‘Best places to live’ in the UK revealed as seaside town takes top spot – see list

By Staff

The coastal location was praised by Sunday Times judges for its “sparking sea” and access to seafood served “fresh from the boat” including lobster

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North Berwick: Ariel views show coastal Scottish town

The best places to live in the UK have been revealed, with the Scottish seaside town of North Berwick in East Lothian taking the top spot.

The coastal location was praised by Sunday Times judges for its “sparking sea” and access to seafood served “fresh from the boat” including lobster. Experts were also impressed by its “humming high street” and family-friendly houses, plus its easy connections to Edinburgh, which is just under 30 minutes away by train.

It is the first time a Scottish town has taken the crown in the 12-year history of Best Places to Live. The average house price in North Berwick is £515,500. North Berwick topped a list of 72 locations chosen to represent the best of the UK in the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide.

The annual guide, sponsored by mortgage lender Halifax, also named 10 regional winners, including Clerkenwell in London, Abergavenny in Wales and Portstewart in Northern Ireland. Helen Davies, editorial projects director and Best Places to Live editor, said: “Wherever you are on the property ladder, there will be somewhere to suit you.

“These are all places where you can feel grounded as well as upwardly mobile: they have a mature sense of community, lively, supportive high streets and an eye to the future, whether that is eco-friendly measures, transport and regeneration, or imaginative inclusion of new housing.”

The Sunday Times judges visited all the locations and took several factors into consideration when compiling their list, including schools, transport, broadband speeds and culture, as well as access to green spaces and the health of the high street.

Kim Kinnaird, Halifax’s homes and protection director, said: “Where you want to live is a very personal decision. We know it can be daunting, whether it’s deciding where to buy your first home or making a move as your circumstances change. There can be lots to think about around what is right for you and your family.”

Previous winners of the Best Places to Live title include: Stamford, Lincolnshire (2013); Skipton, North Yorkshire (2014); Newnham, Cambridge (2015); Winchester, Hampshire (2016); Bristol (2017); York, North Yorkshire (2018); Salisbury, Wiltshire (2019); Altrincham, Cheshire (2020); Stroud, Gloucestershire (2021); Ilkley, West Yorkshire (2022); and Wadhurst, East Sussex (2023).

Best places to live in the UK – regional winners

  • East of England: Wivenhoe, Essex
  • London: Clerkenwell
  • Midlands: Stirchley, Birmingham
  • North and North East: Leeds
  • Northern Ireland: Portstewart, County Londonderry
  • North West: Stockport, Greater Manchester
  • Scotland: West End, Dundee
  • South East: Folkestone, Kent
  • South West: Sherborne, Dorset
  • Wales: Abergavenny, Monmouthshire

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