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The 20 Best Places to Live in England

English country

England is an interesting and diverse country that offers a variety of living experiences that will suit different groups of people. Regardless of whether you want to live somewhere with an urban vibe, a country village, a coastal town or somewhere that is steeped in history, you will find the perfect location with you. What constitutes a great place to live is partly a matter of opinion, but experts often compare factors such as the outdoor spaces, the amenities, crime levels, commutability, schools, and employment prospects.

20. Bollington, Cheshire

Also known as Happy Valley to locals, Bollington in Cheshire has plenty of good points that make it a fantastic place to live, says Cheshire Life. Residents have the best of both worlds as it has all the amenities that they need but is surrounded by stunning countryside. A lot is going on in this area in terms of activities for people of all ages. Therefore, it appeals to families, young professionals, and retirees alike.

19. Bedford, Bedfordshire

Those who enjoy an outdoors lifestyle should consider Bedford in Bedfordshire, which has been voted one of the top places to live in East England. This area has been overlooked in the past, but it is a fast-changing area that has lots to offer. This large town has a population of around 80 thousand people, many of whom have chosen to live there because of its proximity to London. The house prices in London are extortionate and out of many people’s price range, and this drives people to look for affordable options within a commutable distance. Bedford is a good option as the houses are around half the price of those on the London property market. The Castle Quarter of Bedford is where most of the high-end shops and homes are located, but other areas have Victorian terraces and semi-detached homes.

18. Chagford, Devon

Located on the edge of Dartmoor, Chagford is a small farming market town in Devon that is surrounded by spectacular countryside. The town is formed around a town square, which is where you will find most of the shops, pubs, and amenities. Approximately 1,700 people are living in this town, so it has a true sense of community. The local farm shops sell some of the best quality ingredients in Devon, so it is a great place to live for those who are passionate about food.

17. Kenilworth, Warwickshire

The biggest selling point of Kenilworth in Warwickshire is its location, as there are great transport links to Birmingham, Coventry, and London. The amenities in this town is another selling point as it has a range of shops, supermarkets, and restaurants. Residents can take advantage of the many leisure activities and facilities in the area. Families also like living in this area because there are excellent schools in Kenilworth and the surrounding area.

16. Bramley, Shamley Green, and Cranleigh, Surrey

This is a group of three separate tiny villages that are generally grouped together to refer to an area of Surrey. Set against a backdrop of hills, this is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. All three villages are pretty and have a wonderful sense of community. To create an image of the area in your head, think of locals playing cricket on a village green that is surrounded by historic cottages.

15. Allendale, Northumberland

Allendale as been named as one of the best places to live in Northeast England on The Sunday Times list. This Northumberland village is just 34 miles from the bustling city Newcastle which is a commutable distance for those who work in the city but want to live in a quieter environment. The strong sense of community is one of the major attractions of this village, as they have community clubs for various pastimes and hold regular community events. There are three village pubs and some nice options for dining out.

14. Altrincham, Cheshire

Altrincham, Cheshire, was once a struggling area with a poor reputation. The market town is now completely transformed to become one of the best places to live in North West England. It has become known for its culinary scene, its hip vibe, its boutique shops, and its revamped market. Altrincham has even won awards for its high street following a £6 billion revamp. It also has a vibrant nightlife that makes it a popular area to live for young professionals.

13. Aylsham, Norfolk

A market town in Norfolk, Aylsham is considered one of the best places to live in East England. Just 20 minutes north of Norfolk, this farming market town has more affordable homes than many other towns in the surrounding area. The areas agricultural roots are evident due to the market stalls, the farm shops, and the annual blue-riband agricultural show. There is a strong sense of community in this market town, which is something that both families and retirees enjoy.

12. Southville (Bristol)

One of the nicest places to live in the southwest region of England is Southville, which is a suburb of Bristol. Although Bristol is known for its extortionate house prices, Southville is one of the most affordable options. It also has a great location close to the river and with amenities easily accessible. This suburb retains all the cosmopolitan charm of Bristol, while also boasting attractive period homes. It is popular among families who want to live close to everything Bristol has to offer, but in a quieter area that has a stronger focus on community and that offers plenty of family-oriented activities.

11. Harborne (Birmingham), West Midlands

In the past, Birmingham was considered the second city of England before Manchester took the crown. Determined to win back the title, Birmingham has undergone some pretty extensive improvements in recent years, including to its suburbs. One of the best suburbs of Birmingham is Harborne, which is now ranked as the second-best place to live in the Midlands. Located to the southwest of the city center, this suburb has Victorian villa-style homes, 10 local pubs, some great dining options, and a busy high street with various shops and amenities.

