Deciding where to live can be a really difficult decision.
Finding a place to live doesn’t just mean finding a house, but also looking at house prices, transport links, area and whether it’s a good place to raise a family.
But whether you’re looking to move house or want to see how your home town compares to the rest of the country, we’ve rounded up some of the biggest studies that show where are the best and worst places to live in the UK.
This comprehensive list factors in things like quality of life, house prices, crime rates and even the amount of sunshine.
Does your town make the list? Read the list below to find out…
Happiest places to live 2017
Rightmove’s Happy at Home Index, 2017
If you’re wondering where to set up shop for maximum chance of living a happy life, Rightmove’s Happy at Home Index might be a good place to start.
They’ve released their rankings based on interviews with more 17,000 people across the UK, where they asked residents how happy they are where they live, and also asked them to rank 12 happiness factors – including the friendliness of their neighbours, and how good the local services are.
Leamington Spa came out as the top happiest place to live in the UK, while the London Borough of Brent came out at the top of the least happy place to live – sorry Brent inhabitants.
Other London boroughs also featured in the top 10 of least happy places, so it’s not good news for the capital. Here are the two lists in full…
The top 10 happiest places to live in the UK
Top 10 least happy places to live in the UK
Provident Personal Credit ‘Unbroken Britain Survey’, 2017
Earlier this year, Provident Personal Credit asked 2,642 people on a scale from one to 10, how they felt about their local area, looking at eight separate factors from how clean and safe it felt, to how welcoming or gossipy the locals are.
Unsurprisingly, London came bottom on the friendly scale, proving that those unsociable tube journeys really are getting people down, while it was the warm-hearted northerners in Yorkshire that came top of the list. For overall happiness, Worcester bagged the top spot!
Happiest places to live 2016
ONS survey on the happiest places in the UK, 2016
Research from ONS shows that the largest proportion of happy people in the UK live in the Western Isles of Scotland.
The data collected looked at responses from over 300,000 participants, who on average rate themselves a 7 or 8 for happiness (out of a score of 10).
Those living in Western Isles, however, were more likely to rate themselves a 9 or a 10. Scotland was a high scorer throughout the list, with Orkney and the Highlands coming in second and third, respectively.
We’d imagine stunning views like this contributed to the happiness in the Western Isles of Scotland!
It was bad news below the border though, as the areas with the least happy participants of all were Liverpool and Wolverhampton. London boroughs Islington and Hackney were also on the least happy list.
The 10 happiest places in the UK 2016
The 10 least happy places in the UK 2016
The happiest places to live in the UK 2015
Rightmove survey on the happiest places to live in 2015
In 2015 a survey from property website Rightmove revealed that Harrogate was the happiest place to live in the whole of Britain – for the third year running.
The research, which took into account more than 24,000 responses from members of the public about their contentment with their home and local community, considering factors like space, area upkeeep, community and amenities, said that the Yorkshire spa town scored highly thanks to its high levels of safety, neighbourliness and plenty of opportunities for recreation. The spa town of Harrogate came top of the list for the third year in a row.
The 10 happiest places to live in Britain 2015
However, Rightmove also tallied up the least happy areas too, and the London borough of Barking and Dagenham was voted as the worst, with 9 out of 10 of the bottom places being in the capital.
The 10 least happy places to live in Britain 2015
The best places to live in the UK 2017
Royal Mail research, most desirable places to live in England 2017
The Royal Mail teamed up with the Centre for Economic and Business Research to look at the most desirable places to live in the country, with Bebington in the Wirral coming out on top.
Areas were ranked based on factors like work-life balance and access to good schools and green spaces. Interestingly, no area in London made the top ten, likely because of rising living costs and lack of affordable housing.
The average price of a a semi-detached home is £176,141, which is significantly less than in the capital.
The best places to live in the UK 2016
The Sunday Times best place to live, 2016
The Sunday Times named Winchester as 2016’s best place to live in Britain. The newspaper described it as ‘a historic, cultured, foodie hub with fine period architecture and a decent selection of independent stores’. It also praised Winchester for its small population, the quality schools, frequent festivals and selection of independent restaurants. It’s also less than an hour by train to London’s Waterloo.
The Sunday Times also shared their list of regional winners, ranging from Falmouth in the South West to Stockbridge in Scotland.
The best places to live in Britain 2016
- East: Orford in Suffolk
- London: Fitzrovia
- Midlands: Ledbury in Herefordshire
- North East: Harrogate in North Yorkshire
- Northern Ireland: Ballycastle in County Antrim
- North West: Whalley in Lancashire
- Scotland: Stockbridge in Edinburgh
- South East: Midhurst in West Sussex
- South West: Falmouth in Cornwall
- Wales: Penarth in Vale of Glamorgan
Winchester Cathedral is just one of the attractions that won the city the highest honour
The best places to live in the UK 2015
uSwitch ‘quality of life index’, 2015
Energy comparison site uSwitch compared factors including average salary, crime rate and hours of sunshine, to determine the worst place to live in Britain, and Bradford in West Yorkshire came out on top. The city, which has a population of 1.5 million, was ‘let down by low disposable income, low employment, high rent and crowded schools’. Other areas on the worst list included Blackpool, Devon and South Teeside. Cartwright Hall in Bradford, which has been voted the worst place to live in the UK
Cartwright Hall in Bradford, which has been voted the worst place to live in the UK
On the other end of the scale, those that lived in Scotland were heartened to hear that Edinburgh topped the list of best places in 2015, after being found to have the lowest crime rate and surprisingly affordable living costs for a capital city.
Edinburgh was voted the best place to live
The best 10 places to live in the UK 2015
The worst 10 places to live in the UK 2015
Halifax survey: The top 50 places to live in 2015
The survey by Halifax has named the places with the best quality of life in the UK, looking at indicators like good health, weather and low crime rates.
The district of Hart, in Hampshire, has received the crown for the best place to live in the UK for the fifth consecutive year. The winner is said to be the healthiest district in the UK, with over 97% of residents saying they’re in good health. It also has a high employment rate, and residents make an average of £865 in full-time gross weekly earnings, which is 37% above the national average of £630. Healthy habits are also taken into account in the survey