We have searched Britain to find the best places to live. Some are idyllic country villages, while others are magnets for city dwellers. Either way, here are 20 places that range in average value from £150,000 to £656,000.
1. Lake District
Who doesn’t love the Lake District? The stunning scenery, cosy cottages and healthy lifestyle make this one of our top places to live in Britain. If you are tempted to move there full time, then living near Windermere, the largest national lake in England, is a great location. Fishing, boating, canoeing, swimming, the Lake District has it all.
2. Bath, Somerset
Bath is famous for its therapeutic waters, but it has so much more to offer. The Circus and The Royal Crescent are some of the most desirable addresses in BA1. It has lots of great schools, Bath University, and Bath Abbey. Average house prices are £330,000.
3. Brighton, East Sussex
Brighton is known as London-by-the-sea. It has many beautiful squares, stunning architecture, and of course there are all the pleasures of living beside the sea. Kemp Town boasts Lewes Crescent, Sussex Square and the communal gardens. They are famous for a hidden tunnel that leads down to the seafront, which is said to have inspired Lewis Carroll in his writing of Alice in Wonderland. Average house prices are around £350,000.
Some gravitate towards Bath, while others head to Bristol. It’s becoming increasingly cosmopolitan, thanks to University students choosing to live in the city after graduation. Property is snapped up quickly here, with average house prices at £223,000.
5. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Cheltenham has beautiful buildings dating from the 11th century, but it is known for the racecourse, good schools and the Literature Festival, which is on October 6-15 2017. There is no shortage of period properties in this historic city. The average house price is around £332,000.
6. North Devon
Property prices in North Devon are surprisingly good value for money. Ilfracombe is pretty coastal town, but isn’t quite as popular with tourists as neighbouring Woolacombe, making the perfect place to live. The average property price is £178,000.
7. St Neots, Cambridgeshire
Simon Bradbury, from Fine & Country St Neots, is confident that his town is the best place in Britain to live. “In short, St.Neots really does have absolutely everything the discerning buyer could possibly need or want. In terms of housing supply – there are character properties dating back many hundreds of years, mixed with modern and new homes. The central market square is an utter delight.
“The area is constantly improving, with a recently opened multi-screen cinema, swimming pool, numerous gyms and a wide variety of restaurants and shops.”
“There is great access to Cambridge, only 18 miles away, and London Kings Cross is accessible via the train station in under an hour. The beautiful villages such as Great Gransden, Eltisley and Abbotsley are just a few minutes away, too.”
Cornwall is famous for fudge, surfing and Cornish pasties. Many people visit for their summer holidays, but it would make a beautiful year-round place to live. Properties cost an average of £240,000.
9. Shaftesbury, Dorset
This must be one of the most picturesque streets in Britain, made famous by the iconic Hovis TV commercial in the 1970s. The terraced cottages on the hill don’t come on the market often, but average prices elsewhere in the village are around £217,000.
10. Swansea, Wales
Swansea is benefiting from an unlikely tech revolution, while the stunning beaches and scenery of Mumbles and the Gower still remain, making it a very attractive home to young professionals. Joanne Vine from Fine & Country Swansea says: “Swansea and Mumbles are currently benefiting from extensive investment, we have just opened a new science & innovation campus at Swansea’s university which will create 5,000 new jobs. With plans in place for an ingenious tidal lagoon and the knock effects of these investments is encouraging pockets of development and expansion throughout the city which will in turn see an increase in demand and value for properties in the area.
“We are very fortunate to be located in the charming coastal village of Mumbles situated to the West of Swansea and on the doorstep of the Gower peninsular, which is an area of outstanding beauty and blessed with many beautiful beaches and expansive countryside.
“Towns that are in reasonable commuter distance to bigger cities can offer the best of both worlds as they will attract the professional buyers, who would rather live in the suburbs to enjoy a quieter life with more countryside walks, friendlier communities, less pollution with bigger homes and pet-friendly outside spaces.”
11. West Dulwich, south-west London
This stunning village location has great transport links into London, with trains to London Bridge taking 15 minutes. Famous for its art gallery and open spaces, plus world-class schools. Average property prices are £656,000.
12. Windsor, Berkshire
This picturesque city has lots to offer, including the racecourse, Windsor castle, and it is only 30 minutes to Paddington. Property here is better value for money compared to the capital, with average prices of £508,000.
13. Inverness, Scotland
Inverness, the most northern city in the UK, is well-known for the castle, art galleries, and the easy reach of Cairngorms National Park. Many people visit to explore the legend of the Loch Ness monster. The average property price is £171,000.
Liverpool is an upcoming hotspot, perfect for city-dwellers. You’ll never walk alone in this city, with Sefton Park, nightlife and a lively music scene. Property costs an average of £150,000.
15. Market Harborough, Leicestershire
Andrew Marshall at Fine & Country Market Harborough said: “Having so many astonishing areas of natural beauty and unspoilt villages on your doorstep, yet being alongside top schools, shops and restaurants similar to those found further south is an attractive prospect.
“The attractive medieval town, with its wide, un-spoilt Georgian High Street offers the perfect balance between being close to the countryside and ease of access to road and rail networks allowing residents to commute to the capital.
“With the announcement that the planned electrification of the Midland Mainline will go ahead, London will be closer than ever. Currently, trains already run to London St Pancras in approximately one hour and that journey time is expected to significantly reduce further once works are completed.
“Since I moved my own family here from south west London a few years ago, Harborough has gone from strength to strength, now resembling something similar to the area of London in terms of shops, restaurants and general feel.”
Yorkshire is increasing in popularity, with many businesses relocating to this friendly part of the country. It’s good value for money, with house prices averaging at £178,000. There are numerous well-respected Universities, including University of Sheffield, Leeds and York.
This must be one of the prettiest parts of Britain. Best places to live across the Cotswolds include Broadway, Lower and Upper Slaughter, Chipping Campden and Castle Coombe. The average property prices are £326,000.
Famous for the Norman Cathedral, Durham regatta and the Oriental museum. The whole of the city centre is a designated conservation area. Bill Bryson called it a ‘perfect little city’. Average house prices are around £177,000.
19. Winchester, Hampshire
Winchester was named the 'Best Place to Live' in the Halifax 2016 study on quality of life. It has a beautiful cathedral, is steeped in history, and a good selection of properties. A one-bedroom apartment in the city centre will cost around £200,000, while a five-bedroom luxury home can cost £1,500,000. Click here to find out more about living in Winchester.
Edinburgh is famous for its iconic castle but it has also appeared in many famous films, including Trainspotting and Chariots of Fire. Trainspotting 2 has just been released in cinemas across the UK. Properties are in high demand in the heart of Edinburgh. A two or three bedroom property will cost anything from £400,000 to £600,000. Thinking of moving to the area? Visit This Is Edinburgh for details.