Celebrity hotspot Bruton named ‘Britain’s most desirable countryside town’

Celebrity hotspot Bruton named ‘Britain’s most desirable countryside town’

A celebrity hotspot has become Britain’s most desirable countryside town after a year of coronavirus, new research shows.

House sales in Bruton, Somerset surged by 122 per cent in 2020 according to latest figures – more than anywhere else in the nation.

George Osborne, Stella McCartney and several other famous faces are said to own properties in the town or surrounding area.

The exodus of people from London had already led to 3,000-strong Bruton being dubbed ‘the next Chipping Norton’ in previous years.

But it now appears that more ‘regular’ folk are also looking to make a break for the country after a torrid last year.

The increase in interest in Bruton has seen house prices increase by 19 per cent to £365,788, according to Rightmove.

It tops a list of desirable countryside spots compiled by the property experts, ahead of Ditchingham, Suffolk and Donington, Lincs.

The property firm’s stats show that more than half (52 per cent) of Londoners searched for homes outside of the city last year.

This is up from 39 per cent in 2019.

The rise has been put down to a year of lockdown, which saw the capital’s residents yearn for the great outdoors and more space.

Bruton has been jokingly renamed ‘the next Chipping Norton’ after the well-heeled town in Oxfordshire, also a favourite with the rich and famous.

David Cameron and Jeremy Clarkson are known to be just two of the famous faces who have made it their home.

The hike in Londoners leaving the city for Bruton, located 15 miles from Glastonbury, is also said to have led to a change in culture.

Locals have previously complained that restaurants aimed at the wealthy have pushed out cheaper alternatives.

Rightmove reported previously that Cornwall had also become a target for people looking to leave Britain’s cities.

The coastal county was the firm’s most searched for location in 2020, overtaking London.

Emma Ward, director of a local estate agent, said she had noticed the difference after the pandemic hit.

“It’s been an incredibly busy year as people rethink the types of homes they want to buy and where they want to live,” she said.

“Some are moving here to be closer to family while others are looking for a complete change in lifestyle.

“Detached homes, which are around the £500k-£700k mark here, have been flying off the shelves, we’ve none left.”