Top 20 Best Places To Live In The UK

We've crunched the numbers and gathered feedback from our readers - here are our 20 best places to live in the UK!

With characterful vibrant cities, stunning countryside and a breathtaking coastline, there’s somewhere to suit everyone in the UK. But where’s the ideal place for you to call home?

We’ve crunched the numbers and gathered valuable feedback from Expatra readers – here are our 20 best places to call home in the UK!

1. Edinburgh

Scotland’s Capital City

Our top city Edinburgh stands out not only as the best city to live in the UK but also by Timeout as the city in the world.

Edinburgh - the views from the hill across the city
Edinburgh – the view of the city

Edinburgh scores highly in every aspect. Here are a few things we love most about the city.

  • Plenty of green space, with approximately 112 parks covering 30,400 acres

  • Stunning gothic city architecture! Who can’t be impressed by the sight of Edinburgh Castle perched strategically on top of the mighty rock?

  • Edinburgh, like Rome, is built on seven hills. Walking the city’s hills is a joy and will take you to fantastic vantage points.

  • The city is compact and picturesque without mile after mile of urban sprawl.

  • Great transport links booth around the city and to the rest of UK and beyond.

  • A low volume of car-based commuters, less pollution, and less hassle.

  • With world-beating entertainment events and festivals, few cities can top Edinburgh’s annual calendar of events.

The city’s residents feel safe walking around the streets, enjoying the shopping, sightseeing, taking in a breath of fresh air in the green spaces and joining in with the myriad of activities.

Living in such a fantastic city does come at a price, and that’s the only real negative.

The average property price comes in at £335000. Less than in many locations in England, but nonetheless, the least affordable city in Scotland.

You will find more information in our Living In Edinburgh guide.

2. Manchester

England’s Northern Capital

Capital of the North and arguably England’s second city, Manchester’s fast-paced economic growth over the past decades has earned the city the reputation of being one of the most dynamic cities to live in the UK.

Manchester city square with working fountains on a summer day
Fountains at Piccadilly garden in Manchester city centre, England

Top for nightlife and entertainment Manchester, a former industrial town, has grown to become one of the UK’s most exciting cities to live in. It’s also one of the youngest cities by population, with 38.57% of residents being young adults.

If you’re looking for a big city location for your start-up business or exploring career opportunities, Manchester should be on your radar. Manchester is UK’s best city for business activity, with over 23,500 SMEs and a high annual growth rate.

Central Manchester has more than enough of everything, an exciting arts and culture scene, world-class shopping, brilliant nightlife and an ever-evolving foodie scene that you’ll never grow bored of.

To cap it all, Manchester is more affordable than other cities, with the average property price at £250,000.

If you are moving to Manchester, our guide to The Best Neighbourhoods To Live In Manchester can be a great place to start.

3. Bristol

South West England

It’s not just Banksy! Bristol is an exciting city buzzing with creativity from the arts to tech start-ups. Bristol punches well above its weight.

Clifton Bridge Views
Clifton Bridge, Bristol

Located in South West England, one of the most eco-friendly cities, you’ll enjoy access to the West Country, which has some of the UK’s best coastline and countryside.

Bristol city centre packs a lot in a relatively small space, including plenty of green space and is the only European Green Capital in the UK.

Travel is easy with great city links via train and bus and Bristol airport is a short way from the city.

With plenty of job opportunities and entertainment for children, Bristol is an ideal location for families. It’s also gaining a reputation as a great city to retire to, less manic than larger UK cities but with all the entertainment you could ever want.

Bristol is one of the less affordable cities on our list, with average property prices currently at £380.000.

Discover the best areas to live in Bristol and around.

4. London

UK’s Capital City

Number one in the World’s Best Cities index London UK’s capital city, is definitely one of the most exciting places on earth to live.

London street lined up with red phone boxes
The traditional British red telephone boxes in London

With its rich history and diversity, no one will be surprised that London features in our best places to live in the UK list. It’s a city that people know about already, so we thought we’d add a few extra facts that you may not already know.

  • London is the most diverse city in the UK, according to the Office of National Statistics.

