on Sunday.

A team of the Sunday Times' experts judges produce the list based on a range of factors from schools and broadband, transport and green spaces as well as culture and the health of the high street.  

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Chalke Valley. Credit: NewsquestChalke Valley. Credit: Newsquest

The guide aims to celebrate towns, villages and city centres that have seen improvements as well as "locations bursting with community spirit– which the pandemic has shown to be the most vital quality of all".  

Halifax, who sponsors the guide, has also pulled together the average house prices for each location.

Meanwhile, the UK's leading independent guide to broadband,, has gathered the most up-to-date information on broadband speeds in the stunning areas.

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Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times Property Editor, said: “The Sunday Times Best Places to Live list is necessarily subjective. Leave it just to statistics and you will never capture the spirit of a place. For that, you need to visit to take into account that ‘you have to be here’ feeling. Is the pub dog-friendly, for example? Can you live car-free? What are the schools and houses like? Is it multicultural and multigenerational, and can it offer a good way of life to lots of different sorts of people? 

Ms Davies added: “Ten years ago, when we launched the inaugural list, London’s gravitational pull was strong, the WFH revolution had not yet reached our doorstep and high streets were stacked with chains. How times have changed — and how welcome that change is.  

“This year we have discovered new best places to live, from resurgent city centres in the North, rejuvenated suburbs across the country, hidden villages in the Southwest, and a commutable Scottish island. 

“We hope there is something to suit everyone.” 

Wiltshire spot named regional winner of The Sunday Times Best Places to Live

The experts from the Sunday Times named The Chalke Valley as the winner of the South West region and they had plenty of praise for the community-run Stores.

The guide said: "The Chalke Valley stores is an inspiring hub for a string of villages that reflect the best of rural life in the 21st century, with a standout pub, Saxon churches,  thatched cottages and a history festival, but also Ch4lke mobile - a locally organised mobile network that will give broadband speeds a much-needed boost."

Halifax noted that the average house price for the area is £655,000 but unlike the rest of the locations listed its growth since 2020 was not available.

The Sunday Times Best Places to Live in the Southwest 2022

While Chalke Valley is the regional winner and therefore, features at the top of the list, the other destinations are listed in alphabetical order and are not ranked.

  • Winner: Chalke Valley, Wiltshire 
  • Bridport, Dorset 
  • Bristol  
  • Budleigh Salterton, Devon  
  • Charlton Kings, Gloucestershire 
  • Ashburton, Dartmoor 
  • Sherborne, Dorset 
  • Stroud, Gloucestershire 
  • Wellow, Somerset