Many Brits dream of escaping the rat race and enjoying the peace and quiet of rural life. But a new study has revealed that countryside living comes at a price.
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Figures compiled by NFU Mutual show that life in the country costs £2,000 more per year than city dwelling, with everyday essentials costing significantly more away from city centres.
Dubbed the 'countryside premium', the extra expense comes from greater food and fuel prices, as well as other essentials.
In fact, the study shows that 'rural inflation' averaged 7.7 per cent over the course of 12 months, compared to the national average of 4.3 per cent.
Rising fuel prices were largely to blame for the higher cost of living, with countryside-dwellers tending to be more dependent on cars and travelling further than those living in towns and cities.
Everyday food and drink costs were also found to be pricier. The report claims essentials such as meat, tea and coffee came at a 'rural premium' of five to 10 per cent more.
Richard Percy, chairman of NFU Mutual, told the Daily Mail: "People in the countryside have a better quality of life but costs associated with this are becoming increasingly difficult to bear for families on lower incomes.
"While there are lots who pay this 'countryside premium' willingly, and can afford to, there are many who don't enjoy the luxury of being able to move to cheaper areas and are struggling to make ends meet."
However, those who had escaped to the country scored higher than their city-dwelling counterparts when it came to health and local environment - and were happier and less stressed as a result.
What do you think? Is it worth paying the 'countryside premium' to enjoy rural life? Leave your comments below...