Topsham is one of the best places to live - its official

A boat in the Exe Estuary just off of Topsham

A boat in the Exe Estuary just off of Topsham - Credit: Love Topsham

Topsham is one of the best places to live in the UK - and that’s official.

The town has had the honour of making it into the prestigious Sunday Times Best Places list, one of only three locations in Devon to make the grade.

Judges selected this year’s entries for the sought-after league table on the basis of how beautiful the location was, the quality of local services and amenities, and how well the area worked for its community during the pandemic.

The newspaper celebrates Topsham’s traditional qualities of having former merchants’ houses and maritime warehouses lining the Exe, and a very large number of independent shops with new ones opening even during the past difficult year.

It also praises on Topsham’s community spirit, describing the town as one full of “inveterate club-joiners, cause-supporters and event-organisers” and the volunteer-run Museum was listed as a place visitors should make sure they see.

Two prominent local groups were singled out for special mention.

Estuary League of Friends’ chairman Marilyn Ramsden said 170 local people had volunteered to help the charity’s staff during the pandemic.

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She added: ”The pandemic arrived and Topsham rallied; neighbours, businesses, charities worked to-gether to help with shopping, meals and loneliness.”

Community interest company Love Topsham was also praised for acting as a cheer-leader for the town, providing additional outdoor facilities and street music during the past year, and starting work with some cafes to become more eco-friendly.

Love Topsham volunteer Ned Hoste, a graphic designer, moved to Topsham from York in 2019. He works from home having originally been an Exeter Art College stu-dent in the 1980s.

He said: “It’s fantastic news for Topsham to be included in this list. We’ve always recognised the town as special and this is a ringing endorsement. The residents, business community and groups can be proud of the part they’ve played.”

In recent months Love Topsham has helped residents, visitors and local takeaways with the provision of benches in the town and has lifted spirits.

Ned Hoste added: “As we emerge out of lockdown over the next few weeks we’ll see that community spirit at its best; it will be great to be open for business again.”

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