What makes the dream village? The answer is of course subjective and will generate varying responses from different people. For some, a large bustling community with lots going on and a long list of amenities is vital whilst for others a small sleepy hamlet with just the most basic of facilities would be the preferred option as long as it is surrounded by beautiful countryside.
For most, the aesthetic look of a place is important and we are blessed in this area for having a number of picture perfect villages full of chocolate box cottages and houses, possibly with a stream or river meandering through it such as at Rockbourne or one of the Woodfords. Perhaps a duck pond like the ones in Ashmore or Sherrington completes the picture. A healthy mix of differing ages and backgrounds of the residents is good as it helps to maintain the social vitality of a community rather than one that is too uniform and staid.
Most people like the idea of a village being somewhere fairly rural but just how rural will depend on many things and for some, the ideal location would be one just two or three miles away from the nearest town or conversely, the more completely away from it all the better. Convenient road links might be all important for example the villages of the Wylye Valley have good access for both the A303 and A36 whilst close proximity to a railway station such as the one at Tisbury could be the deciding factor.
The key features of a village are many but one of the necessities we hear most often is a good pub. Many communities have lost their local in recent years which is sad as they are often a focal point for village life and it is interesting that the residents of Swallowcliffe got together to re-open their pub recently after it had be closed for many years. A village with a well-run inn serving good food will be seen as having a distinct advantage or as in the case of Hindon, better still, two pubs!
Next on the list of must haves would be a shop/post office. Like pubs, these have come under economic pressure and several villages have seen theirs shut over the last decade. What has been encouraging is the number of community run shops that have sprung up across our region including those in East Knoyle to Broad Chalke, Martin and Dinton to name just a few. A good nearby farm shop such as the one at Boyton can also be helpful.
A well regarded school, whether at primary or secondary level, is certainly a draw for some families who will focus on where to buy their next home based purely on the catchment area of a favoured school.
Other things that buyers might consider are proximity to medical facilities, footpaths, horse riding, an active church and availability of sports or leisure clubs such as cricket, tennis, gardening or bridge.
Ticking many of these boxes, Rural View are about to start marketing a super barn conversion on the edge of Semley, a village with a shop/café run by local volunteers, a popular primary school, award winning pub, church, a busy community social programme, tennis club and it is within easy reach of both Tisbury station and the A350 with Shaftesbury just four miles away. Get in touch with Mark or Charlie for more information.