Market towns are a great option for buyers looking for the bustle of the high street, a close-knit community and a quieter lifestyle. The cities, once packed with people looking to enjoy crammed bars and a vibrant nightlife, have become less appealing as homeowners continue to work from home. Rightmove said as restrictions start to ease further, home hunters are looking for small, countryside market towns that are bigger than a village but are less busy than city centres.
Many market towns offer great pubs, a plethora of independent shops and cafes, convenience stores, a supermarket, bakeries, fish mongers and butchers just moments away from your front door.
These are Rightmove’s most searched-for countryside market towns:
1. Totnes, Devon
Average asking price: £318,924
Totnes is a historic market town located close to the River Dark in South Devon.
The town centre has everything a high street needs – independent shops, local art galleries and organic food stores.
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Totnes is also ideally located close to Paignton and Torquay which means you can enjoy both the countryside and the sea.
Homes range from more expensive detached homes near the city centre to terraced homes, character cottages and bungalows.
2. Ashbourne, Derbyshire
Average asking price: £279,924
Located on the edge of The Peak District National Park, Ashbourne has plenty of walking paths and cycle routes.
The town has idyllic cobbled streets, historical buildings and independent shops aplenty.
Homes range from large Georgian family houses which are priced at around £650,000, to new-build apartments and bungalows which are priced at a reasonable £300,000.
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3. Keswick, Cumbria
Average asking price: £353,063
This market town, located in the Lake District, is surrounded by mountains.
Keswick also has plenty of history with The Cumberland Pencil Museum and the Keswick Museum & Art Gallery located in the town and the Castlerigg Stone Circle, which dates back to the Neolithic era, located nearby.
You can pick up a four-bedroom terrace close to the town centre for around £350,000.
4. Sherborne, Dorset
Average asking price: £328,869
One of the lesser known towns in Dorset, Sherborne is located in the northwest of the county, just six miles from Yeovil in Somerset.
The small, historic town is famous for its buildings which include its Abbey Church, Sherborne Boys’ School and two castles.
Many of the homes for sale on Rightmove were built in the 19th century, making it the perfect spot for characterful properties.
Sherborne also has the A30 road running through it which connects London to Penzance.
Thirsk, North Yorkshire
Average asking price: £230,354
Located in the Hambleton district of North Yorkshire, this pretty little town is the perfect spot for families.
With stunning views of the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors, there are plenty of walks nearby.
The town has plenty of pubs, restaurants, hotels, museums, art galleries and a train station.
Alnwick in Northumberland came in sixth place with an average asking price of £230,853.
Pickering in North Yorkshire came in seventh with an average asking price of £285,522.
Marlborough in Wiltshire, Kingsbridge in Devon and Richmond in North Yorkshire concluded the list with average asking prices of £426,408, £373,328 and £251,296 respectively.