Education & Family

Devon village gets top family-friendly rating

Image caption Winkleigh is being claimed as the best place to raise a family

A village in Devon has been rated the best place for families to live in England and Wales.

Winkleigh - between Dartmoor and Exmoor - has two pubs, two churches, a post office, a grocery shop, doctor's surgery, a vet and a village hall.

Other places which scored well are South Petherton in Somerset and Galgate in Lancashire.

The list, for savings firm Family Investments, rated schools, crime, amenities and affordable homes.

Researchers also looked at local birth rates as well as the amount of green space an area had.

They looked at more than 60 "indicators" - both positive and negative - in 2,400 postcode areas in England and Wales to draw up the list of "family-friendly hotspots".

In fourth and fifth place were Eaglescliffe in Stockton-on-Tees and Bromley Cross, Bolton.

Just one place in Wales makes the top 20 - Borth in Dyfed - and one place in London - Sutton.

The authors say that, in the case of London, the high cost of housing was a factor.

'Community feel'

Winkleigh residents were unaware that their village was at the top of this family-friendly list - but they were not surprised.

Graham Warmington, chairman of the Winkleigh Society and the village's Methodist minister, said: "It's a great place to live. It's isolated but with easy access to the beauty of both Devon and Cornwall.

"There is a community feel here and different activities going on.

"Twelve years ago we were looking for somewhere to settle long-term in Devon and Cornwall and for us, the village ticked all the boxes. We found the community friendly and settled in really well."

Family Investments is not revealing which areas came lowest for being family-friendly.

It says some very affluent areas are low on the list because the prices of homes outweigh other advantages.

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