This is the best place to live in the UK

Britain’s finest place to live has been pinpointed.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 26th January 2019, 8:09 am
Updated Saturday, 26th January 2019, 8:13 am
The Ring of Brodgar, a Neolithic henge and stone circle about six miles north-east of Stromness on the Mainland, the largest island in Orkney, Scotland.
The Ring of Brodgar, a Neolithic henge and stone circle about six miles north-east of Stromness on the Mainland, the largest island in Orkney, Scotland.

Sheffield hasn’t made the cut in the quality of life survey, unfortunately, and neither has anywhere else in South Yorkshire – instead Orkney has been crowned the UK's best place to live in an annual poll by Halifax.

With its breathtaking landscapes and archaeological treasures, Orkney has been the runner-up for the past two years in the building society’s survey.

Richmondshire and Hambleton in North Yorkshire, the Derbyshire Dales, Harrogate and Selby are the closest places to Sheffield that made the list.

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The poll looks at a range of data covering the labour market, the housing market, the environment, education, health, personal wellbeing and leisure to rank the areas with the best quality of life.

High employment levels, low crime rate, strong exam results, smaller primary school class sizes and good health and happiness scores helped propel Orkney to the top spot, Halifax said.

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Orkney is also a relatively affordable place to live - with an average house price of £173,349, standing at 5.2 times the average annual pre-tax local income, compared with the national average ratio of 7.3.

Richmondshire took second place.

Excellent personal wellbeing scores, low crime rates and amounts of traffic - and a large number of pubs compared with the population size - helped secure Richmondshire's place as the runner-up.

Richmondshire is followed by Rutland in the East Midlands, Hambleton and Eden in Cumbria.

London has just two areas in the top 50 - Westminster (15) and Richmond-upon-Thames (40).

Parts of the South score well on employment, earnings, life expectancy and health and the weather, while the North tends to fare better in terms of housing affordability, lower traffic flows and population densities and lower primary school sizes.

Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said: "Orkney has consistently been considered one of the best places to live in the UK and Orcadians will be delighted to hear they have now taken the crown. "Its remote location may not be for everyone, but this comes with the benefit of having high employment, low crime rates, smaller class sizes and more affordable housing."

He continued: "While the South East continues to have the most locations in the top 50, we've seen northern areas perform particularly well on education, while they also benefit from lower house prices when compared to average earnings."

Here are the top 50 places in the UK in Halifax's 2019 quality of life survey: 1. Orkney, Scotland 2. Richmondshire, Yorkshire and the Humber 3. Rutland, East Midlands 4. Hambleton, Yorkshire and the Humber 5. Eden, North West 6. South Oxfordshire, South East 7. Cotswold, South West 8. Ryedale, Yorkshire and the Humber 9. St Albans, East of England 10. Derbyshire Dales, East Midlands 11. Vale of White Horse, South East 12. Waverley, South East 13. Hart, South East 14. East Hertfordshire, East of England 15. Westminster, London 16. Winchester, South East 17. Rushmoor, South East 18. Uttlesford, East of England 19. Wychavon, West Midlands 20. Harborough, East Midlands 21. South Cambridgeshire, East of England 22. Rushcliffe, East Midlands 23. Ribble Valley, North West 24. Surrey Heath, South East 25. Wokingham, South East 26. Harrogate, Yorkshire and the Humber 27. Babergh, East of England 28. West Oxfordshire, South East 29. South Buckinghamshire, South East 30. Windsor and Maidenhead, South East 31. Warwick, West Midlands 32. Elmbridge, South East 33. Chichester, South East 34. Stratford-on-Avon, West Midlands 35. Lichfield, West Midlands 36. Malvern Hills, West Midlands 37. Rochford, East of England 38. Chiltern, South East 39. Shetland, Scotland 40. Richmond-upon-Thames, London 41. West Berkshire, South East 42. Basingstoke and Deane, South East 43. South Hams, South West 44. Fareham, South East 45. St Edmundsbury, East of England 46. Wycombe, South East 47. Mid Suffolk, East of England 48. Monmouthshire, Wales 49. Daventry, East Midlands 50. Selby, Yorkshire and the Humber

And here is the local authority district with the best quality of life in each region in 2019, according to Halifax's quality of life survey: - South Oxfordshire, South East - Rutland, East Midlands - St Albans, East of England - Wychavon, West Midlands - Westminster, London - Cotswold, South West - Richmondshire, Yorkshire and the Humber - Monmouthshire, Wales - Orkney, Scotland - Eden, North West - Lisburn and Castlereagh, Northern Ireland - Northumberland, North East