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Revealed: The best places to live in the UK

by LLB Reporter
19th Mar 18 7:45 am

Do you live in one of them?

York has been named as the Best Place to Live in Britain by The Sunday Times. In addition, the guide has named a series of regional winners, including Bermondsey, which takes the crown as the Best Place to Live in London, and Frome, which is named the Best Place to Live in the Southwest.

The accolades come alongside the full reveal of The Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide, which is published today (Sunday, March 18). The supplement assesses a wide range of factors, from jobs, schools and broadband speed to culture, community spirit and local shops, in order to compile the definitive top locations to live.

The methodology uses robust statistics, but also the knowledge of The Sunday Times’s expert panel. The judges combine the hard data with their own on-the-ground experience and insight to ensure the chosen locations truly are places where everyone can thrive.

The Sunday Times Best Places to Live: List of regional winners


Region Winner Starter Mid-market Family
Britain (overall winner) York, North Yorkshire £180,290 (£660 pcm) £415,480 (£1,140 pcm) £597,760 (£1,590 pcm)
Greater London Bermondsey, Southwark £695,410 (£1,950 pcm) £2,251,960 (£3,720 pcm) £6,181,050 (£4,560 pcm)
Midlands Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire £227,760 (£630 pcm) £368,520 (£1,020 pcm) £595,520 (£1,930 pcm)
North and Northeast Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear £144,890 (£580 pcm) £315,880 (£870 pcm) £405,800 (£1,370 pcm)
Northwest Altrincham, Cheshire £151,020 (£670 pcm) £494,230 (£1,370 pcm) £916,300 (£3,210 pcm)
Northern Ireland Ballyhackamore, Belfast £95,110 (£500 pcm) £167,870 (£600 pcm) £381,446 (£1,460 pcm)
Scotland Melrose, Scottish Borders £86,990 (£440 pcm) £206,550 (£670 pcm) £415,670 (£1,040 pcm)
Southeast Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire £273,760 (£850 pcm) £614,310 (£1,620 pcm) £999,920 (£2,490 pcm)
Southwest Frome, Somerset £127,480 (£510 pcm) £304,420 (£880 pcm) £456,010 (£1,220 pcm)
The East Chelmsford, Essex £192,140 (£750 pcm) £380,850 (£1,190 pcm) £563,410 (£1,490 pcm)
Wales Mumbles, Swansea £171,710 (£520 pcm) £312,510 (£910 pcm) £574,430 (£1,300 pcm)

NB: the above list is alphabetical and not in order of ranking. All house prices and rental costs have been sourced from Countrywide apart from the figures for Northern Ireland, which have been sourced from BERI, University of Ulster


York’s combination of ancient beauty and a recent modernisation means it is ranked as the Best Place to Live in Britain for the first time. The period buildings, meandering river and iconic Minster have ensured the city a billing in every Best Places list to date, but it now comes out in top spot due to its emergence as a mini metropolis, with trendy cafes and destination restaurants, innovative tech and media firms, and a dynamic workforce. The city has a population of less than 200,000, yet has ambitions to become one of the best-connected hubs in Europe, with London less than two hours away by train. It is also the UK’s first Gigabit City, offering lightning-fast broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps (one gigabit, or 1,000 megabits, per second) to businesses and tens of thousands of homes.

The Sunday Times Best Places to Live in Britain also reveals the Best Places to Live in each of the following regions: North and Northeast, Midlands, Northern Ireland, Southeast, Wales, Southwest, East, London, Scotland and the Northwest.

Bermondsey’s ranking as the Best Place to Live in London highlights the rise of an area that epitomises the modern urban good life. Its residents are typically young, affluent and arty, and often reside in photogenic lofts in converted warehouses, while railway arches are fast being converted into galleries, bars and restaurants. The location, which also featured in last year’s list of The Sunday Times Best Places to Live, is convenient for the City, but also allows residents to escape for a relaxing stroll along the Thames or in Southwark Park.

Frome is listed again this year, but this time is named as Best Place to Live in the Southwest. The town has an artisan quarter that’s often frequented by its large population of hipsters. A new entry on this year’s list is Altrincham, which is named the Best Place to Live in the Northwest. Traditionally wealthy, it now has youthful energy, centred on the food hall in its regenerated market: a cool slice of suburbia with a new-found buzz. Those who crave city life can be in the bars of Deansgate, in central Manchester, within 25 minutes on the tram.

The Sunday Times’s unique understanding of the housing market and in-depth property coverage helps readers find a place to call home, whether they are hip young professionals, growing families or discerning downsizers.

“Choosing the right location to put down roots is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make,” said Helen Davies, The Sunday Times Home editor. “Which is why we’re here to help – and what Best Places to Live in Britain is all about. We’re championing York this year in honour of its bold approach to bringing the historic city into the 21st century without losing any character or community spirit.”

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