Devon Village Named Best Place to Raise a Family

Victoria Ward, Telegraph (London), September 26, 2011

And the residents of this idyllic Devonshire village were not remotely surprised yesterday to be told it had been named the best place in the UK to bring up children.

The picturesque enclave, nestled in the countryside between Exeter and Barnstaple, topped a list of 2,400 postcodes analysed by financial experts using more than 60 sets of data.

It’s combination of low crime rates, good schools, relatively affordable property and high earnings saw it crowned the most desirable place to raise a young family.

With a population hovering around the 1,800 mark, Winkleigh punches well above its weight.

Analysts cited its post office, butcher’s shop, fishmonger, general stores, vet and doctors’ surgery as factors which increased its desirability, not to mention two pubs and a sports centre.

The preschool was recently rated Outstanding by Ofsted and the adjoining primary achieves consistently good results.

Salaries are significantly higher than the national average (£24,170) at £37,566 while the value of a two-bedroom home is much lower than the average (£167,659) at £150,837.

Children can take advantage of an array of after-school activities including film club, street dance and creative arts.

And their parents are hardly ignored with activities from Morris Dancing and archaeology to yoga and darts.

There are the Winkleigh Bell Ringers, the Winkleigh Singers, the Winkleigh Young Farmers and so it goes on.

But those who live there insist that it is the people who propel Winkleigh to the top of the charts.

Anna Bridgman, former chair of the preschool committee, said: “It just has a really nice, supportive community feel.

“Most of the housing is family size, three-bed semis, and because we are right in the middle of Devon it is an easy commute to large towns like Exeter, Plymouth and even Bristol.

“Everyone knows their neighbours and if you have a problem you can just knock on someone’s door.”

Even the development of 250 new homes over the last few years has failed to dent the village atmosphere.

Local businesses trade in reclaimed timber and slate, pine furniture, agas and caravans. They even make their own cider.

Marjorie Bowers, chair of the Parish Council said: “It’s just a wonderful place. We call it Wonderful Winkleigh.

“The community just makes it. We have a Winkleigh directory and when new people move here we give them a copy, we also have a local magazine, Distinctly Winkleigh.

“A new £500,000 preschool has just opened which is absolutely beautiful and it’s also just very safe. If there is a crime, we usually know who did it.

“There is a lot of agriculture here but many commute to offices further afield. We are just a very eclectic mix.”

There are always some downsides and Winkleigh has apparently become something of a rat-run as commuters cut through the village rather than taking the bypass.

But residents are campaigning for chicanes and speed bumps to deter the perpetrators.

“We get together in emergencies, we really get our teeth in,” Mrs Bowers said.

Winkleigh, or EX19, was closely followed in the ratings by South Petherton in Somerset, and Galgate in Lancashire.

The research was compiled on behalf of children’s savings provider Family Investments using police figures, Land Registry information, Ofsted reports and ONS population data.

Kate Moore, head of savings and investments at Family Investments, said: “While we recognise that not everyone can lead a village life like the lucky residents of Winkleigh, our number one hot spot, we hope the factors we’ve identified will help families across the country when considering a new area to live.”

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  • Jason Robertson

    White and ideal for how long, when families from all over the country arrive there and the government vetoes local opposition to urban housing sprawl? Best to keep these places quiet or among friends, so to speak. Sadly the old villages of William books, “Went the Day Well” or “Random Harvest” have been largely destroyed. As the poet Philip Larkin predicted, “And that will be England gone,/The shadows, the meadows, the lanes,/The guildhalls, the carved choirs./There’ll be books; it will linger on/In galleries; but all that remains/For us will be concrete and tyres.”

  • Richard

    “we hope the factors we’ve identified will help families across the country when considering a new area to live.”

    Who do you think that’s aimed at? bet it’s not whites.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps it would be best to keep these gems under the radar. How long before the progressives demand that this lily White area be the recipient of of “sorely needed” diversity? Nothing like a bunch of newly arrived africans or pakistanis to liven things up and to turn some backwards White enclave into a vibrant, bustling, multicultural paradise.

