Do you live in one of the 50 best places to live in Britain in 2020? (2023)

A corner of the Home Counties that's packed with popular market towns has been named as the best place to live in Britain for 2020.

Commuter belt favourite East Hertfordshire includes market towns such as Bishop's Stortford and Hertford, and was given the title after scoring well on several factors.

These include strong exam results, high life expectancy, excellent health and happiness scores and high average earnings.

The annual Halifax quality of life survey considered a number of factors, such as health

East Hertfordshire - which includes market towns such as Hertford - is the best place to live

It was followed by Fareham, Hart and Horsham - all in the South - in the annual Halifax quality of life survey.

The South East and the East of England both feature four times within the top 10, while the North also makes the line-up due to Selby and Hambleton, which are ranked sixth and seventh respectively.


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Sarah Broughton, of buying agent Prime Purchase, said: 'It's not surprising that East Hertfordshire tops the chart as the best place to live.

(Video) 10 Best Places to Live in the United Kingdom

'The countryside is unspoilt with attractive villages, good footpaths and some excellent pubs.

'There are good schools and easy accessibility to London if that's what you need, but yet it is still rural.

'The market town of Bishop's Stortford, in particular, is attractive and vibrant, and the easy commute to London make it a great place for families to live.'

Local Authority Region 2020 Rank
East Hertfordshire East of England 1
Fareham South East 2
Hart South East 3
Horsham South East 4
Maldon East of England 5
Selby Yorkshire and The Humber 6
Hambleton Yorkshire and The Humber 7
Babergh East of England 8
St Edmundsbury East of England 9
Wokingham South East 10
Ryedale Yorkshire and The Humber 11
South Derbyshire East Midlands 12
South Cambridgeshire East of England 13
Tonbridge and Malling South East 14
Rugby West Midlands 15
Runnymede South East 16
Wychavon West Midlands 17
Orkney Islands Scotland 18
Woking South East 19
Warwick West Midlands 20
South Oxfordshire South East 21
Rushcliffe East Midlands 22
Huntingdonshire East of England 23
Newark and Sherwood East Midlands 24
Rushmoor South East 25
Forest Heath East of England 26
Elmbridge South East 27
Wiltshire South West 28
Gedling East Midlands 29
North Dorset South West 30
Rutland East Midlands 31
Tewkesbury South West 32
Rochford East of England 33
Winchester South East 34
Bracknell Forest South East 35
Cherwell South East 36
Central Bedfordshire East of England 37
Charnwood East Midlands 38
Forest of Dean South West 39
Vale of White Horse South East 40
West Berkshire South East 41
New Forest South East 42
North Warwickshire West Midlands 43
Guildford South East 44
Swindon South West 45
Lichfield West Midlands 46
Suffolk Coastal East of England 47
York Yorkshire and The Humber 48
Basingstoke and Deane South East 49
Erewash East Midlands 50
Source: Halifax

East Hertfordshire also includes the market town ofBishop's Stortford

Russell Galley, from Halifax, adds: 'With bustling market towns and picturesque countryside, East Hertfordshire has topped the table thanks to high life expectancy, good schools and health and happiness scores, with high average earnings.

'Everyone has different priorities when it comes to choosing a place to live, depending on time of life, and personal circumstances.

'Affordability will always be one of the most important factors, with getting a foot on the property ladder still difficult for some people.'


What makes East Hertfordshire such a good place to live, according to the survey?

• Residents feel fit and well with 97 per cent reporting good or fairly good health.

• East Hertfordshire has the 12th highest weekly earnings of any local authority across England, Scotland and Wales.

• The latest ONS figures indicate adults living in East Hertfordshire are among the most happy and content in Britain, with high life expectancies.

• Schools in the area also achieve excellent exam results, with 73.3% achieving grade 9-4 in English and maths.