  • The city has the greatest number of schools rated as outstanding, with Kensington and Chelsea having   67% of schools in the area rated outstanding by Ofsted.

  • It’s the third-best city in the world for startups, recognised for its talent, market reach and access to funding and investment.

  • London is the most networked and interconnected city in the world for businesses, according to research by Loughborough University.

And on a final note, London is the most dog-friendly city in the UK. It’s practically doggy heaven with over 3000 parks and green spaces to sniff around. All dogs are foodies, and with 513 dog-friendly cafes, they’ll never get bored of going to the same old place.

However, it goes without saying pets do need fairly wealthy owners, with the average home price in London standing at a lofty £750,000. Plus, finding a suitable rental in London is a challenge in itself.

Discover more in our Living In London guide.

5. Leeds

England, West Yorkshire

Leeds is the economic powerhouse of the north of England, with a high standard of living and a dynamic social and cultural vibrancy.

Leeds town hall in a leafy city square
View of Leeds Town Hall from the Millennium square in Leeds.

The city is wrapped by gorgeous Yorkshire countryside, and its strong economy is resilient and varied.

Leeds is the UK’s fastest-growing city, it serves a vital role as a central UK transportation hub, connected easily by road, rail, air and sea.

London is two hours away by rail and under an hour by air. Scotland’s capital is also reachable within three hours, with trains leaving for Edinburgh every hour.

If you’re seeking a career in financial or legal services, Leeds is the primary city in England outside of London.

Leeds is a fantastic city for education. It has one of the most significant concentrations of higher education institutions in Europe.

The University of Leeds was named The Times’ University of the Year 2017. Furthermore, Leeds is the most vibrant city in the UK according to research from CGA and Wireless Social, and the second best city to invest in property according to Seven Capital.

Housing is more affordable in Leeds, with the average property price being £256,843.

6. Cardiff

Wales Capital City

Living in Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, is an experience like no other. Cardiff’s rich diversity and dynamic economy earn it a strong place in our best places to live in the UK list.

Cardiff waterfront, sunset and darkened skies
Waterfront at night in Cardiff, Wales Millennium Center.

The city has a rich history and culture, as well as a thriving economy and plenty of opportunities for career growth.

One of the things many people like about living in Cardiff is that it is a major city with a small-town feel, everything you need without becoming overwhelming.

The city centre is well-connected to the rest of Wales, with easy access to major transport links, including the M4 motorway, as well as Cardiff International Airport.

The city and the surrounding local area are also well-served by buses and trains, making it easy to get around.

Cardiff also has a vibrant nightlife, with an eclectic mix of bars, pubs, and clubs, as well as a wide variety of restaurants and cafes.

Another great thing about Cardiff is the city’s stunning architecture. From the iconic Cardiff Castle to the modern and traditional architecture of Cardiff Bay.

You’ll find plenty of parks and green spaces, such as Bute Park, Roath Park and Cardiff Bay, offering plenty of opportunities for relaxation and recreation.

Unlike the majority of Wales, Cardiff is flat! In fact, it’s so flat that cyclists love it, and it has plans to become UK’s Amsterdam.

A fantastic city to study in, Cardiff University is one of Britain’s top 24 leading research universities. Also, Natwest Research has declared it the most affordable university city in the UK.

If you love old-style arcade shopping, you’ll love Cardiff.  It has the largest concentration of Victorian, Edwardian and modern-day indoor shopping arcades in Britain.

For sports fans, Cardiff is a great place to live. Its 74,000-seater Principality Stadium is the largest stadium in the world with a retractable roof. The stadium is the home of Welsh Rugby and hosts the national football team games, the Rugby World Cup, the Speedway Grand Prix of Britain as well as many other concerts and events.

Moreover, Cardiff is the second most affordable capital city in the UK. The current average property price is £293,109.

7. Birmingham

Midlands, Central England

Living in Birmingham, UK’s second-largest city, can be a fabulous experience. There is a multitude of reasons why so many people flock to the city; here are a few.

Birmingham canal in the evening with bright lights and buildings refleted in the water
Birmingham canal

Firstly, Birmingham is renowned for its lively and spirited atmosphere, with a broad range of cultural attractions, events and activities to keep its residents and tourists entertained.

