Arnside and Silverdale were praised for having "some of the finest views in the country", as well as the community's response to the Covid-19 pandemic, in this year's Sunday Times Best Places to Live.“These twin villages on the Kent estuary have some of the finest views in the country as well as an energetic, kind-hearted community,” said the judges, who were impressed by the efforts of the 500 or so volunteer members of the Arnside Volunteer Group, who delivered meals, ran telephone buddy systems and sewed PPE kit during the pandemic.
They also highlighted the friendly sailing club, which has been holding virtual music nights featuring local musicians, and the tasty fish and chips from the Arnside Chip Shop.
Simon Whorrall, from the Arnside Volunteer Group, said: "The AVG is thrilled that Arnside (and Silverdale) has again made the cut as one of the best places to live in the UK.
"We are especially proud that the work of the AVG and other local groups helped sway the Judges in this decision."
The average house sale price was listed as £295,000, with the average rental at £625 pcm.
Kirkby Lonsdale also made the list.
“This handsome old town justified its status as one of our very favourite locations thanks to its magnificent scenery, brilliant high street and its prompt, well organised and inspiring response to the coronavirus,” according to the judges.
They were particularly impressed by the way organisations such as the Rugby Club, Queen Elizabeth School and the churches work together to help the community, as well as the variety on display in its town centre, from Dales Butchers and the Milking Parlour, a brilliant “cow-to-cone” ice cream shop to the clothes and homewares at Abrahams, described by some as “the Liberty of the North”.
The average house sale price was £350,000, with the average rental at £765 pcm.
The Sunday Times’s judges behind the guide - which is included in this Sundays' paper, 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.
They look 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.
Altrincham in Cheshire was named the overall Best Place to Live in the Northwest of England.
The other winners were Bollington, Cheshire, Knutsford, Cheshire, Liverpool, Manchester and Saddleworth, West Yorkshire.
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."