Broadstone: The Dorset town Londoners are moving to in their droves

Emma Haslett
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Nearby Delph Wood is a popular place to go walking (Source: Google Maps)

When City A.M. asked Homelet to show us where Londoners are moving to when they leave the capital, we expected the commuter belt to feature heavily. What we didn't expect was that the small Dorset town of Broadstone would beat Brentwood, Brighton and Bristol to come top.

According to the figures, 4.1 per cent of those leaving London move to Broadstone. While it's worth pointing out that those figures are for renters, rather than buyers, that's nevertheless a surprisingly high number. It's hardly the UK's most picturesque town - so what's driving everyone to Broadstone?

With just over 10,000 locals (according to 2011 census data), the town is on the outskirts of Poole, whose high-end Sandbanks area is often described as a "millionaire's playground". It's also 20 minutes from Bournemouth - where sandy beach stretches for 20 miles along the Jurassic Coast.

According to Zoopla, the average monthly rent in the area is £846, way below the average £1,515 asked of Londoners. Likewise, although at £518,257, the average asking price in the area is decidedly cheaper than Poole's £783,360 (not to mention the capital's £994.207), it's still quite a lot steeper than the average house price, which stands at £283,033, according to Zoopla.

Nearby Sandbanks is one of the UK's most exclusive areas (Source: Getty)

Nearby primary schools Springdale, Broadstone and Rushcombe have all been rated "Outstanding" by Ofsted, although Broadstone Middle School was rated "Inadequate" in 2013.

Could it be that Londoners are heading to the town for a bit of sea air after retirement? The average age in Broadstone was 46.6 in 2011, compared with 42.1 across the rest of the UK. And locals are feeling good: 51.6 per cent said they're in "very good health", compared with 46.5 per cent in Poole.

What is there to do? Among the 13 restaurants listed on Trip Advisor, Tiien Thai has the highest rating, with locals calling it "fantastic" and "amazing". High praise indeed.

"I have to say it's a great place to live," said one person during a Netmums discussion about the local area.

"When I am mooching on the beach or walking around Poole harbour I have to remember that people pay to come on holiday here."

Tristan Brindle, who was brought up in Broadstone but has since moved to New Zealand, suggested that Londoners are simply looking for a soft landing once they leave the hustle and bustle of city life.

"It's clean and safe and has good schools, close to beaches and the countryside but still with enough amenities that people leaving the rat-race wouldn't feel like they've left civilisation completely."

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