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8:14 AM 15th March 2024
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The Sunday Times Reveals The Best Places To Live In The North And Northeast In 2024

 

Photo by Gary Butterfield on Unsplash
Photo by Gary Butterfield on Unsplash
Leeds has been named the best place to live in the north and northeast in the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide.

The Sunday Times judges said:
“Leeds has established itself as the true northern powerhouse and is the perfect place to enjoy a good life on a good salary.

“Leeds has the best-paying jobs outside London. Five universities provide youthful energy and it’s the only UK city outside London to have its own opera, ballet and theatre companies. The markets, Victorian arcades and Trinity Leeds mega-mall make it one of the country’s top shopping destinations and there’s a great choice of places to live, from semi-rural suburbs such as Alwoodley and Horsforth to the new eco homes in the city-centre Climate Innovation District.”


Seven other locations in Yorkshire and the northeast are featured in the comprehensive guide. Published by The Sunday Times, it includes 72 locations across the UK and is released online on Friday, March 15. An abridged version will be published as a magazine supplement on Sunday.

The full list of north and northeast locations is as follows:
Please note: apart from the winner, they are not ranked but published in alphabetical order.

Winner: Leeds
Boston Spa, North Yorkshire
Heaton, Newcastle
Nether Edge, Sheffield
Saltaire, West Yorkshire
Skipton, North Yorkshire
Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear
Yorkshire Wolds


Helen Davies, editorial projects director and Best Places to Live editor, says:
“This guide is a celebration of towns, cities and villages that are each a fantastic place to live in 2024, from Dunkeld to Knutsford, Falmouth to Leeds. Wherever you are on the property ladder, there will be somewhere to suit you.

“These are all places where you can feel grounded as well as upwardly mobile: they have a mature sense of community, lively, supportive high streets and an eye to the future, whether that is eco-friendly measures, transport and regeneration, or imaginative inclusion of new housing.”


The Sunday Times’s expert judges have visited all the locations and assessed factors from schools to transport, broadband speeds to culture, as well as access to green spaces and the health of the high street.

The chosen locations come in all shapes and sizes, from the tiny Scottish island of Kerrera and the remote Welsh village of Presteigne to big, lively cities such as Belfast, Liverpool and London.

There are more new entries than ever before in this year’s guide and no place for previous winners such as York and Bristol - the judges looked for improving locations with a strong sense of community rather than famous names with high house prices.

Helen Davies, the guide’s editor, says:
“What makes our guide unique is that we actually visit all the places we choose and talk to locals to find out what life is really like there.

“That means we can see what people really love about the places they live. That might be fast commutes and high-achieving schools but also clean water to swim in, lively town centres with useful shops, the possibility of earning a living and being part of a friendly community.

“We do consider affordability, though high house prices are no barrier to inclusion - as long as they provide value for money. Different people may be looking for different things, but what all our best places have in common is that people love living in them and are proud to call them home.”


The guide has again been sponsored by the mortgage lender Halifax, which has provided an average house price for each location.

Kim Kinnaird, Halifax’s homes and protection director says:
“Where you want to live is a very personal decision. We know it can be daunting whether it’s deciding where to buy your first home or making a move as your circumstances change. There can be lots to think about around what is right for you and your family. With a great range of locations suited for different budgets and family situations, alongside a great mix of both rural and urban locations, this is a great place to start.”


Broadband speeds were provided by Thinkbroadband.com, the UK’s leading independent guide to broadband.

Previous winners of the Best Places to Live in Britain are:
Stamford, Lincolnshire (2013)
Skipton, North Yorkshire (2014)
Newnham, Cambridge (2015)
Winchester, Hampshire (2016)
Bristol (2017)
York (2018)
Salisbury, Wiltshire (2019)
Altrincham, Cheshire (2020)
Stroud, Gloucestershire (2021)
Ilkley, West Yorkshire (2022)
Wadhurst, East Sussex (2023)


Winner: Leeds
With the best-paying jobs outside London, Leeds has established itself as the true northern powerhouse and the place to enjoy a good life on a good salary. Five universities provide youthful energy and it’s the only UK city outside London to have its own opera, ballet and theatre companies. The markets, Victorian arcades and Trinity Leeds mega-mall make it one of the country’s top shopping destinations and there’s a great choice of places to live, from semi-rural suburbs such as Alwoodley and Horsforth to the new eco homes in the city-centre Climate Innovation District.


Boston Spa, North Yorkshire
This handsome village on the banks of the River Wharfe may never have made it as a spa resort, but it has more than made up for it now. People now clamour to live in one of the beautiful, honey-coloured homes clustered around a thriving high street, which has buzzy restaurants and bars, upmarket shops and even a gin distillery. With sports clubs and a scarecrow trail, there’s community spirit aplenty as well as a secondary school that was rated outstanding in all areas when it was inspected last year.

Heaton, Newcastle
NE6 is a lively neighbourhood with just the right amount of grit and glamour, characterised by pretty red-brick houses and a strong sense of bohemian café culture. Three high streets are packed full of independent foodie jewels, including a vegan sushi restaurant, top-notch coffee shops and cocktail bars on Heaton Road. Heaton was once the preserve of students; that population endures but graduates here hang around to bring up their children in the terraced former worker’s homes that link the high streets.

Nether Edge, Sheffield
This family-friendly suburb is a happy community with cosy coffee shops where the barista knows your name without having to ask, outstanding schools and annual neighbourhood-wide yard sales in front of carefully upgraded Victorian houses. It’s in the catchment area for some of the city’s best schools and the wilderness of the Peak District is a short drive away.

Saltaire, West Yorkshire
It was a model village when it was built and two centuries later, Saltaire is a model address for 21st-century living. Now it’s all about artisan coffee hang-outs, cool cafés and restaurants in atmospheric surroundings, along with a snappy commute to the centres of Leeds and Bradford.

Skipton, North Yorkshire The 2014 Best Places to Live winner returns to the list, with this friendly market town providing families and active downsizers with everything they need for a happy life on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, including good pubs and restaurants, a smattering of culture and high-achieving schools.

Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear
Last year’s best place to live in the North and Northeast, this Victorian seaside resort has become a desirable enclave for water-loving families who want brilliant schools, great transport links and a chilled pace of life on the golden shoreline. Whitley Bay High School is getting an upgrade, Newcastle is easily reached by Metro and Park View remains one of the most likeable shopping streets in the land.

Yorkshire Wolds
All festivals, farm shops and healthy outdoor activities, life in the isolated towns and villages under the big skies of these 400 square miles of prime farming country is like stepping back in time, in the best possible way - even the house prices are relatively affordable.

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