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14 March 2013, 06:00
The rural Cambridgeshire village of Hemingford Abbots has been named the best place to live in the East of England.
The village in Huntingdonshire, home to around 600 people, was named the best place to live in the region by The Sunday Times.
It is also reportedly home of the oldest village regatta in the country; it has been going in the village since 1901.
Criteria used to decide the rankings include schools, cultural life, crime rates, house prices, transport links, community and access to areas of outstanding natural beauty.
Bridget Flanagan, who has lived in the village for almost 25 years and is Vice-Chairman of Hemingford Abbots Parish Council, said: "We looked for a village to live in, and we chose I think the prettiest village.
We like the countryside here, we really think it is extremely charming."
Chair of the village Parish Council John Peters, who has lived in the village for eight years, said: "It is also a village where there is a lot going on.
You could find something to do here morning, noon and night.
Everybody knows everybody, and residents are very enthusiastic about the village itself."
Check out our picture gallery above to see images of Hemingford Abbots.
The Newnham area of Cambridge came second in the list, followed by The Golden Triangle in Norwich.
The following is the reasoning from The Sunday Times about why Hemingford Abbots was picked the nicest place to live in the region:
"On the southern bank of the River Great Ouse in Cambridgeshire, this picturesque village retains a number of medieval buildings, a church dating back in parts to the 12th century and a 500-year-old thatch-roofed pub.
Unlike many other pretty rural enclaves, it has maintained a lively personality as well as its looks with facilities including a purpose-built village hall and playing fields, a shop, post office and clubs and classes ranging from art and drama to pilates and tennis.
You can explore the river valley by boat, horse, bicycle or on foot and the village hosts an annual regatta.
There’s easy access to the M1 and M11 and St Ives and Huntingdon are just a few miles away, offering direct links to Cambridge via the guided busway (basically a bus running along the former railway line) and trains to London (two an hour from Huntingdon).
Hemingford Grey primary school is ‘good’ with ‘outstanding’ features, according to Ofsted, and most pupils move from there to St Ivo Comprehensive, also ‘good’ with ‘outstanding’ features (the sixth form is particularly good), and ranked 427 on the Sunday Times’s list of the best state secondary schools.
John Major sent his son to the nearby Kimbolton School, which last year moved up from 192nd to 184th on the Sunday Times’s list of the top independent secondary schools."