The city is also home to many great museums, galleries and theatres, including the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, the Custard Factory and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

Birmingham is a bustling expat hub and is a brilliant destination for newcomers to the UK.

The 2021 census reveals that the city’s ethnic minorities represent 51.4 per cent of the city’s population, making Birmingham one of the first super-diverse cities in the UK

Birmingham is the largest UK centre for higher education outside of London, with two Universities ranked amongst the top in the World Rankings. 

It’s an ideal city for careers and employment opportunities, with many global businesses moving their headquarters away from London. Deutsche Bank, HSBC and PWC are a few of the big players to have chosen to relocate to Birmingham.

Great food is an understatement. Birmingham has more Michelin-star restaurants than any other city outside of London, such as Purnells and Adams. Prepare for an incredible food experience.

Finally, living in Birmingham is great for anyone looking for an affordable place to live. The city has a wide range of housing options, from modern apartments to traditional terraced houses, and the cost of living is relatively low compared to other cities in the UK.

The average property price in Birmingham is £244,203

8. Brighton

East Sussex, Southern England

Brighton is an eclectic mix of ages, interests, politics, shops, and businesses. It’s vibrant, attractive, great for families, commuters, young professionals and retirees alike and is also a favourite student destination.

Brighton Pier

The famous seaside city located on the south coast, humorously given the nickname London on Sea, is less than an hour from the capital by train. 

The city is also renowned for its art and culture, with plenty of galleries and museums to explore. There are also many festivals and events throughout the year, from music festivals to film screenings and art exhibitions. Brighton Pride is one of the biggest and most popular events, celebrating the city’s diverse and vibrant LGBTQ+ community.

Brighton is also one of the best places to live in the UK to keep fit and active. It has the highest number of adults who exercise regularly.

It’s no big secret that the city is one of the best places to live in the UK, so affordable housing options are hard, if not impossible, to come by.

Also, owning a car can result in more trouble than it is worth, as parking is a huge issue in Brighton. The seafront gets extremely crowded in summer as thousands of Londoners complete their summer migration to enjoy the sunshine and sea.

The average property price in Brighton is at the high end of the scale at £490,000.

Find out more in our Living In Brighton guide.

9. Liverpool

North West England

In recent rankings released by World’s Best Cities, the city has been voted 77 in the world, above the likes of Manchester, Brisbane and Glasgow.

Bronze statue of the  Beatles at the Pier Head on the side of River Mersey in Liverpool.
Bronze statue of the Beatles at the Pier Head on the side of River Mersey in Liverpool.

The ranking explores various elements of cities, including a sense of place, connectivity and attractions, culture and nightlife, and prosperity. 

Liverpool was ranked seventh globally for its sights & landmarks, including the kinetic streets of Baltic Triangle and RopeWalks.Source:

There are loads of festivals, events and activities throughout the year. From the International Music Festival to the world-famous Liverpool Football Club, there is always something to do and see in Liverpool.

The city is also home to some of the best live music venues in the country, and its nightlife is second to none.

Another strong point of Liverpool is its bustling high street. Not only it’s alive and well, featuring the least number of empty premises, but Liverpool residents spend more on the high street shopping than anywhere else in the UK.

Liverpool is home to some of the country’s most beautiful parks and gardens. The city’s waterfront is especially stunning, with the River Mersey running through the city’s centre. There are also plenty of green spaces, such as Sefton Park and Stanley Park, where people can relax and enjoy the sunshine.

Finally, Liverpool isn’t just one of the best places to live in the UK it’s also incredibly affordable. The cost of living is much lower than in other cities in the UK, making it an excellent place for students, young professionals, and families alike.

You can find some great deals on apartments and houses, so you can live in a fantastic and dynamic UK city without breaking the bank. The average property price in Liverpool is £208,000

10. Oxford

Oxfordshire – Central Southern England

Oxford is a city of dreams. With its ancient streets, beautiful architecture and world-famous university, it’s no wonder that people from all over the world flock to this city.

Oxford is famous for its outstanding collection of world famous buildings.
Oxford is famous for its outstanding collection of world-famous buildings.

