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Market towns are in the spotlight as buyers look for homes close to the countryside with good schools, a thriving community and high streets that are the heart of the town.

As we move out of lockdown, Rightmove is seeing more home-hunters searching for small, rural market towns which offer a quieter life than that of a busy city centre but are also bigger than a village.

Who wouldn’t be swayed by the idea of a bustling high street, with a great local and a handy corner store. It’s also hard to ignore the appeal of having a string of independent shops, cafes and mouth-watering restaurants serving fresh, local produce only. Now add in an artisan baker, a farmers market and a good butcher and you might just be onto something….

So here are the top 10 countryside market towns at the top of the home-hunters wish lists right now:

Market TownHouse Price
1.Totnes, Devon£318,000
2.Ashbourne, Derbyshire£279,924
3.Keswick, Cumbria£353,063
4.Sherbourne, Dorset£328,869
5.Thirsk, North Yorkshire£230,354
6.Alnwick, Northumberland£230,853
7.Pickering, North Yorkshire£426,408
8.Marlborough, Wiltshire£251,296

Totnes

Totnes is an historic riverside market town in the heart of South Devon that does seem to have it all. So it’s no surprise it is the market town at the top of our list.

Overlooking the picturesque town centre is Totnes Castle, an English Heritage-listed castle dating back to the 14th century. The River Dart flows directly into Totnes, with riverside pubs and wildlife walks a short distance from the high street and hiking trails that lead directly into the surrounding countryside areas of Ashprington and Dartington.
The scenic coastal town of Paignton, with its stretches of sandy beaches, is within a 15-minute drive.

Totnes high street has plenty of independent boutiques, local arts and crafts galleries, organic food shops and weekly outdoor markets.

You can find detached family houses close the town centre, along with terraced homes, character cottage and bungalows. Two-bedroom flats are priced from around £220,000, while four-bedroom family homes sell for about £400,000.

Direct trains to London Paddington take just over three hour and the station is about 10 minutes’ walk from the town centre.

Ashbourne

The market town of Ashbourne sits at the edge of The Peak District National Park. Surrounded by countryside, there are hundreds of walking paths and cycle routes across the hills and the dales.

The cobbled Market Square hosts the traditional outdoor market every Thursday and Saturday, with lots of independent traders, and there is a good choice of shops and pubs around the town.

The average asking price for homes in Ashbourne is just below £280,000. Large Georgian family houses are priced at around £650,0000, but you can find family-sized houses priced below £400,000, while new-build apartments and bungalows are priced below £300,000.

The nearest train station to Ashbourne is 18 miles away in Derby.

Keswick

The market town of Keswick is within the Lake District National Park and is surrounded by hiking trails and peak walks.Every Thursday and Saturday the town centre market fills up with food stalls, arts and crafts and handcrafted gifts.

Here you’ll find a mix of big Victorian houses, many operating as guest houses, and stone cottages. You can buy a four-bedroom terrace house near the town centre for about £350,000.

The nearest railway station to Keswick is Penrith, which is about 17 miles away.

Are you thinking of moving to one of these idyllic market towns? To get the ball moving why not click here and get an instant valuation for your home.

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