There’s no place like home – but when you’re choosing where to buy one for your family, it can be a stressful process!
Whether you’re hoping to move house or just want to see how the area you’re already living in does in the rankings, we’ve found some of the most recent round ups of the best places to raise children in the UK.
These lists consider everything from property prices to good schools, local safety to leisure facilities to whittle down the nicest areas to live in the UK – and while the outcome is always different, the attributes the places share have a lot in common.
How does YOUR home town measure up? Read on to find out…
MoneySupermarket Better Family Living Index, 2017
Newcastle has been named the best place to raise a family in the UK for 2017, according to research from MoneySupermarket.com.
The brand, who analysed factors including school rankings, house prices, job opportunities, and average salary concluded that the Geordie city was top of the list, followed by Derby and Wolverhampton.
The top 10 places to raise a family in the UK 2017
Average house price: £161,255
Average house price: £174,288
Average house price: £171,124
Average house price: £224,699
Average house price: £439,408
Average house price: £163,031
Average house price: £181,927
Average house price: £263,894
Average house price: £340,864
Average house price: £216,406
Kevin Pratt from MoneySuperMarket said of the result: ‘Parents naturally want the best for their children, whether it’s a good school, a safe and leafy neighbourhood, or plenty of career opportunities when they grow up.’
The company also compiled a list of the worst places to raise a family, with London at number one, and Leeds, Brighton, Sheffield and Birmingham also making the top ten.
uSwitch Better Family Life Index, 2016
In 2016, USwitch named Hertfordshire the best place to raise a family, citing top exam results, good salaries and even better weather than competing areas. In the area, 81% of residents aged 16-64 were employed, and earning a notable average gross salary of £33,435.
St Albans Cathedral in Hertfordshire
Interestingly, the brand also provided a list of worst areas, which included Nottingham, Isle of Wight, Glasgow City, Leicester and East Eyrshire, which fell down due to their higher crime rates and poorer facilities.
The top 10 places to raise a family in the UK 2016
Average house price: £458,046
Average house price: £492,629
3. Central Bedfordshire
Average house price: £259,250
Average house price: £152,996
Average house price: £227,887
Average house price: £181,735
Average house price: £192,073
Average house price: £154,787
9. West Cumbria
Average house price: £167,259
10. Calderdale and Kirklees
Average house price: £162,402
An earlier report from OneFamily also discussed the top places in England and Wales specifically to raise a family in 2015 – and the area that took the number one spot might just surprise you!
This research, which took into consideration over 70 different criteria, including safety, childcare facilities, green spaces and property prices, stated that Wokingham, Berkshire was the best place for parents to raise their children, thanks to its low crime rates and outstanding education opportunities.
However, while Wokingham scored highest, it’s also good news for parents who have laid down roots in Lancashire and Devon, as these areas both had four entries on the coveted list apiece. Devon in particular has good access to big towns such as Taunton and Plymouth, enabling many working parents to commute.
2014’s winner, St Bees in Cumbria, dropped 7 places but still managed to retain a place in the top 10. Notably, no entries were present from the capital city of either country, with a greater prevalence of rural areas in the countryside or the coast in the rankings.
The 20 best places in England and Wales to raise a family 2015
1. Wokingham, Berkshire
Average house price: £281,495
2. Winscombe, Somerset
Average house price: £234,848
3. Faringdon, Oxfordshire
Average house price: £202,845
4. Oakham, Rutland
Average house price: £166,947
5. Lower Earley, Berkshire
Average house price: £253,683
6. Longridge, Lancashire
Average house price: £167,327
7. Shebbear, Devon
Average house price: £203,365
8. St Bees, Cumbria
Average house price: £141,204
9. Middlewich, Cheshire
Average house price: £124,292
10. Cheadle, Staffordshire
Average house price: £125,695
11. Carterton, Oxfordshire
Average house price: £234,146
12. Cullompton, Devon
Average house price: £160,271
13. Clitheroe, Lancashire
Average house price: £146,718
This year’s list had a prevalence of rural areas, including picturesque Clitheroe in Lancashire
14. Crediton, Devon
Average house price: £170,678
15. Fleet, Hampshire
Average house price: £262,553
16. Colyton, Devon
Average house price: £216,962
17. Bury, Lancashire
Average house price: £115,044
18. Shotley Gate, Suffolk
Average house price: £191,178
19. Driffield, Yorkshire
Average house price: £128,354
20. Burscough, Lancashire
Average house price: £159,311
The Telegraph, 2015
Researchers from the Telegraph considered house prices in their round up of the best places to raise a family in Britain in 2015. Many of the results were, rather predictably, in London, but it was actually Cheltenham, Gloucestershire that took the top spot in this list.
