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The best places to live in Britain have been revealed.

Locations were ranked by work-life balance and access to good schools and green spaces, according to economists.

Norwich, Bournemouth and the small town of Bebington in the Wirral topped the list.

Experts named the town, just five miles south of Liverpool, as offering the best standard of life to its residents.

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Nowhere in London made the top ten list of most desirable places to live and work in the country, due to a lack of affordable housing and longer working hours.



Located on the banks of the River Mersey, Bebington's CH63 postcode made the top spot thanks to its 15,760 residents' access to good schools, lots of green space, good employment opportunities and short commutes to work.

The town also offers affordable housing as the average price for a semi-detached home is £176,141 - around a quarter of that in London where similar properties reach around £631,667. Flats in Bebington typically sell for £84,969 - compared to £502,040 in the capital.

The study by the Centre for Economic and Business Research and the Royal Mail looked at the last two years and calculated the most desirable areas based on a range of factors including schools, parks, and working hours.

Credits: E+

The Wirral has 93 primary schools and 25 secondary schools including around four grammar schools, with Wirral Grammar School for boys and girls located in Bebington itself.

A number of data sources - including the 2011 Census, the Department for Communities and Local Government's Indices of Multiple Deprivation, General Land Use database and numerous releases from the Office for National Statistics - all helped determine the best postcodes in the country.


The postcode NR6 - in north and north west Norwich - came in second while BH18 in Broadstone, Bournemouth, was the third best place to live in England.

In 2015's list, there were just three postcodes from the south compared to four this year with good schools and lower unemployment levels attributing to the change.

Eastleigh, in Hampshire with its SO53 postcode and East Cowes in the Isle of Wight, and its postcode of PO32 also made the top ten.

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​​​​​​Sale, in Greater Manchester - postcode M33 - was rated the fourth best place in England to live.

The most desirable postcodes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have also been revealed.

Suburbs in Glasgow dominate Scotland's most desirable places to live and work with three quarters of the areas in the Scottish list around the port city.

Shorter working hours and commute times as well as access to local services, better schools and lower crime rates, helped boost these locations desirability.

Stornoway - HS1 - and Kirkwall - KW15 - both located on islands in the far north of Scotland appear in the top ten list thanks to a good work-life balance and high employment rates.

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In Wales, postcodes in Cardiff and Swansea make up the majority of the top ten list as a result of access to better local schools and - again - shorter commutes and shorter working hours.

Barry, in the Vale of Glamorgan, and its postcode of CF63 was found to be the most desirable place to live in Wales followed by CF24, Cardiff Central, and SA1, Swansea.

Craigavon, in County Armagh, is the most desirable postcode in Northern Island while Dundonald (BT16) and Finaghy (BT10), both in Belfast, also made the top five.

Steve Rooney, Head of Royal Mail's address management unit, said: "Royal Mail delivers to nearly 30 million addresses across the UK and helping connect communities and businesses.

"This new report builds on the study that we commissioned two years ago and provides a unique insight into the most desirable places to live and work through the lens of the postcode."

The top 10 most desirable postcode districts in England:

1. CH63 - Bebington, Wirral

2. NR6 - North and north west Norwich

3. BN18 - Broadstone, Bournemouth

4. M33 - Sale, Greater Manchester

5. PO32 - East Cowes, Isle of Wight

6. SO53 - Eastleigh, Hampshire

7. IP5 - Ipswich, Suffolk

8. LS18 - Horsforth, Leeds

9. S18 - Dronfield, North East Derbyshire

10. RG6 - Earley, Reading

Top 10 most desirable places to live in Scotland:

1. G78 - Neilson, East Renfrewshire

2. G64 - Bishopbriggs

3. G66 - Lenzie/Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire

4. G76 - Eaglesham, East Renfrewshire

5. G62 - Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire

6. G46 - Giffnock, East Renfrewshire

7. G61 - Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire

8. G77 - Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire

9. HS1 - Stornoway, Isle of Lewis

10. KW15 - Kirkwall, Orkney Islands


Top 10 most desirable places to live in Wales:

1. CF63 - Barry, Vale of Glamorgan

2. CF24 - Cardiff Central

3. SA1 - Swansea

4. SA5 - Swansea

5. SA72 - Pembroke Dock

6. CF3 - Cardiff South

7. CF62 - Barry, Vale of Glamorgan

8. CF5 - Cardiff West

9. CF11 - Cardiff Central

10. SA6 - Morriston, Swansea

Top 5 most desirable places to live in Northern Ireland:

1. BT65 - Craigavon, County Armagh

2. BT16 - Dundonald, Belfast

3. BT64 - Craigavon-Lurgan

4. BT66 - Lurgan, County Armagh

5. BT10 - Finaghy, Belfast

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