STROUD has been named as one of the best places to live in the South West again.

The town returns to the top 10 South West locations included in The Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2019 for another year.

Described as 'the bohemian capital of the Cotswolds', Stroud was one of just two Gloucestershire locations to make the annual list, with Windrush Valley in the Cotswolds also included.

Topsham in Devon scooped the title of the Best Place to Live in the Southwest for 2019.

The supplement assesses a wide range of factors, from employment, schools and broadband speed to culture, community spirit and local shops, in order to compile the definitive top locations to live.

Judges were impressed with Stroud's sizeable community of artists, musicians, authors and, increasingly, creative entrepreneurs.

They noted that "the Stroud Valley is reluctant to bow to the Establishment", adding that "there’s a strong history of protest here, dating back to the riots of 1825.

"Threatened trees still stand, as do the maternity hospital and Uplands post office; and, this year, hundreds of pupils joined global protests against inaction on climate change."

Stroud’s green credentials were praised, with mention made of its organic cafe, Woodruffs, being the first in the country when it opened more than 20 years ago.

The farmers' market was described as "one of the biggest and best, with ceramics and artisans’ stalls as well as amazing cheese and other food, not to mention banter and musical accompaniment".

Stroud successful festival culture 'with fringe, film, book, folk and sacred music events adding to the colourful Stroud Wassail in January' was also highlighted.

"In fact, there’s so much going on that the town needs a monthly magazine, Good on Paper. It’s free, but deliberately not online, to 'encourage our readers to visit the venues, shops, galleries, cafes and pubs that stock it'." 

The town's schools got a mention too: "Education here gets top marks for all ages: the town’s two grammars, Stroud High (girls) and Marling (boys), make the top 150 in our Parent Power league table, and the local University of the Third Age has 50 groups."

In conclusion, the write-up ends: "Why we love it: Loud, proud and Stroud".

The Sunday Times Best Places to Live in the South West:

Topsham, Devon

Southville, Bristol

Chagford, Devon

Corsham, Wiltshire

Falmouth, Cornwall

Frome, Somerset

Lyme Regis, Dorset

Stroud, Gloucestershire

Tisbury, Wiltshire

Windrush Valley, Gloucestershire

The full reveal of The Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide, including the overall UK winner, will be published on Sunday, April 14.

Helen Davies, The Sunday Times Home editor said: "Finding our very own best place to live now feels more important than ever, for our wellbeing and wealth, happiness and health.

"Wherever you are on the property ladder The Sunday Times has championed 101 locations across the UK, and crowned one lucky winner, that we think is a great place to make a home.

"This year we were looking for community spirit along with convenience and culture. There is so much going on around the country, and so many great places that the choice was a hard one."

For longer entries, more on air quality, broadband, transport links, comprehensive listings of good schools and lifelong learning opportunities, local voices and property prices you can go online at