THE Lizard has been chosen as one of the top ten best places to live in the South West by a judging panel on The Sunday Times.

The Sunday Times’s expert judges behind the guide assess a wide range of factors, from schools, air quality, transport and broadband speeds to culture, green spaces and the health of the high street.

The judges described The Lizard as: “England’s greatest escape, with all that’s best about Cornwall right on the doorstep: surfing at Poldhu Cove, sailing at Helford and the spectacle of Kynance Cove, with its turquoise waters and dramatic rock formations - and it’s not (quite) as crowded in summer as the county’s other holiday hotspots.”

There was particular praise for the welcoming Poldhu Beach Cafe, the takeaways from the Cornish Curry Company in Mullion and Ann’s pasties, which they rated as Cornwall’s best.

Poldhu Beach Cafe was singled out for praise

Poldhu Beach Cafe was singled out for praise

They highlighted the choice of pretty places to live, from Porthleven, a smart foodie hub, to atmospheric Cadgwith Cove, one of Cornwall’s last fishing coves where the community has launched an inspiring campaign to buy the old fishing lofts that are vital to preserving the industry.

Poldhu Beach on The Lizard

Poldhu Beach on The Lizard

The Average house sale price was highlighted at £360,000 while the average rental was £765 pcm.

The judges looked for improving towns, villages or city centres, for attractive, well designed homes and locations bursting with community spirit - which the pandemic has shown to be the most vital quality of all.

The winner nationally was Stroud in Gloucestershire with the winner in the Southwest being chosen as Frome in Somerset. The runner's up in the south west were:

• Bradford-upon-Avon, Wiltshire

• Bristol

• Kingsbridge, Devon

• Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall

• Swanage and the Purbecks, Dorset

• Tisbury and the Nadder Valley, Wiltshire

• Topsham, Devon

• Wadebridge, Cornwall

Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times Property Editor said: “This guide has never been so important. The pandemic has taught us just how much we rely on our homes, our communities and our surroundings. With working from home now common, it’s no surprise that many of us are reassessing our priorities and thinking hard about where we really want to live.

“Our focus for this year has been community, countryside and convenience. It hasn’t been a year for big cities or small villages. Instead it is small towns that have shone: big enough to have everything you need within walking distance and small enough for everyone to feel connected.

“Stroud has been chosen as our national winner because it has all the basics covered in perfect style: it has excellent schools, convenient transport links and easy access to lots of glorious green space.

“Best of all it has a unique independent spirit that comes to the fore in its impressive local food scene and at the brilliant weekly farmers’ market that brings the town and surrounding countryside together.”

“Frome has been named our regional winner because of its attractive, creative and energetic community. It is a town where everybody is keen to get involved.

“The Compassionate Frome project shows a caring side that has really come to the fore during the pandemic and sets an example that many towns should follow.”