The best places to live in the UK

The best places to live in the UK

Whether you are coming to the UK for the very first time or are moving back after years abroad, it’s essential to take stock of your options. The places that you loved on holiday or have fond memories of from your childhood are not necessarily the best places to live. 

Finding the best place to live in the UK is more complicated than it might seem. For the best quality of life, it is crucial to take stock of every aspect of life. From the cost of relocating to long-term career opportunities to daily lifestyle, it’s about more than just finding a job. 

Here are a few places that are leading the way in being the best place to live in the UK.

Happy to move to Brighton?

On the English south coast, Brighton lies 50 miles south of London and with a population of just under 300,000 has something for everyone.

From the beach and famous pier to the Royal Pavilion and the spectacular homes lining the waterfront, Brighton is not only one of the best places to live in the UK, but it’s also officially the happiest.

The area of North Laine consists of colourful streets packed with independent shops and cafes. Brighton is considered the gay capital of the UK and there is a very liberal and bohemian vibe in certain areas of the city.

Brighton is a perfect location to visit the spectacular surrounding areas, such as Beachy Head, the cathedral city of Chichester, and the beautiful town of Arundel and Lewes. If all that is not enough Brighton even has it’s own Premier League football team.

Housing prices are relatively high, although they do tend to reduce as you love further to the western part of the city. Public transport around Brighton is very good.

Moving To Glasgow

Scotland’s largest city has been flying under the radar for far too long. While it occasionally gets a nod for its striking architecture and thriving cultural scene, it is more than just a destination for a weekend away.

In fact, Glasgow has recently been named the “best city for millennials to live and work in.” Far from the dog-eat-dog world of London, British youth and young ex-pats are finding Scotland a breath of fresh air.

The Scottish city offers a wide array of work opportunities along with a low cost of living. To give you a sense of the savings, a flat that would cost £1,650 in London will only set you back £550 in Glasgow. Meanwhile, salaries in many fields are just as competitive as you would find anywhere in the UK.

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Living in Oxford

At the center of England is the university city of Oxford, which again ranks high on the list of best places to live in the UK. With a population of around 150,000 people, it’s a one hour drive from London and just over one hour to Birmingham.

Whilst this historic town is renowned for its many excellent universities it also boasts some fantastic primary and secondary schools and so it’s an excellent choice if you are raising a family.

Oxford dates back to the 10th century and contains buildings in many architectural styles from Saxon, to Gothic, Edwardian and Georgian. This means there are countless places to visit and explore including galleries, museums and parks.

All this comes at a price, with average house prices over £450,000 but if that is within your budget, Oxford could be perfect for you.

Best places to live in the UK - Oxford

Relocating to Birmingham

The United Kingdom’s second-largest city has always been popular with ex-pats. According to the much-respected Mercer Quality of Living Report, it is the city with the highest quality of life outside of London.

Moving far beyond its industrial past, Birmingham is becoming a city of the future. The regeneration plan has created some of the best infrastructure networks in the UK. Access to international flights along with easy trips across the city has made a profound impact on the quality of life. As the city gears up for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, there are even more improvements on the way.

Life in Salisbury

Ever since the Sunday Times, Best Places To Live Guide recognised Salisbury in Wiltshire as the best place to live in the country, this little city has been riding high. 

Indeed, with a population of only around 45,000 people, it is not exactly an ex-pat hotspot. It is, however, a perfect example of Britain’s love for the countless quaint cities and towns that dot the countryside.

Indeed, with a population of only around 45,000 people, it is not exactly an ex-pat hotspot. It is, however, a perfect example of Britain’s love for the countless quaint cities and towns that dot the countryside.

25 miles from Winchester, 30 minutes to Southampton, one hour to Bristol, and 90 minutes to London, it’s easy to live the dream in a town like Salisbury while taking advantage of stronger urban economies. Whether you are moving to the UK for the first time or are a returning ex-pat, keep small cities like this on your radar.

So, what are some of the other areas rated as the best places to live in the UK? Just check out this list of places loved by Sunday Times: 

  • Petworth, West Sussex
  • Topsham, Devon
  • Isle of Dogs, London
  • Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
  • Edale, Derbyshire
  • York, North Yorkshire
  • Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria
  • Dundee, Dundee
  • Crickhowell, Powys
  • Holywood, Co Down

Relocating to Bristol

Vibrant and multicultural, Bristol is another excellent alternative to London’s urban lifestyle. While it is only the 11th largest city in London, it ranks at the top for job opportunities.

Bristol is a popular spot for students, which is part of the reason that nearly half of the city’s residents have NVQ Level 4 or above. Having an educated population has made the city a darling for start-ups and international brands alike.

In fact, Bristol is just behind London as England’s number two largest creative, tech, and digital community. The city has some of the United Kindom’s lowest unemployment rates, and opportunities are everywhere if you have the right skillset.

The best places to live in the UK - Bristol

Moving to London

While it’s far from being the only place to live in the United Kingdom, it’s impossible to deny the pull of the city. As Samuel Johnson said, “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” A city of more than nine million people from every corner of the planet, London has it all. From culture to job opportunities, you can find what you are looking for in London.

That said, not all areas in London have been created equally. It is essential to know what you are looking for before you arrive. Every neighbourhood has its own charms and drawbacks.

Areas like Richmond Upon Thames are great for living in the city without feeling like you are in the city. Wandsworth is a family-friendly place where you can live the traditional British lifestyle. Meanwhile, Notting Hill and Kensington are a swanky pick that’s much loved by many ex-pats.

Ready to take the plunge? You need our essential tips for moving to the United Kingdom.

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