The Sunday Times Reveals The Best Places To Live In The UK In 2024

It is that time of year again when The Sunday Times reveals its ‘Best Place to Live in the UK’, which provides a great marketing hook for estate agent and letting agents operating in the areas selected, not to mention the potential to drive up demand for housing on a regional level.

North Berwick in East Lothian has been named the overall best place to live

in the UK in 2024, replacing East Sussex town of Wadhurst in top spot (2023).

North Berwick is the first Scottish winner in the 12-year history of Best Places to Live. It was picked for its combination of a great high street, a great school, the great outdoors and family-friendly houses.

The judges say they were impressed by its easy connections to Edinburgh and the way life revolves around the town’s two beaches as well as the wealth of activities whatever your age. They also highlighted the thriving independent shops as a sign of the positive effect that small businesses can have on a community.

Regional winners also included, Wivenhoe in Essex, Clerkenwell in London, Stirchley in Birmingham, Portstewart, Co Londonderry in Northern Ireland, Leeds, Stockport in Greater Manchester, West End in Dundee, Folkestone in Kent, Sherborne in Dorset, and Abergavenny in Monmouthshire.

Helen Davies, editorial projects director and Best Places to Live editor, commented: “This guide is a celebration of towns, cities and villages that are each a fantastic place to live in 2024, from Dunkeld to Knutsford, Falmouth to Leeds. Wherever you are on the property ladder, there will be somewhere to suit you.

“These are all places where you can feel grounded as well as upwardly mobile: they have a mature sense of community, lively, supportive high streets and an eye to the future, whether that is eco-friendly measures, transport and regeneration, or imaginative inclusion of new housing.”

The Sunday Times’s judges visited all the locations and assessed factors from schools to transport, broadband speeds to culture, as well as access to green spaces and the health of the high street.

The chosen locations come in all shapes and sizes, from the tiny Scottish island of Kerrera and the remote Welsh village of Presteigne to big, lively cities such as Belfast, Liverpool and London.

There are more new entries than ever before in this year’s guide and no place for previous winners such as York and Bristol – the judges looked for improving locations with a strong sense of community rather than famous names with high house prices.

Davies continued: “What makes our guide unique is that we actually visit all the places we choose and talk to locals to find out what life is really like there.

“That means we can see what people really love about the places they live. That might be fast commutes and high-achieving schools but also clean water to swim in, lively town centres with useful shops, the possibility of earning a living and being part of a friendly community.

“We do consider affordability, though high house prices are no barrier to inclusion – as long as they provide value for money. Different people may be looking for different things, but what all our best places have in common is that people love living in them and are proud to call them home.”

Previous winners of the Best Places to Live in Britain title are: Stamford, Lincolnshire (2013); Skipton, North Yorkshire (2014); Newnham, Cambridge (2015); Winchester, Hampshire (2016); Bristol (2017), York (2018), Salisbury, Wiltshire (2019), Altrincham, Cheshire (2020) Stroud, Gloucestershire (2021), Ilkley, West Yorkshire (2022) and Wadhurst, East Sussex (2023).

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