Forget Rome, Majorca and Budapest — Burford in west Oxfordshire is the place to be if you want an idyllic lifestyle.

That is according to respected American business magazine Forbes, which has named the leafy Cotswold town, which has a population of over than 1,100 people, as the sixth most idyllic place to live in Europe.


The town’s mayor, David Cohen, said he wasn’t surprised and joked: “I think that’s quite low down – I would have put it higher.

“It’s a wonderful town and it’s lovely it has been recognised as idyllic, which it is, of course.

“It’s in a great location and I’m sure that’s very important.

“I’m sure there are lots of people who will be flattered when they hear the news.”

Other cities renowned for their beauty, such as Florence, Paris and Barcelona did not even make the magazine’s top 10.

The top spot was taken by Gaiole, in Italy’s wine-producing Chianti region, in Tuscany.

The town of Saint-Remy-de-Provence, in the south of France, was second and Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, was third.

The Greek island of Kefalonia was fourth and Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, on the southern edge of the Alps, was fifth.

Trailing behind Burford in seventh place was the Hungarian capital Budapest, followed by Sibiu, in Romania’s Transylvania region, Rome, and the village of Deja, on the Spanish island of Majorca, was 10th.

Forbes acknowledges Burford’s position as the gateway to the Cotswolds, a “mountainous and beautiful region in the centre of southern England”.

The article also notes the number of celebrities that have moved into the town and nearby Cotswold villages, including Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet and her film director husband Sam Mendes, and members of Oxfordshire rock group Radiohead.

Of the places that made it on to the list, Burford is the most expensive to live in, in terms of average property prices.

According to Forbes, the average price of a house in the town is £532,669.

Mr Cohen added: “The great thing about Burford is that there’s a hustle and bustle in the daytime and then in the evenings it’s so peaceful.

“There are beautiful views of the Cotswolds, lovely pubs, a good high street and a great community.”

Eighty-year-old Burford resident John Spencer, of Frethern Close, said he was delighted by the news.

“It’s a very nice town and it has always attracted a tremendous lot of people to it,” he said.

“You always see busloads of tourist coming in from London, two or three times a day.

“It’s a nice place to live and I’ve always been very happy here.”

John Summers, 56, of Tannery Close, said he had moved to the town from London five years ago and had never looked back.

He said: “When I think about how stressful it was living in a big city like London, I’m just so relieved that I got out.

“I needed to find somewhere I could commute and this was the ideal place.

“I love it here and wouldn’t dream of living anywhere else.”

“The quality of life, the fresh air, the stunning views and being so close to London that if you want to go into the city, you can.”

Penelope Naylor, 67, of Sheep Street, said: “In the summer it’s incredibly beautiful – there’s nowhere like it that I’ve been.”