Where is the best place to live in the UK in 2022? We all have our reasons for wanting to relocate, but if you’re looking for the best new place to call home in 2022, where should you be heading? Well, according to the 2022 Sunday Times Best Places to Live report, it’s Ilkley in West Yorkshire.
When it comes to choosing a new home, different things appeal to different people – is it friendly communities, green spaces, rich culture and history, great schools, or thriving independent businesses? Whatever you’re moving for, this list provides some insight into where you might be best to look.
However, this is a list of the best places to live in the UK, not the best-value places to live – and, ultimately, there is a necessary premium to be paid for these popular addresses. So, whether you’re a renter, a first-time buyer or a home mover – here are the best places to live in the UK in 2022.
Ilkley in West Yorkshire has been crowned the best place to live in the UK in 2022, according to the Sunday Times guide.
But why did it top the charts? Home to impressive schools, a buzzing high street and spectacular views, this unassuming spa town, spread at the foot of the infamous Ilkley Moor, offers everything you need from a new home – convenience, countryside and community.
Here are some key stats to help explain why Ilkley deserves to be named the best place to live in the UK 2022:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There were several surprise omissions on this year’s Sunday Times list. Saturated housing markets mean that former winners York and Winchester, along with Cambridge, didn’t feature at all.
And for the first time, Edinburgh didn’t make the cut due to ‘ruinous house prices, an Airbnb habit and an increasingly corporate atmosphere’. Elsewhere, Cornwall missed out ‘because its property market already has enough issues caused by incomers and second-homers’.
So, where should you move to in the UK? While Ilkely topped the charts this year, every location has its mix of pros and cons. And, ultimately, where is the best place to live largely depends on personal preference.
If you’re in the process of searching for a new home in a totally new destination, hopefully this list of the best places to live in the UK will help give you some inspiration. But be sure to consider your own individual circumstances when it comes to choosing where you want to live.