The lockdown has led to many deciding it is time to move house; it has been widely reported that demand for homes has sharply increased in the wake of the property market reopening in mid-May.
Whether it’s been realised that more space really is necessary or that not having a garden has become unbearable; many have now have decided it’s time to move and are looking for the best places to live in the UK.
Here we highlight some best places to live in the UK, starting our journey in East Anglia, travelling anti-clockwise around the country considering different areas and sharing insights to help buyers with the process of choosing a new place to live.
Relocating to East Anglia – Reasons to move
Exciting career opportunities, exemplary schools and stunning properties – there are a number of reasons why there is a steadily increasing trend for relocating to East Anglia.
East Anglia includes the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire – within each, there are many wonderful places to live.
Whilst there are lots of rural options and villages to consider in Norfolk, the amenities and transport connections available in a town can be more appealing whilst residents are also able to readily access to beautiful Norfolk countryside and coastline.
When considering the best places to live in the UK, the city of Norwich in Norfolk is a top contender. Property in Norwich varies widely in age and style – there’s something to suit every preference.
Though Norwich is a small city it is a young and vibrant place where everything is within walking distance. There’s always something to do or a festival taking place especially since Norwich is a Unesco City of Literature with 6 theatres, comedy and gigs taking place regularly in multiple locations throughout the city and there is also an arts festival in May each year.
The schools in Norwich are known for excellence, catering to all ages and include The Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form college and privates Norwich School and Norwich High School for Girls GDST.
Around 90% of homes in Norwick benefit from access to internet speeds of 100 Mbps or faster and for the occasional commuter, the fastest trains run from Norwich into London in just 90 minutes and you can reach Cambridge in just 1 hour 20 minutes. An added benefit of living in Norwich is the wonderful access to the North Norfolk Coast.
Nestled in the beautiful Rutland countryside, the town of Uppingham is known for being small but very friendly – there is a very strong sense of community. Weekly markets are held in the market square and there are many independent shops including two butchers, a bakery, a clockmaker and even a violin-maker. Property in Uppingham ranges from period homes to more modern properties, those on the edge of town benefitting from large gardens.
Those seeking a property with good internet connection are well served in Uppingham – superfast speeds are available in 99% of homes and three in ten properties have full-fibre options already. For the infrequent commuter who might need to reach London, Corby is just 18 minutes’ drive away and trains regularly run from Corby into London St Pancras.
If you’re considering a move to the East Midlands, Uppingham should be on your list of considerations as for the many reasons highlighted it is one of the best places to live in the UK.
Rutland and East Midlands
To learn more about the Rutland and East Midlands property market watch our video where we share local property market insights.
Villages near York
York is a popular place to live and also a popular place to visit for its rich history. Choosing to live in a village outside of York might be preferable; being within close proximity of the amenities and facilities found in the city whilst living in a more peaceful and rural setting.
Harrogate is positioned at the heart of Yorkshire, the cosmopolitan spa town is an incredibly popular place to live in North East England. Unsurprisingly the villages located in the areas surrounding Harrogate are also sought after places to live. We highlight the sought after Villages near Harrogate in our blog.
Best places to live near Newcastle
Living in a city doesn’t always appeal, finding a quiet village home or house in a rural setting that offers easy access into the city might be the answer. We highlight the Best places to live near Newcastle in our blog.
Melrose, Scottish Borders
One of the greenest locations on our list of the best places to live in the UK is the beautiful Scottish Borders town of Melrose, which is set against the backdrop of Eildon Hills and has two walled gardens in the town centre Priorwood Gardens and Harmony Garden.
The town appeals greatly to those seeking to leave Edinburgh for more space as homes can often come with sizeable gardens; the Georgian houses found on Dingleton Road and Orminston Terrace are particularly desirable.
There are good schools in Melrose and within a short drive and with a little research you can be sure to have a decent internet connection. For those who need to reach Edinburgh, Tweedbank station is just a couple of miles away and offers direct services into the Scottish capital in under an hour, by car the journey takes just over an hour.
Best places to live outside Edinburgh
Edinburgh’s popularity as a place to live is growing each year, with property prices in the city centre rising there is an increasing trend to consider locations outside of the city yet within a commutable distance.
Offering a snapshot of the village lifestyle available in each of the counties within North West England, read our blog to learn about the desirable Villages in North West England and why you might want to include them in your search for a new home.
Altrincham is a historic market town within Greater Manchester, having seen its high street and centre undergo a transformation over the past decade with additions such as the redeveloped Market House, the town’s popularity as a place to live has soared – it was in fact recently crowned the best place to live in 2020.
Located to the southwest of Manchester city centre, whether travelling by car, train or tram the journey into Manchester takes around half an hour, Manchester airport is just a 15 minute drive away.
