Full list of the 72 best places to live in the UK – as homes, travel and social life judged

By Staff

A Scottish seaside town has been named the best place to live in a top annual guide. The Sunday Times has just announced its “‘Best Places to Live” list, and the town of North Berwick in East Lothian has taken top spot.

It came first in a list of 72 locations that the publication has said are the best places to live in the UK. The guide, which includes why the publication believes the places are so good, was published online on Friday with a magazine supplement on Sunday.

For the first time in 12 years, a place in Scotland has won the Best Places to Live title. North Berwick was found to have an excellent high street packed with independent shops, good outdoors and houses that are perfect for families.

The judges really liked how easy it was to reach Edinburgh. It also loved the fact the way of life revolved around the town’s beaches as well as there being plenty to do for all ages.

This year’s guide, sponsored by Halifax, also picked the best spots in 10 different regions. These included 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.”

The locations were chosen after judges visited and assessed factors such as schools, transport, broadband speed, and culture. 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 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).

The 2024 regional winners

East of England: Wivenhoe, Essex

A welcoming community and a strong artistic tradition help the picturesque riverside town to stand out from its neighbours in the outer reaches of the Essex commuter belt, those behind the guide said.

London: Clerkenwell

Clerkenwell embodies all that is best about life in London, with culture covered by the Barbican and Sadler’s Wells and cosy pubs, cool cafes, lively bars and some of the city’s best restaurants, according to judges.

Midlands: Stirchley, Birmingham

This Birmingham suburb is a hidden gem with some of the city’s top bars, restaurants and cafes, according to judges.

North and North East: Leeds

Leeds got a thumbs up for its shopping spots, youthful vibe and great living options.

Northern Ireland: Portstewart, County Londonderry

Portstewart won hearts with its sandy beach, shops, cafes and rich cultural life.

North West: Stockport, Greater Manchester

Stockport was hailed as one of the most exciting towns, with its historic streets buzzing with independent businesses. It was praised for being practical and family-friendly, with train links, parks, sports clubs and affordable homes.

Scotland: West End, Dundee

Judges picked Dundee’s rejuvenated West End as their favourite spot in Scotland after North Berwick. They described it as vibrant and artsy, with regular festivals and events.

South East: Folkestone, Kent

Folkestone was applauded for its top-notch schools, modern sports facilities and fast trains to London.

South West: Sherborne, Dorset

Sherborne was labelled as charming and historic, with a friendly, lively community.

Wales: Abergavenny, Monmouthshire

Judges loved the Abergavenny Food Festival and praised the town’s community spirit and diverse sporting scene.

The Full list of 72 top locations and average house price

East of England

Ingatestone, Essex, £762,000

Norwich, Norfolk, £312,500

Saffron Walden, Essex, £572,000

Sheringham, Norfolk, £401,000

The Shelfords, Cambridgeshire, £591,000

The Shotley Peninsula, Suffolk, £422,500

Wivenhoe, Essex, £427,000


Clerkenwell, EC1, 765,500

Crouch End, N8, £772,000

Forest Hill, SE23, £579,500

Highams Park, E4, £516,000

Little Venice, W2, £1 million

London Fields, E8, £654,500

Wimbledon Village, SW19, £1.25 million


Buxton, Derbyshire, £256,000

Knowle and Dorridge, Solihull, £620,000

Market Harborough, Leicestershire, £405,500

Shropshire Hills, £384,000

Stamford, Lincolnshire, £428,000

Stirchley, Birmingham, £283,000

Sutton on Sea, Lincolnshire, £210,500

North and North East of England

Boston Spa, West Yorkshire, £445,000

Heaton, Newcastle, £206,000

Leeds, £265,500

Nether Edge, Sheffield, £313,000

Saltaire, West Yorkshire, £231,000

Skipton, North Yorkshire, £327,500

Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear, £298,000

Yorkshire Wolds, £225,000

Northern Ireland

Donaghadee, Co Down, £225,000

Ormeau, Belfast, £215,500

Portstewart, Co Londonderry, £248,500

North West England

Christleton, Cheshire, £442,000

Kendal, Cumbria, £285,000

Knutsford, Cheshire, £565,000

Prestwich, Greater Manchester, £304,500

Ribble Valley, Lancashire, £299,500

Sefton Park, Liverpool, £277,000

Stockport, Greater Manchester, £337,000


Dunkeld, Perthshire, £378,000

East Linton, East Lothian, £364,500

Falkland, Fife, £195,000

Kerrera, Inner Hebrides, No data available

Leith, Edinburgh, £257,500

Newlands, Glasgow, £303,500

North Berwick, East Lothian, £515,500

West End, Dundee, £360,500

South East of England

Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, £1 million

Farnham, Surrey, £668,000

Folkestone, Kent, £325,500

Hove, Brighton & Hove, £505,000

Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, £372,000

Sevenoaks, Kent, £712,000

St Albans, Hertfordshire, £648,000

Stockbridge, Hampshire, £720,500

Wadhurst, East Sussex, £653,000

Winchester, Hampshire, £610,000

South West of England

Cirencester, Gloucestershire, £505,500

Clevedon, Somerset, £395,000

Dartmouth, Devon, £494,500

Exmouth, Devon, £361,500

Falmouth, Cornwall, £373,000

Isle of Purbeck, Dorset, £486,000

Sherborne, Dorset, £436,000

Tisbury, Wiltshire, £522,500


Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, £318,000

Cardigan, Ceredigion, £278,000

Conwy, £312,000

Mumbles, Swansea, £400,500

Narberth, Pembrokeshire, £307,500

Presteigne, Powys, £332,500

Vale of Glamorgan, £339,500

For more details about the research, visit www.thetimes.co.uk/best-places-to-live.

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