Living in Oxford can be a truly incredible experience. From its rich cultural heritage to the culturally rich social scene, there are countless advantages to living in this amazing city.

Oxford, hardly a newcomer in the UK’s history of best places to live, it’s been around since the 9th century and has played a major role in the development of England. It has been home to some of the most influential people in history, from the likes of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Stephen Hawking and many more.

The city is brimming with wonderful architecture, monuments and museums, all contributing to its unique character.

Oxford is home to some of the best universities and colleges in the world. If you’re looking for an educational experience, Oxford is the place to be. The city is home to some of the most prestigious universities in the world, such as the University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University and Oxford University College.

If living close to green spaces is a priority, Oxford won’t let you down, you will love Port Meadow, the university parks, the canal and the river. 

It goes without saying that Oxford is an incredible city to live in regarding potential career opportunities, as the unofficial R&D capital of the UK. If you are an ambitious scientist planning to develop and turn your high-tech ideas into business, Oxford should be on the priority list of your destinations. 

According to the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, the University of Oxford generates more spin-out companies spin-outs than any other British university. The region also had the highest R&D investment in the country. 

Living in Oxford comes at a cost, with the average property price being £580,000

11. Glasgow


Glasgow city buzzes with energy and while it may not be Scotland’s capital, it is Scotland’s largest and arguably most dynamic city.

Glasgow Buchanan Street. Photo by Artur Kraft on Unsplash.
Glasgow Buchanan Street. Photo by Artur Kraft on Unsplash.

There is one standout feature about Glasgow that cannot be overlooked, despite its size, Glasgow is an incredibly friendly city to live in, and the local population are happy to engage with newcomers and make them feel welcome. Cities can be lonely places but Glasgow is one place where with a little effort, you’ll soon feel connected and part of the scene.

And that scene has a lot to offer. It goes without saying that there is an incredible amount of entertainment and events going on throughout the year. What’s On Glasgow is an excellent site to discover everything that is happening in Glasgow, from festivals, plays, shopping, bars and restaurants.

If you want t live in a place with great shopping, you won’t be disappointed, Buchanan Street and Argyll Arcade offer some of the best shopping in the UK.

There are some fantastic museums to visit, among our favourites is the Riverside Museum, a stunning looking relatively new purpose-built museum designed by Dame Zaha Hadid, a winner of the European Museum of the Year Award.

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is another outstanding museum with 22 galleries to explore, all located in a magnificent building.

Don’t let Glasgow’s history and fantastic museums convince it to be a city of yesteryear. Far from!

Glasgow has ranked the top city in the UK (outside of London) for infrastructure and the second-best city to start a business in the Startups Cities Index 2022 due to its effective support infrastructure, skilled workforce and growth in finance, technology and life science.

The University of Glasgow, founded in 1451 the fourth oldest in the English-speaking world and ranks in the Times World’s top 100 Universities.

On a lighter note, if you’re a fan of Greggs Pies and Pasties, you won’t be disappointed. Glasgow has no less than 31 Greggs smashing its closest rival London by a count of four.

Glasgow is a reasonably affordable city to live in, the average property price currently sits at £220,000.

12. Newcastle

Northeast England

Newcastle is an ideal place to live in the UK if you want to enjoy life in a vibrant city with easy access to stunning natural landscapes.

Newcastle view across the river
Newcastle, Photo by Ryan Booth on Unsplash

With its beautiful architecture, green spaces, amazing cuisine, friendly locals and proximity to both the coast and countryside, it’s no surprise that so many Newcastle residents rate their city so highly.

Also, as a university city, Newcastle is at the top of the pack, with students on voting Newcastle as the best student city in the UK!

Newcastle has it all – beautiful parks, amazing shopping spots, and lively nightlife! Spend some time at Jesmond Dene or Leazes Park, taking in some fresh air before exploring the city. With an unbeatable quality of life at a more affordable price than in other parts of the UK, you won’t have trouble finding your perfect home – without breaking the bank.

The average price for a home in Newcastle currently stands at a little over £230,000.

