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Dublin: 18 °C Thursday 18 July, 2019

A year after the poisoning, Salisbury is named as the best place to live in Britain

Last month the town was deemed safe, following an extensive clean-up.

Image: Steve Parsons

SALISBURY HAS BEEN named as the best place to live in Britain by The Sunday Times.

The medieval city has won the prize for the first time, for features including the city’s cathedral, almost exactly a year after the attempted assassination of a former Russian spy and his daughter using a Soviet-era nerve agent.

On 4 March 2018, Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found last year slumped unconscious on a park bench in the centre of the city. 

The attack also led to the death of a British woman, Dawn Sturgess, who came into contact with the Novichok, as well as injuring several others including a policeman.

Last month, the town was deemed safe following an extensive clean-up.

The Sunday Times said the city won the prize “thanks to its divine beauty, fronted by its 13th century cathedral”, and referenced the major recovery that happened after the poisoning. 

“Shortly after the novichok poisonings in March 2018, the shops were empty, the tourists were staying away, and the locals were feeling uneasy.

Now there is a real optimism in the air – with plans announced last month to connect the whole city to full-fibre broadband, and the cafes are brimming.
Genuine tourists are returning, not just to see one of the most glorious cathedrals in Britain, its grounds a scenic meeting point for dog walkers, picnickers and joggers, but to enjoy historic landscapes, crystal-clear streams and meadows dotted with sheep.

The reference to “genuine tourists” and the cathedral, is in relation to the reason given by the Russian suspects in the poisoning, who said they were tourists visiting Salisbury, and had chosen the city because of the cathedral.

The Sunday Times list assesses a wide range of factors, from employment, schools and broadband speed to culture, community spirit and local shops, in order to compile the definitive top locations to live.

The methodology uses statistics, including up-to-date house prices, and the knowledge of a panel of judges.

The guide also names a series of regional winners, including Isle of Dogs, which won the title of the Best Place to Live in London, and Petworth, the Best Place to Live in the Southeast.

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