Finding a place to live that will give your children a stimulating and fun childhood, where there are strong schooling options and in an area that feels safe, can leave many wondering: where is the best place to raise a family in the UK?
Working dynamics are changing and parents find themselves in a position where they can work from home for most of the week, only needing to visit the office occasionally if, at all. Some are considering relocating and are spreading the net far and wide in the search for the perfect place to raise a family.
Here we highlight locations across the country that might appeal to those seeking a new place to live that’s ideal for family life.
Cheltenham is a beautiful quintessential spa town and for a number of reasons it is a popular place to live and raise a family.
It’s particularly appealing for the good schools, such as Cheltenham Ladies’ College and Pate’s Grammar School, there are also 12 primary schools rated outstanding by Ofsted.
The Cotswolds are also nearby and the local architecture is truly exceptional.
The Sandford Parks Lido is perfect for the warmer months, there’s a broad selection of shops and good restaurants, and transport connections are good – Bristol and Birmingham are both just around a 45 minute train journey away.
Brighton and Hove, East Sussex
Brighton and Hove have long been known as a good place to raise a family.
The beach, the ability to do water sports, plus the broad selection of shops, excellent transport connections and choice of places to eat and drink are all factors that make the city an excellent place to live, regardless of your age or priorities.
Families are attracted by the good schooling options and, of course, the position on the coast. But there is also access to many green spaces and the countryside.
Whether you choose to live in the Brighton or Hove area will depend on personal preferences.
Top schools, safety, lots of things to do with children and good local facilities, are just some of the features that make Cambridge such an appealing place for families to live.
From punting on the river to the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens to a selection of outdoor activities in the city, and the surrounding countryside also offers plenty to do.
Cambridge is home to many excellent schools, with Cambridge University setting the bar for education across the city.
Private schools, such as The Perse School, are known for the exceptional grades their students achieve, and in the north of the city Chesterton Community College is a highly rated state run school.
Those looking for a home in a more rural setting might prefer to live in one of the villages on the outskirts of the city as these still enjoy many of the benefits of the city. Many are also the location of highly rated primary schools.
On the very fringes of London, Teddington has much to offer residents and has long been growing in popularity as a place to raise a family.
The state-run schools in the area are largely highly rated, and there are a number of exemplary independent options in the area; in nearby Hampton there’s Lady Eleanor Holles School and Kingston Upon Thames has Kingston Grammar School.
For home workers, being in London means broadband speeds are good and transport connections to the city centre are convenient for those days when it’s necessary to be in the office.
One of the greatest appeals of the area is the expansive Bushy Park.
With almost a quarter of the schools in Norwich rated outstanding by Ofsted its of little surprise that this Norfolk city is so popular as a place to raise a family.
Norwich is a small city meaning most places are within very easy reach. Around 60% of the shops are independents and pop ups are common in the city centre—there’s also a regular outdoor market.
One of the city’s greatest features is its strong community spirit and, when restrictions allow, there are many local events run, and of course the beautiful Norfolk Coast is just a short distance away.
Chichester, West Sussex
Chichester in West Sussex is a charming small city that’s filled with culture and heritage. There are many great outdoor spaces and the Blue Flag beach at West Wittering is only a few miles away—it’s an idyllic place for children to grow up.
There are many highly regarded schools, including Chichester High School for Boys which is continuously one of the best in the region.
Singling out any one place in Surrey to name the best place to raise a family is challenging as the entire county has so much to offer, depending on your preferences for cosmopolitan town life or a slower pace in a more rural village setting.
We’ve chosen Esher to include here—it’s a town that retains a countryside feel and offers families an excellent quality of life for families.
Esher is a pretty town on the River Mole that is perfect for those who are looking for a home with immediate access to the countryside. The area is also popular with those who have equine interests, Sandown Park Racecourse is on the outskirts of the town.
Amongst the schools in Esher are the notable independently run Claremont Fan Court School and Ofsted outstanding rated state-run Hinchley Wood School.
Buckinghamshire as a whole is a wonderful place for families to put down roots. Not only are there excellent transport connections on offer for those days when travelling to the office might be necessary, but there are the Chiltern Hills and many of the towns and villages, such as Marlow, are positioned along the River Thames.
Marlow is particularly ideal as a place to raise a family—it’s an incredibly scenic town that has quite a buzz and is around an hour from London by train.
With two Ofsted outstanding rated grammar schools amongst the many excellent options, families are well catered to.
Families who move to Sevenoaks are often surprised at just how much is on the doorstep; the coast is just a short drive away and many beautiful green spaces are readily available for outdoor adventures.
Access to the countryside is just one of Sevenoaks features, the beautiful homes, bustling high street and excellent transport connections all add to the appeal; direct trains from Sevenoaks to London Charing Cross take around 30 minutes.
For families though, what places Sevenoaks above other locations as a place to live is often the local schools, which range from the historic Sevenoaks School to several Ofsted outstanding rated primary options.
Best places to raise a family in the UK
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