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Hambleton in North Yorkshire is among the best places to live, ranked in seventh place

(Video) The 10 Best Places To Live In The United Kingdom (New)
Local Authority Region
South Derbyshire East Midlands
Richmond upon Thames London
Darlington North East
Eden North West
Lisburn and Castlereagh Northern Ireland
Orkney Islands Scotland
Fareham South East
Wiltshire South West
The Vale of Glamorgan Wales
Rugby West Midlands
Selby Yorkshire and The Humber
Source: Halifax

Only two London areas make the top 100 - including Richmond-upon-Thames

The South East is the highest ranking region, with 18 local authorities securing spots in the top 50 best places to live.

These include Wokingham in tenth position, Winchester at 34 and the New Forest at 42.

The East of England comes second which, alongside the overall winner, boasts another nine entries in the top 50.

These include St Edmundsbury in ninth position, Rochford at 33 and Central Bedfordshire at 37.

In third place is the East Midlands, featuring seven times, including South Derbyshire at 12, Rutland at 31 and Charnwood at 38.

Selby in sixth place and Hambleton in seventh place, along with Ryedale at number 11 and York at 48 - all in Yorkshire and Humberside - are the only places in the North of England to make the top 50.

The Scottish Orkney Islands are the only locality north of the border to feature and no London local authorities appear in the top 50.

Only two London areas make the top 100. They are Richmond-upon-Thames at 64 and Kensington and Chelsea at 79. Wales' highest placing was the Vale of Glamorgan at 126.

Selbyin North Yorkshire is among the best places to live, ranked in sixth place

Wales' highest placing was the Vale of Glamorgan, ranked 126 in the Halifax survey

Factors relating to wellbeing played a significant role in securing the top three places for East Hertfordshire, Fareham, and Hart - with high scores on general health and happiness.

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East Hertfordshire and Hart score well on life expectancy, where males can expect to live an average of 82.5 years, three years above the national average and females to 85, which is two years above the national average.

Those living in Hart and Fareham score highly for life satisfaction - 8.2 out of 10 on average, compared to 7.8 for Britain.

Employment levels are also significantly higher - 87.2 per cent in Hart and 82.2 per cent in Fareham, compared to 75 per cent for the rest of the country.

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Where is the best place to live in Britain? ›

1. City of Edinburgh. Topping the pile of the UK's best places to live is the City of Edinburgh, with an impressive average location rating of 4.72 out of 5. The county of 'City Edinburgh' is one of the most desirable places to live in Britain.

Which place is best to live UK or US? ›

The UK is often considered a cheaper place to live. The cost of living in both countries is not the same and can vary depending on where people choose to live. It's also important to note that the average salary for someone in the US is significantly higher than what it would be in the UK due to taxes.

Why is the UK a good place to live? ›

It's a huge area with four separate countries making up its borders. It's also the second largest economy in Europe, and ranks 5th as the largest economy worldwide. The UK has a beautiful countryside, historic cities such as London bursting with so much life and people from across the globe.

Why would an American want to move to the UK? ›

American citizens move to the UK for many reasons, most commonly to join a partner or work. The UK appeals to expats because it's closer to other countries in Europe, it offers free health care to all residents (in addition to other state services), and there are plenty of job opportunities.

Can Americans move to England? ›

As an American citizen, moving from the US to the UK to travel, study, and live is permitted for up to six months at a time. However, you cannot work during this period. If you want to hold down a job, you'll have to have a suitable visa. There are UK work visas for just about every possible profession.

What is the happiest place to live in Britain? ›

St Ives has been named Britain's happiest place to live. The Cornish seaside town overtook Hexham in Northumberland to take this year's top spot in Rightmove's survey. The market town previously topped the list in 2019 and 2021 - with St Ives finishing first place in 2020.

Is housing cheaper in the UK or USA? ›

Property & Housing

It's also on average more expensive to buy a house in the UK or London versus the US. It's worth considering that London is the second most expensive city in the world to buy property, so comparisons between the exact areas you are moving to & from will certainly help give you a better idea.

