It’s official, the countryside property market is booming as people turn away from towns and cities in search of the perfect rural bolthole.

Estate agents Knight Frank this week reported the highest number of sales in the country market for 15 years and the number of home buyers registering last year up 35 per cent.

Driven by this increased demand for the country life, The Telegraph named where they calculated are the country’s most desirable villages in each county.

Leigh Journal: People are heading out of towns and cities in search of country life (Canva)People are heading out of towns and cities in search of country life (Canva)

Talking about what makes a place highly sought after, analyst at Savills, Frances Clacy, told the newspaper: “People want villages that have a bit of everything, from schools to stunning countryside, with accessibility to cities and transport infrastructure.

“Less well-trumpeted factors count too, such as the main road through the village should only lead to other villages.”

So, taking into account the highest house prices, best lifestyle amenities, connectivity and chocolate box appeal, here’s which village came out on top in the North West.

Most desirable villages in the North West

Great Eccleston, Lancashire

Average house price: £430,630

What makes it so appealing?

Great Eccleston is flat with plenty of pubs to visit and it’s in easy reach of Preston, Blackpool and Lancaster.

It’s a village where you’ll find cottages as well as houses and it’s famous for its annual agricultural show and tractor-pulling event.

You’ll also come across a clothes boutique (MMJs) and a farmers’ market that takes place every other Wednesday.

The Alderleys, Cheshire

Average house price: £1,268,175

What makes it so appealing?

Nether Alderley is said to be more subtle than Alderley Edge and you’ll spot the Grade I-listed St Mary’s Church at its centre.

It sits within the Cheshire Golden Triangle where Manchester-based footballers choose to reside.

The Beckhams once owned a house in Nether Alderley.

Haigh, Greater Manchester

Average house price: £257,020

What makes it so appealing?

Described as a hidden gem, Haigh is situated a few miles from Wigan’s town centre.

When visiting you might come across Haigh Hall, a country mansion built between 1827 and 1840.

You might also spot Haigh Windmill which has been restored and was originally used to pump water to Haigh Brewery.

Haigh also boasts miles of trails through woodland and gardens at Haig Woodland Park.

Hightown, Merseyside

Average house price: £299,304

What makes it so appealing?

Hightown is 10 miles from Liverpool, meaning commuters can catch a glimpse of both city and coastal life.

The coast is home to sandy and shingle stretches, dunes and wetlands with natterjack toads being just some of the wildlife you might come across.

Sefton Coastal Path offers views of farmland as well as the coast and there’s a pub called Pheasant Inn if you fancy a break.