Halifax reveals UK’s best places to live in 2020

Ready to up sticks? Home to market towns and rolling countryside, one idyllic area has just been crowned the best spot to live in the country

If you're searching for a slice of the good life, step this way. Out now, Halifax's annual Quality of Life index has identified the 20 best places in the UK to call home.

While many surveys rank locations on property affordability, there are lots of other factors that go into choosing where to put down roots.

READ MORE: The UK's easiest cities to buy a house in

As well as looking at house prices, Halifax’s Quality of Life index considers a wide range of other criteria, including safety, access to green spaces, employment opportunities, education and health to determine the most desirable locations. 

Scenic region triumphs

This year, East Hertfordshire takes the top spot, thanks to its good schools and a population who are among the healthiest, happiest and best-paid in the country.

In East Hertfordshire 97% of people reported good or fairly good health and overall residents had the 12th highest weekly earnings in the UK.

Situated less than an hour from London and Cambridge and home to pretty market towns such as Bishop’s Stortford (pictured above), the area is especially popular with families moving out of London in search of more space.

Image: Wikimedia CommonsImage: Parliament Square in Hertford, East Hertfordshire

Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said: “With bustling market towns and picturesque countryside, East Hertfordshire has topped the table thanks to high life expectancy, good schools and health and happiness scores, with high average earnings.”

Midlands and East score high

Fareham, Hart and Horsham were the next best local authorities for quality of life, with Maldon rounding out the top five.

Of the top 20, five areas were in the East of England, seven were in the South East, one was in the East Midlands and three were in the West Midlands.

Yorkshire and the Humber was the only region in the North to feature in the top 20, with Selby at number six, Hambleton at number seven and Ryedale at number 11.

Orkney Islands, last year’s winner, was the sole Scottish region to make the top 20. It had the highest employment rate in the UK, at 88.2%.

Position Local Authority Region
1 East Hertfordshire East of England
2 Fareham South East
3 Hart South East
4 Horsham South East
5 Maldon East of England
6 Selby Yorkshire and The Humber
7 Hambleton Yorkshire and The Humber
8 Babergh East of England
9 St Edmundsbury East of England
10 Wokingham South East
11 Ryedale Yorkshire and The Humber
12 South Derbyshire East Midlands
13 South Cambridgeshire East of England
14 Tonbridge and Malling South East
15 Rugby West Midlands
16 Runnymede South East
17 Wychavon West Midlands
18 Orkney Islands Scotland
19 Woking South East
20 Warwick West Midlands

The Quality of Life index considered 26 variables within eight broad categories: labour, housing, urban environment, physical environment, health, education personal wellbeing and lifestyle.

READ MORE: The cheapest and best places to retire in Europe

Featured image: Dmytro Kurko/Shutterstock

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