13. Belfast

Capital City – Northern Ireland

Living in Belfast can be an incredibly enjoyable experience. Located on the east coast of Northern Ireland, the city is renowned for its history, culture, and stunning landscapes surrounding it.

Belfast, from Thanksgiving Square at Queen's Bridge
Belfast, from Thanksgiving Square at Queen’s Bridge. Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland, Belfast, is home to the famous Titanic Quarter, fun pubs, entertaining museums, arty street murals, beautiful gardens and plenty of green spaces.

Belfast is a coastal city. Living here, you have easy access to golden beaches, as well as beautiful forests and countryside throughout the island.

The entertainment options are plentiful, from music festivals to cultural events. Culture Night Belfast Mela, Belfast Pride, a colourful LGBTQ+ festival, are just a few. Plus, the biggest of its kind on the island of Ireland, or Belfast’s iconic St Patrick’s Day parade!

Be careful not to let Belfast’s complex history cloud your judgement. Looking at the quality of life, crime rate index, number of outdoor activities, number of local schools, cost of monthly childcare and cost of monthly rent, the study found that Belfast ranked first.

With more than 206 schools, Belfast is the best choice for families who prioritise education for their children. The city also has 59 outdoor activities, ranking 3rd in the top 10.

Belfast is also an incredibly affordable city, with the average property price in Belfast being just £160,000

14. Norwich

Norfolk – Eastern England

Norwich, East Anglia’s capital city and one of the oldest cities in Britain, is a delightful and more affordable place to live, with more than enough going on to keep any family occupied.

A night view of Norwich, city lights and  traffic.
Norwich night views. Photo by Neil Smith on Unsplash

Norwich ranks as one of the safest cities in the UK for families, with the lowest crime rates. Safe, comfortable living is coupled with high employment and one of the best locations in the UK for job opportunities.

One of the most active locations on our list. If you’re an avid tennis player or love to swim, Norwich is the perfect place to live. There are 17 tennis courts for every 100,000 people and 15 swimming pools for every 100,000 people, that’s higher than any other location.

The city is also very cycle-friendly but nature has installed some pretty steep hills, so you’ll need a reasonable degree of fitness to make the most of Norwich’s cycling opportunities. If your legs and lungs are up to it, you can get just about anywhere in the city via cycling within half an hour or 45 minutes if you’re planning a more leisurely jaunt.

Look out for some of the lovely car-free cycle paths. The Marriotts Way is an old, reused train track that’s now one of the longest stretches of car-free cycle paths. 

Homes are quite affordable. Expect to pay around £320,000 for an average property.

15. Cambridge

Cambridgeshire – South East England

Cambridge is probably best known for its prestigious university, attracting some of the world’s brightest minds. However, in addition to academic excellence, Cambridge has many things that make it a fantastic place to live in.


You might think Cambridge is built around students, so nightlife and leisure are all geared towards students and presumably not ideal for anyone much beyond their mid-twenties. In fact, Cambridge manages to strike a perfect balance where students do what students do, and there’s plenty of less heady entertainment for the rest of us.

You’ll find lovely old pubs where you won’t be under any pressure to throw a yard of ale down your neck and nightlife that ends well before 6 am. Of course, if an evening that finishes at sunrise appeals, ask a student!

It goes without saying if you’re a history buff with love for architecture, you’re going to be spoilt living in Cambridge. You’ll also love the diverse range of Museums In Cambridge. Some of our personal favourites are the Fitzwilliam Museum, with over half a million art exhibits in their collection, and the Polar Museum, a brilliant place to discover more about the Arctic and Antarctic.

Cambridge is a cyclist’s dream city. Nature has left it conveniently flat, and Cambridgeshire planners have done a fantastic job optimising that flatness.

The parks and green spaces in the city are perfectly tended. You’ll find them a joy to walk through or to picnic in. If you’re not a student, you’ll need to pay to visit the Cambridge University Botanic Garden, but it only costs £8.00, and it’s well worth a visit.

If you are in technology or innovation, you’ll already know Cambridge is a fantastic location. In fact, it’s second to none, standing as UK’s leading innovation hub.

Cambridge is also an excellent city for London commuters, although possibly not if your objective is to find more affordable housing with the average property price at £510,000.