The top 20 places to raise a family in Britain 2015
1. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Average house price: £332,328 This large spa town is set on the edge of the Cotswolds. There’s great schools, low crime rates, and a packed town centre to keep you busy.
2. North Norfolk
Average house price: £201,673 What child wouldn’t want access to the beach? This old-fashioned town has a picture-perfect seaside, as well as countless more desirable amenities.
3. Stamford, Lincolnshire
Average house price: £239,348 More affordable than some of the exclusive areas on the list, Stamford is a market town with loads to do for kids.
4. Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire
Average house price: £504,637 Within commuting range of London, but also home to the brilliant Roald Dahl museum, there’s equal appeal for children and grown ups.
Average house price: £229,000 TripAdvisor voted it the second most child-friendly city in Europe for a reason! Scotland’s capital is a fab family city that’s packed with culture.
The views over the city of Edinburgh
6. Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Average house price: £348,546 The ‘Garden of England’ provides a wealth of activities for younger residents – and the schools stand in very high regard.
7. Hampstead, North-west London
Average house price: £1,259,927 London is an amazing place for children – but you’ll have to be on a pretty good salary to move there! Trendy Hampstead is a beautiful but pricey area with a wealth of desirable housing.
8. Skipton, North Yorkshire
Average house price: £170,831 This traditional town has one of the lowest crime rates in the country – and house prices aren’t bad either. Good schools and fun attractions like bowling are the icing on the cake.
9. Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent
Average house price: £380,438 Another easily commutable area, this new town was only created in 1989, so you can be sure of contemporary facilities.
10. Cardigan, Ceredigion
Average house price: £167,000 This picturesque patch of West Wales is the perfect place for kids to get outside and run around – from riding their bikes to exploring the bay.
11. Helmsley, North Yorkshire
Average house price: £278,111 This market town is like a walk back in time – sweet shops, doll’s house collections and riding schools ensure your children a quaint, traditional childhood.
12. Watermark, the Cotswolds
Average house price: £507,500 A gated community set around beautiful Cotswold lakes, Watermark couldn’t be prettier – or safer!
13. Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
Average house price: £234,383 With active cricket, rugby and hockey clubs, this is a great location for sporty kids. No wonder life expectancy here is higher than anywhere in the country!
14. Chichester, West Sussex
Average house price: £314,931 The beach in Chichester gives plenty of opportunities for watersports – they’ll be pros at canoeing and kayaking in no time!
Average house price: £234,200 The bustling city of Bristol has all the mod cons you can imagine – bowling, cinemas and an enormous shopping centre. The annual balloon festival is a family highlight on the calendar.
The Bristol Balloon Festival
16. Fleet, Hampshire
Average house price: £497,871 This rural, green area feels calm and peaceful – but it’s just 45 minutes by train from Waterloo.
17. Bingham, Nottinghamshire
Average house price: £244,248 This small community has just 9,000 residents, but the schools are great, and the amenities, like a nature reserve and leisure centre, are even better.
18. Weybridge, Surrey
Average house price: £629,103 Well-located with pretty scenery, this area is packed with fun activities, including pony riding, summer camps, and the Brook Museum (for kids who love cars!)
19. Between the Commons, South-west London
Average house price: £625,669 The space between Wandworth and Clapham Commons has been dubbed ‘Nappy Valley’ due to the influx of parents heading there – predominantly due to the excellent schools, cool shops and kid-friendly restaurants.
20. Brook Green, London W6
Average house price: £714,988 London, of course, and houses will set you back a pretty penny – but you’ll have a view of the River Thames (and access to Westfield shopping centre!) at your feet!
Do you think that YOUR area is the best place to raise a family in the country? Leave us a comment below and let us know why!