THERE may be no sign of Hugh Grant or Julia Roberts, but an area of York has been named as the city’s answer to Notting Hill in a list of the hippest places to live in Britain.
Clementhorpe has been ranked at ninth place in The Times top 30 of the coolest places to live, and likened to the trendy London suburb, the setting for the 1999 romantic comedy of the same name, beating Jesmond in Newcastle, Jericho in Oxford and Kemp Town in Brighton.
The top spot in The Times league table went to Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, which is described as a haven for artists, musicians and New Agers, and second place to Bethnal Green in London, a magnet for hipsters.
Clementhorpe – which includes streets near to Bishopthorpe Road and Terry Avenue –is described by The Times as being a once boring suburb until a number of cafés and a deli opened in “Bishy Road”.
Kevin Coundon, manager at estate agent William H Brown, said: “New shops, restaurants and bars have attracted young professionals to live in the area. It’s an up-and-coming trendy area and it’s no longer seen as a Victorian street of houses.
“House prices have always been high in Bishopthorpe Road. You have never really got too much for your money in Bishopthorpe Road or South Bank, but it’s all about the location.”
House prices in Clementhorpe are estimated at about £200,000 for a Victorian two-up, two-down, while a three-storey house with three or four bedrooms might sell for about £300,000 or more.
The Times notes that professionals chose to live in Clementhorpe for its walkability and small-scale entrepreneurs appreciated its value.
Other places to feature in the top ten include Stockbriddge in Devon, Folkestone in Kent, Frome in Somerset and Kelvingrove in Glasgow.
CAMILLA JAMES spoke to some of the people who live and work in Clementhorpe.
Giuseppe Lombardo, 34, of Trinacria Sicilian Cafe Bar, said: “York in general is a nice place to live. It is touristy and good for a business like mine. This part of town is nice because it is close to the centre. There is plenty of accommodation here, and there is a vibrant atmosphere because of all the young families.”
Kate Kay, 36, actor, said: “It is like living in a separate village. It has a community feel, but without the trappings of a village. There is a varied group of people here and a mixed age group, so there is a cross-section of society.
"There is just a general good feeling about the place. I agree with The Times, because it is a supportive community, with good schools, surrounded by green areas and is accessible to the city centre.”
Vicky Harris, 48, Millie’s Fruit & Veg: “There is a steady stream of people, and it gets particularly busy on the weekends. There is a beautiful racecourse and a nice park surrounding us.”