It's the epitome of pleasant
What's going for it? For those stuck behind the wheel, Ringwood is a cursed name. What is it about this exact spot on the A31 that always, always clogs up with traffic at the precise time that commuters and holidaymakers off to more exotic climes like Bournemouth reach the end of their tether? I tend to pass the time gawping out of the window (when stationary, of course), rewarding because the road rises high over the town. Always looks quite nice, I thought, at least from 20ft up, at 5mph. Wonder what it's like down there? What it's like is the very epitome of pleasant. You won't find many thrills, much less spills in this pretty market town routinely called among the most expensive in Britain. The magnificent Ringwood Brewery is as racy as it gets. Other than that, there's not one remarkable thing. So how come it's so popular with the Lexus class? Position. New Forest one way, beach half an hour the other. And best of all? Clever/rich commuters don't need to sweat the A31. They get off, like me, at the A338 roundabout. After a hard day, they want things undemanding. Like a sofa, G&T, TOWIE on the telly. Like Ringwood.
The case against The prices. The incessant drone of the A31.
Well connected? The train is long gone. So, that's right, gird your loins for the A31. No, there are no cheeky back routes. Well, one, via Rockford Common. Ask your neighbour.
Schools Poulner Junior is "good" with some "outstanding" features; Ringwood Junior "outstanding". No secondaries in town, but nearby Ferndown Upper and the Grange, Christchurch are "good".
Hang out at... You'll never be far from a pint of Ringwood: the London Tavern isn't bad.
Where to buy Down by the water meadows of the river Avon. Avon Castle Drive is like Beverly Hills with a West Country burr, with a succession of Southforks on steroids. Loads for sale. Are the rich abandoning Ringwood? Also, Ashley, and up the hill the other way towards the national park boundary, at Hightown Hill and Hangersley. Detacheds are the big market down here; few terraces and semis pro rata. Nice Victorians, though, off Mansfield and Christchurch Roads or at Bickerley Green.
Market values Huge detacheds, £450,000-£2.5m. Detacheds, £220,000-£450,000. Semis, £160,000-£400,000. Terraces, £150,000-£220,000.
Bargain of the week Pleasant three-bed 1960s end-of-terrace, close to the centre, £190,000, with Grants.
From the streets
Lisa Taylor "A lovely market town with a good range of independent shops. My favourites are the Lighthouse Cookshop and Oh… La La Chocolat! – I dare you to walk away without buying anything."
Mimi Parry "Residents are great at supporting events. A very friendly town – people will say hello in the street. A shame there's no theatre or cinema, they would be a great plus."
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