Fancy relocating to the best place to live in the UK? Be prepared for a long journey north because the Orkney Islands, off the north-east coast of Scotland, have topped the poll of the area with the best quality of life in Britain.
The Halifax’s annual survey looks at a number of factors to rate each region within the UK, including high employment levels, low crime rates, good exam results, high levels of health and happiness, and smaller primary school class sizes.
Orkney Islands claimed No.1 spot
Orkney has been No.2 on the list for the last two years, but in 2019, the islands have seen off all comers to be named the UK’s best place to life.
Second place this year goes to Richmondshire in North Yorkshire, with Rutland in the east Midlands, Hambleton in North Yorkshire and Eden in Cumbria rounding out the top five spots.
The survey results reveal a wide geographical split of happy places to live in with eight in the east of England, five each in the east Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, one in the north-west and two in Scotland. Wales has just one spot in the list, Monmouthshire.
However, the south-east of England has more areas than anywhere else in the top 50, with 18 of its areas rating highly, including last year’s winner Hart (now ranked 13th). London can boast only two of the UK’s most highly rated places to live, Westminster and Richmond-upon-Thames.
Location has great benefits
Russell Galley, Halifax managing director, said: “Orkney has consistently been considered one of the best places to live in the UK, and Orcadians will be delighted to hear they have now taken the crown.
“Its remote location may not be for everyone, but this comes with the benefit of having high employment, low crime rates, smaller class sizes and more affordable housing.
“While the south-east continues to have the most locations in the top 50, we’ve seen northern areas perform particularly well on education, while they also benefit from lower house prices when compared to average earnings.”