THE “buzziest” high street in Sussex has been revealed.

All small and medium-sized towns across the UK were rated based on the number of independent shops in their high streets and the house price growth since the 2007 peak, showing it is an in-demand area to live.

After crunching the numbers, Lewes finished sixth in the country.

Its high street has 65 per cent independent shops, while its house prices increased by 43 per cent between 2007 and 2018, leaving the town with an average house price of £452,320.

The study was carried out by estate agency Hamptons International.

The company’s head of research, Aneisha Beveridge, said: “Despite the rise of internet shopping, the high street continues to define the character of a town or village. As a neighbourhood undergoes change, one of the first and best barometers of that is the shift in the mix of local shops and restaurants.

“It typically takes about ten years for a high street to fully reflect the changed profile of a neighbourhood.

“But as an area becomes more established and more desirable, so house prices invariably rise.”

Lewes has several quirky and interesting stores in its medieval streets.

One of these stores is Leadbetter and Good, an independent store which sells homewares and gifts including British ceramics, textiles, prints, books, handmade chocolates and vintage accessories.

Manager Mel Williams, 49, said: “It doesn’t surprise me at all that Lewes is in the top ten because we have got so many independent shops compared to most towns.

“People can come here and shop for more unusual things and find unusual places in a small area.

“With the surrounding environment and rolling hills, Lewes has got it all really.

“Hopefully it continues to build on this in the coming years.”

Lewes has a population of 17,000 and is the judicial centre for all of Sussex.

It is home to the county’s police force, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and HMP Lewes.

The best high street in the UK was found to be Ampthill in Bedfordshire with 71 per cent independent shops in its high street, a 36 per cent house price growth between 2007 and 2018 and an average house price of £236,790.

This was followed by Shefford in Bedfordshire, Haslemere in Surrey, Dorking in Surrey and Frome in Somerset. Other towns to make the top ten included Tring in Hertfordshire, Ware in Hertfordshire, St Ives in Cornwall and Maldon in Essex.