A small community no more than five minutes from the heart of York has surprised its locals by being placed ninth on The Times’ list, “The 30 coolest places to live in Britain”.
Clementhorpe sits above Glastonbury and Manchester’s iconic Northern Quarter, to name a few, in the list of locations that boast a ‘certain swagger’. The locals laughed off The Times’ clichéd claim that the area is “York’s answer to Notting Hill”, and instead praised the community spirit and ‘village feel’ that make it an area with no need for a famous counterpart.
Take a short stroll down Bishopthorpe Road, Clementhorpe’s own mini high street, and you feel a world away from the bustle of the nearby city centre. Redbrick terraces occupied by local shops and businesses give the area the vintage sense of community that their owners pride themselves upon. Steve Dixon of Millie’s, the local fruit & vegetable market, praised the atmosphere that Clemonthorpe has developed in recent years: “Locals are changing the way they shop. They prefer to come to us instead of the surrounding supermarkets.”
The Times listed culture, coffee bars, gastropubs and independent shops amongst its list of must haves for a cool location, but the location factor itself is also essential. Clementhorpe boasts one of the city’s most beautiful riverbank viewpoints, which undoubtedly helped it on its way to number nine on the list; but with class comes cost, an issue that has impacted some locals. Caroline Lewis, proprietor of The Good Food Shop on Bishopthorpe Road, noticed this, “There’s been a sense of unhappiness with some locals about rising house prices, but the area has always been expensive because of its location.” Ms Lewis was quick to point out that the issue of house prices hasn’t overshadowed an otherwise content, and more importantly cool, community that is quickly becoming a choice destination for those looking to relocate.
Clementhorpe’s place on The Times’ list may have been a surprise to some, but its position in the top ten is more than deserved. The businesses, the location and most importantly the people come together to build a welcoming community that any connoisseur of cool would be proud to call home.