Last month, the results of a poll by a leading bank named the best places to live in the UK. Using a variety of stats such as earnings, health, crime rates and life expectancy, the poll came up with a few surprise results. The best place to live in the UK was the district of Hart in Hampshire!
Hart came ahead of the Orkney Islands, Rutland, Wychavon in Worcestershire and neighbouring Winchester, which came top of the previous year’s survey. I’m going to look at those five and see why they ranked so highly.
Situated in the north of the county, Hart is positioned between the affluent commuter towns of Farnborough and Basingstoke. It has the highest female life expectancy rate in the UK and, for employment, is handily situated on the M3 motorway, which takes you to London in less than an hour. Hart has a number of lovely small towns too, including Fleet and Yateley.
Orkney Islands, Scotland
This idyllic group of islands north of the Scottish mainland is a great place to raise a young family or enjoy retirement. They are pretty quiet, whilst Orkney was deemed to have the best rural quality of life in the UK. Although they may be remote, the Orkneys have decent amenities, especially in Kirkwall. Low traffic and crime rates are added bonuses.
The smallest county in England is, like most places in this list, mainly rural. House prices are above the national average, although they are more affordable than in neighbouring Cambridgeshire. Buying a property here through an estate agent like Strutt & Parker is best in Oakham, the county town which has the best schools and most jobs in the area.
Located on the edge of the Cotswolds, Wychavon has a mix of market towns and traditional villages that provide plenty of nice places to up sticks and start a new life. Like Hart, it is near a major motorway – the M5, no less. The district ranks highly for personal well-being, whilst it is pretty good for job opportunities and schools.
One of the UK’s best cities, Winchester has a lot going for it. Unemployment is just 2.5%, life expectancy is higher than average and it has a lot of events going on throughout the year. Winchester is within a short commute to Southampton, Portsmouth and London for jobs and shopping, plus it has a university and is close to the South Downs for leisurely country walks.
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