Best place to live in Britain revealed

It might not be where you would expect...


The best place to live in the UK revealed

With spectacular scenery, ancient ruins and dramatic cathedral, Scotland's Orkney Islands have been named Britain's best for quality of life.

Despite having to hop on a ferry to get there and just one nightclub, greenery as far as the eye can see, low crime rates and affordable housing make it the place to set up home.

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According to research by Halifax, the idyllic Orkneys with a population of just over 20,000 may have some of the smallest houses in Britain but they also have the lowest stress levels.

But those looking for a lively pub scene should head to Eden in Cumbria which boasts the most boozers per head of population.

It has a remarkable 28.3 per 10,000 residents - almost treble the UK average of 10 pubs per 10,000 people.

Credits: PA

Cliffs on Hoy provide some of the Orkney Islands' spectacular scenery

WAGs in search of the biggest properties in Britain should house hunt in Uttlesford, Essex where homes have an average of 6.4 habitable rooms compared with 4.6 in the Orkneys and a UK average of 5.4.

For those planning a lengthy retirement, East Dorset was found to have the highest life expectancy for men who live to a ripe old age of 82.8 years compared with the average of 79.5 years.

But women live longer in the Chilterns where they notch up 86.7 years compared with the UK female average age of 83.2 years.

Parents putting education top of their list of family priorities should think about a move to the Western Isles where there are just 17 kids in a primary school class and 13.2 children per teacher at secondary level.

By comparison, primary school classes usually have 27 youngsters while secondary schools have one teacher to 20.8 pupils.

The Halifax Rural Areas Quality of Life Survey found the Isle of Wight was the sunshine island, basking in 36.9 hours of sun a week while the rest of the UK had just 29.8 hours.

But overall the Orkneys were crowned the best place to live after factors including jobs, education, housing, health, the environment and personal well-being had been taken into account.

Credits: Getty

The Orkneys, off mainland Scotland's north coast, have a population of just 20,000

Halifax economist Martin Ellis said: "With one of the lowest population densities and traffic levels in Scotland, some of the most stunning scenery in the British Isles and the lowest levels of anxiety and highest life satisfaction ratings, the Orkneys offer a quality of life unmatched elsewhere in rural Britain."

Wychavon in Worcestershire was the second most desirable place to live, followed by the Derbyshire Dales, Hambleton in Yorkshire and Purbeck in Dorset.

Last year's winner South Oxfordshire, tumbled to tenth.

The survey found the South East and the South West of England bagged 20 of the 50 places in the quality of life league while the North East failed to break into the top 50.

Top ten rural hotspots for quality of life

  • Orkney Islands, Scotland
  • Wychavon, West Midlands
  • Derbyshire Dales, East Midlands
  • Hambleton, Yorkshire and The Humber
  • Purbeck, South West
  • South Cambridgeshire, East of England
  • Chiltern, South East
  • West Oxfordshire, South East
  • South Hams, South West
  • South Oxfordshire, South East

10 property hotspots

10 property hotspots

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