Fleet is the leafy commuter town in Hampshire where I’ve spent most of my life – we call it “the place of dreams”. That’s only a tiny bit ironic because it was recently found to be the best place to live in the UK, following a report by Halifax. However, it has emerged that residents are not satisfied with the simple pleasures of country air, easy commutes and good schools: they are the biggest buyers of sex toys, kinky underwear and bondage items, according to online retailer Lovehoney.
While some are wrinkling their noses at this news, I’m not surprised. Fleet was apparently a hub for wife-swapping in the 70s and it’s still a pretty sexy place to live. Not in an obvious, Venice Beach way perhaps, but here are five things that are probably rather erotic to many Fleet dwellers:
▶ The crime rates are fabulously low, a fact demonstrated by the local police’s Twitter feed, which charts officers’ tea preferences or goes along the lines of “still no reported crime in Fleet for 24 hours now #greatnews #doesntstopuspatrolling”.
▶ Fleet was once a tourist destination. Visitors would flock from London to sample the waters at Fleet pond, a lake and nature reserve. No doubt business will soon be booming again, once news reaches the big smoke of the recent makeover the Clearwater Campaign has given the attraction.
▶ Coaches come from miles around delivering revellers drawn by the sticky dancefloor and chart-topping tunes of Jaxx’s nightclub. For a number of young women, the officer cadets from the nearby military training academy at Sandhurst are a big draw. Seas of beige chinos and navy blazers are virtually guaranteed on Fridays and Saturdays in term time.
▶ There is massive political reform afoot in Fleet, where, historically, the Tories could have put a budgie up for election and won. In last week’s council elections, the Conservatives lost overall control of the district council. The reason for the dawn of a new era? The intense worry felt about proposed developments that will rob many of their field views and convenient dog-walking spots. Revolution is sexy, right?
▶ If none of the above are enough to turn you on to Fleet’s charms, then our celebrity endorsement record may change your mind. Peter Andre and Katie Price have both made highly publicised visits. Most thrillingly, Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt met up in the dingiest, cheapest pub in town while they were filming nearby a few months ago, giving a new glamour to the signature jugs of Woo Woo cocktail.
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