Is it cheaper to live in UK or US? ›

Although the latest statistics from the World Population Review rank the United States as a slightly more expensive country to live in than the UK, it is important to note that this is on average, and the cost of living varies widely across the USA.

Is UK Best than USA? ›

If you're a little unsure on your major or want to experiment for a year or two, then the USA is probably the better option. If you are 100% set on a subject, and just want to get going, the UK may be the place for you.

Can a retired US citizen move to the UK? ›

Key Takeaways. Americans retiring to the U.K. need to qualify for a visa. The U.K. is expensive, though the farther from London, the more reasonable the prices are. American ex-pats can't join the U. K.'s National Health Service.

How long can a US citizen stay in the UK? ›

You can visit the UK as a Standard Visitor for tourism, business, study (courses up to 6 months) and other permitted activities. You can usually stay in the UK for up to 6 months. You might be able to apply to stay for longer in certain circumstances, for example to get medical treatment.

Can a US citizen retire in England? ›

Citizens from outside the UK can retire in the country only if they are: Granted settled status as a permanent resident. Eligible to apply for settled status after five years of residence on a valid UK visa.

What is it like for an American to live in England? ›

American moving to England

Living in England allows you to live and work comfortably in a familiar English-speaking culture while being able to easily skip over to Europe. Along with that, England's many lively cities host some of the best career opportunities and cultural experiences in the world.

Is it hard for American to move to England? ›

Is moving to the UK easy? Americans hoping to move to the UK will need to obtain a visa. The most common type of visas are the UK work visa and family visas. If neither applies in your case, unfortunately moving to UK from US can be difficult.

Why do people move to Britain? ›

Economic and labour market factors are a major driver of international migration and work is currently the main reason for migration to the UK. Language, study opportunities, and established networks are all factors that encourage people to migrate to the UK.

What visa do US citizens need to go to UK? ›

U.S. citizens do not need a visa for tourist or business travel to the United Kingdom for a stay up to 6 months. A valid U.S. Passport is required.

What is the easiest country to move to from the US? ›

Which are the easiest countries to immigrate to from the US? Portugal, Malta and Spain are some of the easiest countries to relocate to from the United States. American citizens can either gain permanent residency or apply for citizenships via each country's Citizenship by Invest programs.

How much does it cost to move to England from the US? ›

Quick answer: The cost of moving to London from the US averages $3000 to $7000. The size of your move and service are the most significant cost factors when moving abroad. However, the time of year and mover you choose can also affect the cost.

Where is a quiet place to live in England? ›

North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Devon are the only counties in the UK that have two National Parks in them. This makes them really desirable spots for those who like to surround themselves with wilderness and explore rural and remote places. They offer true peace and quiet to anyone who visits.

Where is the cleanest place to live in the UK? ›

The ENDS Clean Cities Index 2022: England's 10 cleanest cities
Overall rankPrimary urban areaClimate
1 1Exeter3
2 2Worthing1
3 3Brighton8
4 4Plymouth14
6 more rows
Feb 7, 2022

Where is the nicest cheapest place to live in England? ›

Cheapest Places To Live In UK
  1. Durham, North East England. Durham is located in northeast England, south of Newcastle upon Tyne. ...
  2. Belfast, Capital of Northern Ireland. Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland, and it was also where the RMS Titanic was built. ...
  3. Leicester. ...
  4. Stirling. ...
  5. Lancaster. ...
  6. Cardiff. ...
  7. Newcastle. ...
  8. Coventry.
Dec 5, 2022

Is food cheaper in US or UK? ›

An curved arrow pointing right. Grocery shopping in the US is more expensive than in the UK. One of the reasons for this is the relative lack of private-label goods in the US. These products have high profit margins as they cost less to create.

Are salaries in US higher than UK? ›

The average US salary is higher than the average salary in the UK. The discrepancy in salary rates comes from various factors, including the cost of living, healthcare systems and mandatory benefits. Salary rates also change based on gender, age and industry (or type of work).