Popular with families, Altrincham boasts top schools including Altrincham Grammar School for Girls and Altrincham Grammar School for Boys and excellent houses such as those on The Downs. Residents particularly enjoy the fact it feels as though you’re in the countryside despite being so close to Manchester. Nearby areas of Bowden, Hale and Hale Barns are also extremely desirable places to live.
Best places to live in the Wirral
Merseyside’s Paradise Peninsula has long been a popular place to live; offering residents a peaceful, picturesque retreat in the North West region of England that allows for easy commuting to the nearby centres of Liverpool and Manchester.
From the Georgian and Edwardian buildings that line the pretty and colourful high street to the its Celtic heritage – Narberth is steeped in history. The town centre is filled with boutique and independent shops, antique stores and delightful eateries.
Property in Narbeth ranges from large detached homes set in their grounds including grand period properties to homes built more recently.
Best places to live in Oxfordshire – Bicester
Oxfordshire is filled with beautiful places to call home, from houses in the Cotswolds to those in the Chiltern Hills and the many locations in between. The fast-growing yet historic market town of Bicester fulfils many of the requirements set by those moving to the area. Read more in our blog titled Best places to live in Oxfordshire – Bicester.
Why Live in Wiltshire?
Rich in history and filled with charm, from the beautiful countryside to the bustling market towns, tranquil villages and excellent transport connections; there are a great many reasons for moving to this county.
Shaldon is an unspoilt village located at the mouth of the River Teign on the South Devon coast, just half an hour’s drive from Exeter. Shaldon has a popular beach, not just for the beach itself which is a mix of sand and shingle, but also an ideal spot for water sports including sailing, fishing, canoeing and rowing.
As a place to live Shaldon offers good schooling options, fast broadband and a strong community. There are several pubs in the village along with award-winning butcher and bakery, along with a post office, village shop and several places to eat.
Shaldon is ideal for those who wish to lead an outdoor life, with so many activities possible on the doorstep. The most sought after properties include the Georgian homes on the village green.
Dorset property finder – Tips for families relocating to Dorset
Families considering a move to Dorset have an abundance of locations to consider, our vlog highlights the top schools, ideal transport connections and places to look for a home.
Another coastal location in the southwest is the last feature on our list of the best places to live in the UK 2020 – Lyme Regis is a town located on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast near to the Devon border. Families find Lyme Regis particularly appealing for the schools in the town and nearby such as Colyton Grammar which is just over the border in Devon.
For the home worker Lyme Regis is recorded to have excellent superfast broadband options. The most desirable properties boast sea views, though these rarely become available to buy.
Lyme Regis has a pretty high street filled with independent shops including a bakery, butcher and fishmonger. The ancient harbour, the Cobb and the beach make this seaside town all the more appealing.
Best places to live in Dorset – Beaminster
There are idyllic towns and villages to be found through the length and breadth of Dorset, Beaminster is one such place. Pretty, authentic and filled with honey-stoned properties, there are also excellent amenities and it’s in an ideal location for reaching the Jurassic Coast or larger commercial centres.
Surrey towns each have their own merits as places to live, some are ideal for the daily commute into London others are better suited to those who want to have a range of amenities on their doorstep whilst also being deep in the Surrey countryside.
Sevenoaks has been a commuter hotspot for several years, offering regular train services into London Bridge with the fastest direct train taking just 22 minutes. There are also direct rail services into Cannon Street and Charing Cross. By road, the M25 and M20 are easily accessible and Gatwick is around half an hour’s drive away.
For a number of factors, including the exceptional standard of schooling and immediate access to the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Sevenoaks is particularly popular with families.
Surrounded by a green belt, housing in Sevenoaks is limited and the best properties rarely become available to buy, homes such as those on the Wildernesse Estate on the edge of Knowle Park are extremely sought after.
Places to live in Essex: Best commuter towns and villages
The short commute times on offer are just one factor in any buyers list of requirements for a new home – Essex can also offer stunning properties in beautiful settings, a wide range of amenities and excellent schooling options. Read our blog about Places to live in Essex: Best commuter towns and villages.
Best places to live in Hertfordshire – London commuter hubs
There are several impressive locations in Hertfordshire that not only offer short commute times into London, in some cases as short as 20 minutes but also a greater quality of life, good schools, access to the countryside and desirable homes. See our blog for more information about the Best places to live in Hertfordshire – London commuter hubs.
Property Finders in the UK
Conducting searches across the UK our team of experienced property finders provide discerning buyers with valuable advice and guidance to ensure they make well informed purchasing decisions. To talk to us about your plans to move please contact us without obligation.
Planning a move this year, but unsure where to look for a home?