While Ilkley snapped up first position, Sunday Times also produced a regional breakdown of the best places to live in the UK. Here are the winners:
The Best Place to Live in the East
Norwich, Norfolk, was named the best place to live in the East 2022.
Norwich is a vibrant, safe medieval city in the heart of the picturesque Norfolk countryside. Within easy reach of London, Cambridge, the Norfolk coast and on the doorstep of the Norfolk Broads, the city offers an all-round great place to live in the UK.
Its thriving medieval centre, rich in beautiful history architecture, offers a patchwork of glorious ancient buildings, from the imposing cathedral to the Normal Castle. As well as 1,500 historic buildings, there are also plenty of parks and green open spaces to enjoy, as well as an abundance of shopping opportunities.
In 2021, Norwich was pronounced England’s first UNESCO City of Literature. With a long history of illustrious literary figures, such as Julian of Norwich, Max Sebald and Anna Sewell, Norwich has creativity running through its veins.
The Best Place to Live in London
Crystal Palace was named the best place to live in London 2022.
Crystal Palace offers a village-like location in South London. With its parks, period mansions, cool cafes, indie shops and impressive schools, it’s not surprising that it’s been crowned the best place to live in London 2022.
Since the extension of the Overground line, Crystal Palace has risen from the ashes, reinventing itself as a great place for families, young couples and professionals, who can commute into London’s financial centre in just 20 minutes. Despite its 200 acres of parkland, the city retains an urban feel that appeals to both first time buyers and young families.
Closeby to the boroughs of Bromley, Croydon, Lambeth and Southwark, it’s a busy hub, with bars, restaurants and shops centred around Westow Street, Westow Hill and Church Road. And, one of the reasons so many families are moving to Crystal Palace is the quality of both primary and secondary schools in the area.
The Best Place to Live in the Midlands
Uppingham, Rutland, was named the best place to live in the Midlands 2022.
Uppingham is Rutland’s smaller market town, with a wealth of history and a host of excellent shops. The town is blessed with a range of speciality shops and traditional retailers, many of which are still family owned and run. Art is also important in Uppingham, with a number of art galleries displaying work from acclaimed artists from around the world, as well as a range of local artists.
Uppingham School has been providing education locally since 1584 and is considered one of Britain’s best schools for music, as well as housing one of the largest private theatres in the country.
The Best Place to Live in the North and Northeast
Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire, was named the best place to live in the North and Northeast 2022.
This unsung mill village offers a lot of what people are looking for right now: big-city train links, sensibly priced houses, bracing Pennine countryside and plenty of things to do in your spare time. With trains every half an hour to Huddersfield and Manchester Victoria, Slaithwaite is incredibly well connected.
Its schools are also strong, with Metham Moor Primary School and Moor End Academy Secondary bothe being rated “outstanding” by Ofsted, making it a great place to live for families.When it comes to property, think stoney old farmhouses, piggeries and barn conversions with panoramic views of the Pennines, or mossy stone Victorian terraces.
The Best Place to Live in Northern Ireland
Ballycastle has been named the best place to live in Northern Ireland 2022.
This fishing village offers an ideal combination of coast, country and fantastic food, as well as a peaceful and friendly community. Ballycastle is surrounded by glens, forests and ancient rocks, creating a splendid Eastern Gateway to the Causeway Coast. Famous for its long-standing festival Ould Lammas Fair, which celebrates harvest, this 17th century old festival now attracts over 150,000 people to the town each year.
Amongst Ballycastel’s main attractions is the outstanding natural beauty that it possesses. Once a Viking settlement, the original wall from their harbour still stands today. Apart from this, you can visit a number of historic buildings and ancient ruins – from Kinbane Castle and the Fair Head Cliffs to Rathlin Island.
The Best Place to Live in the Northwest
Trawden, Lancashire, has been named the best place to live in the Northwest 2022.
A truly community-spirited village in Lancashire, Trawden is a village by the locals for the locals. It started in 2014 when residents clubbed together to rescue the community centre. Then, when the only shop and library were under threat in 2018, they decided to take those over too. In 2021, when the last pub in the village was about to close, they raised £520,000 to save that by selling shares.
Aside from the supportive locals, Trawden is surrounded by stunning countryside, and Manchester and Leeds are both within manageable commuting distance.
The Best Place to Live in Scotland
Isle of Bute, Argyll, has been named the best place to live in Scotland 2022.
Perhaps the best Scottish island for commutability, just a short ferry ride across the Firth of Clyde, Bute provides one of the best places to live in the UK. Located just 90 minutes from central Glasgow, it’s the most accessible island in Scotland. After stepping off the ferry, commuters can stroll along the palm tree-fringed promenade, hike the West Island Way or pick up local steak for supper from the butchers in Rothesay.
And, for such a compact island, Bute has some extraordinarily varied landscapes. From the lush, fertile and rolling hills of the island’s heart to the craffy, heather-covered moorlands of the north and the delightful sandy beaches around the coastline, Bute is a haven for walking, cycling, fishing and wildlife.
The Best Place to Live in the Southeast
Sevenoaks, Kent, has been named the best place to live in the Southeast of England 2022.
Stunning stately homes, irresistible gardens, Roman remains and a picturesque landscape, including the rolling hills of the High Weald and the North Downs, make Sevenoaks a popular choice to move to.
Steeped in history, Sevenoaks is brimming with traditional Kentish architecture in its attractive towns and villages. One of Britain’s most impressive stately homes is in the heart of Sevenoaks: the vast, enchanting National Trust property of Knole. Along with some must-see sights, Sevenoaks’ appeal also lies in the fact that it is surrounded by spectacular countryside, is conveniently commutable and has an abundance of excellent schools.
The Best Place to Live in the Southwest
Chalke Valley, Wiltshire, was named the best place to live in the Southwest of England 2022.
Straddling the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Chalke Valley stretches from Salisbury to Wiltshire. The tranquil villages of the Chalke Valley offer a wealth of outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy. They reflect the best of rural life in the 21st century, with standout pubs, Saxon churches, thatched cottages and a history festival.
The Chalke Valley is a great place to live for couples and families alike, with history, scenery, churches and activities to offer. The Valley is a fantastic area for walking and cycling in particular, with many pretty footpaths and largely traffic-free roads.
The Best Place to Live in Wales
Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, was named the best place to live in Wales 2022.
The pretty market town of Llandeilo overlooks the majestic River Tywi and is surrounded by lush green pastures. Boasting a great selection of independent traders and quirky antique shops, the town has become a popular shopping destination with visitors and locals alike. Drawn by the lack of ubiquitous chain stores that are a staple in many other British towns, visitors and locals wander down narrow streets to marvel at the shopkeepers’ unique window displays.
Just outside Llandeilo, Dinefwr Castle occupies a significant place in Welsh history. Meanwhile, the brightly painted Georgian houses, set against rural west Wales – this is small-town living at its very best.