10. Battersea, London

Although it isn’t one of the swankier parts of London, Battersea has been ranked as one of the best places to live in England’s capital. Sitting on the Thames River and with Battersea Park as its central point, Battersea is a popular place for families. Not only does it offer a range of outdoor activity options, but it also has excellent schools. Along the river, there are many outstanding restaurants, so it is a popular place to visit for foodies who live in other parts of London.

9. Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire

Due to its desirability, Berkhamsted is a place that you could consider posh or even pretentious, and it attracts affluent residents. Commutability is one of the key attractions of living in this attractive town, as traveling to London takes just 30 minutes on the direct line to Euston. There are also excellent road connections with London and the surrounding area. The town has all the amenities you could possibly need, but it is surrounded by picturesque countryside. This means residents have the best of both worlds.

8. Topsham, Devon

Topsham in Devon is the best place to live in the Southwest of England. It is an affluent port town that was once one of the busiest ports in England, although you are now more likely to see luxury yachts lining the harbor. The properties are varied and range from former dockworkers’ cottages to the 17th-century Dutch gabled mansions. The area has developed an image as a place to have a good time, thanks to the outstanding restaurants and the wide range of outdoor leisure activities.

7. Petworth, West Sussex

Those who prefer living in a rural village with a strong sense of community should consider living in Petworth, says Country Living. This pretty and traditional village has been named as the best place to live in the Southeast region of England. Located in West Sussex, the houses in this village represent architecture from the different eras. The village is surrounded by the stunning South Downs, and the area is dotted with farm shops and galleries.

6. Kirby Lonsdale, Cumbria

The regional winner for the North West region of England is Kirby Lonsdale in Cumbria. This tiny market town still has market days and it is dissected by the River Lune with either side of the small town connected by Devil’s Bridge. Tourists flock to Kirby Lonsdale to enjoy picnics by the river, paddle in the shallow waters and skim stones. The narrow winding streets are home to some fantastic places to eat and several boutique shops. It is surrounded by the Lake District to the left, the Yorkshire Dales to the right, and it is just a short drive from the City of Lancaster.

5. York, Yorkshire

The historic city of York regularly makes it onto lists of the best places to live in England. Traditionally, this city was known for its history and architecture, but it is now getting a reputation as being a great place for hipsters and young professionals. It is also a hotspot for families as there are plenty of activities for families to enjoy. It has an amazing culinary scene and has a vibrant nightlife, despite its traditional appearance. York has also become the first ‘Gigabit City’ in the UK, as the Internet speed is 1Gbps. This is useful for the fast-growing creative industries in this amazing city.

4. Edale, Derbyshire

House Beautiful describes Edale in Derbyshire as a village with a community that has a great sense of humor. The village marks the beginning of the Pennine Way, which is a popular tourist attraction for hikers. It is considered by many as one of the most beautiful parts of England with its rolling hills that are dotted with trees and dry-stone walls.

3. Isle of Dogs, London

If you want to live in England’s capital, then the area that has been ranked as the best to live in is the Isle of Dogs. In the past, this dockside district has had a bad reputation as it was once populated solely by dockers and their families. However, the area has been completely transformed in recent years and it has become a haven for empty-nesters who enjoy the tranquil riverside retreat it has become. Despite feeling quieter than many other London districts, it is set against the London skyline and has easy access to the commercial areas of London.

2. Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk

Bury St. Edmonds, Suffolk, has been named as the best place to live in the East of England in 2019.This market town has cobbled streets, timber houses, pastel-colored cottages, and is surrounded by breathtaking countryside. There are excellent schools within easy traveling distance, so it attracts families. It is also a culinary hotspot as there are superb restaurants in the market town. The peaceful lifestyle appeals to people who work in surrounding towns and cities as it has great transport links to places including Cambridge, Ipswich, and Stowmarket.

1. Salisbury, Wiltshire

A list compiled by The Sunday Times lists Salisbury in Wiltshire as the top place to live in the UK. This beautiful medieval city has stunning architecture, the centerpiece of which is the cathedral. Even modern businesses are located within historic buildings. Its proximity to London and the coast is something that appeals to many people, as it is an hour and a half from London by train and less than an hour to the coast. It is also a fantastic place for families to live as it has some of the best schools in the southeast of England.

Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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