Richmondshire ‘best place to live in England’

Muker in Swaledale. Photo: Guy Carpenter.

Richmondshire is the best place to live in England and the second best in the UK, according to a study.

The district came second on Halifax’s quality of life survey, just behind the Orkney Islands in Scotland,

The survey looks at a range of data including the labour market, the housing market, the environment, education, health, personal wellbeing and leisure to rank the areas with the best quality of life.

It was Richmondshire’s excellent personal well-being scores, low crime rates and traffic volumes, as well as boasting a large number of pubs in proportion to its population size, that helped it to secure the runner-up spot.

The survey said: “Richmondshire in North Yorkshire moves into second place from 9th in 2017, a position boosted by excellent personal wellbeing scores across all measures of life satisfaction, worthwhile, happiness and low anxiety.

“It also scores strongly on a low crime rate, traffic flows, population density and primary class size. It has one of the highest ratios of pubs to population, which is no surprise given its attraction to the many visitors wishing to take in the views and walks around the Yorkshire Dales.”

Hambleton was fourth on the list, up from 28th.

High employment levels, low crime rate, strong exam results, smaller primary school class sizes and good health and happiness scores helped propel Orkney to the top spot, Halifax said.

London has just two areas in the full top 50 list, Westminster in 15th and Richmond-upon-Thames, 40th. Parts of the South tended to score particularly well on employment, earnings, life expectancy and health and the weather, while northern region typically fared better in terms of housing affordability, lower traffic flows and population densities, and smaller primary school sizes.

Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said: “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 full list:

  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
  11. Vale of White Horse, South East
  12. Waverley, South East
  13. Hart, South East
  14. East Hertfordshire, East of England
  15. Westminster, London
  16. Winchester, South East
  17. Rushmoor, South East
  18. Uttlesford, East of England
  19. Wychavon, West Midlands
  20. Harborough, East Midlands
  21. South Cambridgeshire, East of England
  22. Rushcliffe, East Midlands
  23. Ribble Valley, North West
  24. Surrey Heath, South East
  25. Wokingham, South East
  26. Harrogate, Yorkshire and The Humber
  27. Babergh, East of England
  28. West Oxfordshire, South East
  29. South Bucks, South East
  30. Windsor and Maidenhead, South East
  31. Warwick, West Midlands
  32. Elmbridge, South East
  33. Chichester, South East
  34. Stratford-on-Avon, West Midlands
  35. Lichfield, West Midlands
  36. Malvern Hills, West Midlands
  37. Rochford, East of England
  38. Chiltern, South East
  39. Shetland, Scotland
  40. Richmond upon Thames, London
  41. West Berkshire, South East
  42. Basingstoke and Deane, South East
  43. South Hams, South West
  44. Fareham, South East
  45. St Edmundsbury, East of England
  46. Wycombe, South East
  47. Mid Suffolk, East of England
  48. Monmouthshire, Wales
  49. Daventry, East Midlands
  50. Selby, Yorkshire and The Humber