Is it easier to get a job in USA or UK? ›

In the UK you have more job opportunities, higher salaries, and a wider range in earnings. In the US there are fewer jobs, the pay is not as high, and only a few people earn above $35000.

Is UK expensive for Americans? ›

In general, England can be an expensive destination to visit and expect to spend approximately £75-220 per person per day (roughly $93-272 USD). This means that the cost of 7 days in England is around £525 to £1,540 (about $650-1903).

How much is rent in UK per month? ›

In 2021, rents rose to an average of £969, that's a 12% average increase over the last five years.

Is healthcare free in the UK? ›

All English residents are automatically entitled to free public health care through the National Health Service, including hospital, physician, and mental health care. The National Health Service budget is funded primarily through general taxation.

Is UK friendly with USA? ›

The United States has no closer ally than the United Kingdom, and British foreign policy emphasizes close coordination with the United States. Bilateral cooperation reflects the common language, ideals, and democratic practices of the two nations.

Is UK healthier than US? ›

People living in England enjoy better health than Americans, despite less investment in healthcare, research published in the US has revealed. Across all ages, US residents tend to fare worse in terms of diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease markers, data on over 100,000 people show.

Is American English better than British? ›

The answer is that American English and British English are both great. Choosing one over the other is a matter of personal preference. Some prefer an American accent because they grew up watching American movies and listening to American music. Some think British English sounds more proper and prefer that.

Where is the safest place in Britain to live? ›

Among England, Wales, and Northern Ireland's safest counties, Wiltshire is among the top 10. The overall crime rate in Wiltshire in 2021 was 53 crimes per 1,000 people, a very positive figure for a region of this size! As a result, Wiltshire deserves its place on our list of the safest places to live in the country.

Where is the nicest and safest place to live in the UK? ›

Shetland Islands

The Shetlands boast one of the lowest crime rates in the UK. In fact, a mere 452 crimes in total were reported here during the whole of 2020-2021. They remain one of the most desirable (and safest) places for escaping the pressures of mainland living.

Which city in England has highest quality of life? ›

So let us find out which are the best cities to live and work in the UK and what each one can offer.
  • London – Score 87.92.
  • Manchester – Score 86.50.
  • Reading – Score 84.50.
  • Southampton – Score 83.70.
  • Bristol – Score 89.83.
  • Leeds – Score 87.83.
  • Oxford – Score 89.83.
  • Cambridge – Score 82.87.
Oct 17, 2022

What is Britain's safest city? ›

Liverpool has been crowned the safest city in the UK for families to live in, thanks to its sense of security, low crime rate and number of CCTV cameras.

Where is lowest crime rate in UK? ›

The lowest crime rate in England was in the relatively rural area of Wiltshire in South West England, with a crime rate of 55.8.
Crime rate per 1,000 population in England and Wales in 2021/22, by police force area.
CharacteristicCrime rate per thousand population
11 more rows
Jul 21, 2022

Is it safer to live in UK or US? ›

But despite the recent spike, the BBC notes that London remains safe compared to American cities. In 2017, London's murder rate per 100,000 people was 1.2. New York City's rate was nearly three times higher, at 3.4.

Where is the cheapest and nicest place to live in UK? ›


Not only is it one of the most affordable UK cities (Halifax 'UK's Most Affordable City in 2021), it's also been voted as one of the happiest (Rightmove Happy at Home Index 2021).

What part of the UK has the most crime? ›

Looking at the statistics collated from the year 2021/2022, the five most dangerous areas of the UK are:
  • Cleveland. As mentioned above, Cleveland is officially the UK's most dangerous area, with 129 crimes per 1,000 people. ...
  • West Yorkshire. ...
  • Greater Manchester. ...
  • West Midlands. ...
  • Merseyside.
Dec 14, 2022

Where is the safest place in the world to live? ›

Iceland is the safest place to live on Earth, according to the latests Global Peace Index, where it ranked number one for the 13th year in a row. New Zealand is also extremely safe, coming in second on the same index.


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