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Orkney crowned best place to live in the UK in Halifax quality of life survey | UK News



Beautiful landscapes, low crime and happy residents have seen Orkney scoop the top spot as the UK’s best place to live.

The remote islands lying off Scotland’s northern coast took the title, after being runner-up for the last two years in Halifax’s quality of life survey.

A range of criteria were looked at to draw up the rankings, including work, housing, education, health and how people feel overall.

A man walks through the bluebells covered grounds of Woodwick House in Orkney
Orkney had been runner-up for the last two years in Halifax’s quality of life survey

High employment, good exam results and small primary school class sizes also helped contribute to Orkney’s success.

The isles are also a relatively affordable place to live with the average house price of £173,349, being 5.2 times the average annual income, compared to the national average ratio of 7.3.

Second place in the quality of life survey went to Richmondshire in North Yorkshire, buoyed by excellent personal wellbeing scores, low crime rates and small levels of traffic.

Cauldron Falls on Walden Beck in the village of West Burton, Yorkshire dales, England.
Second place in the quality of life survey went to Richmondshire in North Yorkshire

It was followed by Rutland in the East Midlands, Hambleton in North Yorkshire and Eden in Cumbria.

London has just two areas in the top 50 – Westminster (15) and Richmond-upon-Thames (40).

Parts of the South scored well on employment, earnings, life expectancy and health and the weather, while the North tended to fare better in terms of housing affordability, lower traffic levels and less overcrowding.

Richmond Thames riverfront with boats in London
Richmond-upon-Thames was one of just two London areas to make the top 50

Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said: “Orkney has consistently been considered one of the best places to live in the UK and Orcadians will be delighted to hear they have now taken the crown.

“Its remote location may not be for everyone, but this comes with the benefit of having high employment, low crime rates, smaller class sizes and more affordable housing.”

He added: “While the South East continues to have the most locations in the top 50, we’ve seen northern areas perform particularly well on education, while they also benefit from lower house prices when compared to average earnings.”

The top 10 places in the UK in Halifax’s 2019 quality of life survey are:

1. Orkney, Scotland

2. Richmondshire, Yorkshire and the Humber

3. Rutland, East Midlands

4. Hambleton, Yorkshire and the Humber

5. Eden, North West

6. South Oxfordshire, South East

7. Cotswold, South West

8. Ryedale, Yorkshire and the Humber

9. St Albans, East of England

10. Derbyshire Dales, East Midlands

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