  • what about “my people”?

    Fools! They won’t stay White, now that the haters have them in the crosshairs. Look for calls to “do more to remedy this unfortunate and unacceptable throw back to a shameful past of Jim Crow segregation”.

    The Whites in Devon will all have mongrel grandbabies.

    Whenever you have something that is good and Whites Only, keep your mouth shut, your head down, and pray that God turns your Whiteness into the color Invisible.

  • Question Diversity

    These towns never stay on top of the “best places” list for more than one iteration of the list. That is because the list blows their best kept secret. What usually happens is that louts move to the town because they think the sophistication will rub off on them, or some diverse bureaucrat and/or the three- and four-letter civil rights crowd both in and out of government import “much needed diversity” into the town.

    If I were running one of these towns like Devon, I would report these “quality of life” indeces worse than they actually are. Some best kept secrets should stay secrets.

  • Anonymous

    Tip:

    When you’ve got a good thing going on, keep it a secret.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I saw this village on the news in Australia a week or two ago and my heart just melted. Everyone is English and the children all blonde.

  • Anonymous

    If you’re a white person living in an upscale apartment building, you know the feeling when the first Asian faces arrive.

  • Anonymous

    Well lookey here.

    The Telegraph reported this all White enclave…wonder why the “media” loves to report these areas? Maybe the reporter and the Telegraph needs to have some serious scrutiny as to why they felt compelled to “out” the safe, White area?

    I think we all know that answer. Their media and our media is one and the same.

  • Milton

    We build buildings comparable in many way to luxury highrises and they tear them to shreads in months.

    They seem to have no respect for anyone, not even themselves.

    They lie in wait for others to build then they invade demanding to be included only to tear something good down.

    First come the blacks.

    Then come the problems.

  • 10mm AUTO

    How is it possible for this to be a desirable location if it lacks a feature we have promoted to the detriment of every city, county, Country and region? Diversity.

  • Anonymous

    A lot of the lovely seaside towns in England have been destroyed by non White immigrants. With cheaper travel people go to Spain for warm sunny, not cold foggy beach vacations.The towns are lovely places to live and easy commutes to jobs.

    The seaside towns are full of big hotels that are no longer used by English vacationers. So the goverment fills the hotels with africans, arabs, pakistanis and bangladeshis.

    Robbery, rape and pillage ensue.

    Those towns are filled with lovely 19th century homes. The hotels could have been turned into condos or retirement residences with the first floor grand lobbies left intact. The towns are too cold for beach vacations, but perfect places to live and work.

    But instead of letting the hotels be turned into condos and retirement homes as hotels in America sometimes are, the English goverment filled them with criminal often illegal arabs, africans, pakistanis and bangladeshis.

  • Anonymous

    “A lot of the lovely seaside towns in England have been destroyed by non White immigrants. With cheaper travel people go to Spain for warm sunny, not cold foggy beach vacations.The towns are lovely places to live and easy commutes to jobs.”

    Really?? I thought these places were as beautiful as the village on the TV show, Doc Martin. For some reason, the BBC left your description out.

  • (AWG) Average White Guy

    Eventually the liberal media is going to wake up and realize such blatant honesty is intolerable.

    I suspect in the near future you will find the surveyors tweaking their criteria of what constitutes a good community. One such criteria will, of course, be diversity.

  • john

    Oh yes indeed! Lets help our dear Black citizens when they’re trying to move (for the 15th time) to find a better place. “Have you looked at Winkleigh? Perhaps the government could help you relocate?” “Oh this looks like a fine place to get away from all dat crime and drugs for my kids. Especially my oldest son. He was running with the wrong crowd, getting trouble, staying out late. I bet he’ll do better here in Winleigh!” “That’s so wonderful to hear!!!” “Oh yes I like this town.I like it very much…”