16. Reading

Berkshire – Southern England

While Reading doesn’t enjoy the architectural wow factor of cities like Oxford or Edinburgh, it more than warrants its place in our top 20 best places to live in the UK.

The town hall of Reading
The town hall of Reading

Sometimes dismissed as little more than a suburban commuter town, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Reading has every you need for a great lifestyle in spades and what’s more, it’s being heavily invested in and rapidly raising its profile as a brilliant location to live in and run a business from.

Reading town centre has received billions in investment and is now one of the UKs leading tech hubs. The new Crossrail Elizabeth Line conveniently connects Reading to London and travelling on the fastest direct trains will get you into London in under 25 minutes.

There’s no lack of good schools in Reading.  St Dominic Savio Catholic Primary School, South Lake Primary School and Aldryngton Primary School are all “outstanding”, according to Ofsted.

Children aged 11-18 can attend either UTC Reading or Maiden Erlegh School. Both were judged “outstanding” by Ofsted.

A large proportion of Reading’s population found the town while searching for somewhere to live while holding a career down in London. This, in turn, has led to Reading becoming a relatively wealthy town as well as being very multicultural, making it an excellent location for newcomers to integrate into.

If easy international travel is essential, Reading scores highly. The town lies within easy reach of Heathrow Airport also Luton and Southampton airports.

Reading’s convenience does come at a cost, with an average home price of approximately £460,000.

17. Swansea

South West Wales

The Welsh waterfront city of Swansea curves around a spectacular bay with a long sandy beach. Starting at the modern and dynamic SA1 area, you can take a 5-mile walk along the bay to the bustling seaside SA3 area of the Mumbles, also voted one of the coolest and best places to live in the UK.

Swansea Marina at night
Swansea Marina

Cycle paths line the bay, or you can have a leisurely stroll all the way to the Victorian Pier in Mumbles and refresh yourself with fish and chips on the pier or some fanciful lunch in one of the numerous Mumbles eateries.

Shoppers will love Swansea’s Indoor Market, the largest in Wales, with over 100 traders selling a broad array of local produce and essential products.

Swansea university is among the top 30 research institutions in the UK. Swansea University rankings have been declared by QS, THE and U.S. News for the year 2023, and all of the agencies have placed the university in the top 500 global universities. The university has ranked #38 among national universities in the UK by U.S. News in 2023.

Swansea’s nightlife won’t let you down. Wind Street has one of the country’s best nights out and is certainly the party heart of Wales.

Bars and restaurants are crammed onto a 160m stretch of road and make for a revellers’ paradise come the weekends.

When it comes to green space, Swansea is in a league of its own. With the famous Gower Peninsular right next door. In 1956 it was declared the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. You’ll find the magnificent Rhossili Bay voted one of Europe’s best beaches.

Swansea is an affordable city to live in, with average property prices at £225,000.00, although you should be prepared to pay a lot more if you’re planning to move towards Mumbles or other locations on the west side of Swansea closer to the Gower, such as Sketty, Killay or Bishopston.

And there is a lot to do for families. Check out our guide on the best things to do for children in Swansea.

You will find more detailed information in our guide on The Best Places To Live In Swansea.

18. Plymouth

Devon – South Coast

Another great city in a coastal location is in the southwest of England. There are plenty of reasons to want to live in Plymouth, let’s take a look at some of the highlights of life in Plymouth.

Plymouth Pier
Plymouth Pier, Photo by Frederica Diamanta on Unsplash

Plymouth’s geographic location for a start one of the most southern cities in the UK in a natural bay that shelters the city from more extreme coastal weather. It’s one of the sunniest cities in the UK, with over 1732 hours of sunshine a year.

That sunshine won’t go to waste, you will have fantastic beaches and the incredible nature of South Devon, an area of outstanding beauty, and to the west, you have the enchanting Polperro Heritage Coast and nature reserve on your doorstep.

The stunning nature doesn’t diminish when you move away from the coast. You have Taymor Valley and the Dartmoor National Park at your disposal.

A city steeped in maritime history, with landmarks such as the Mayflower Steps, the National Marine Aquarium, and the Royal William Yard.

If you fancy a travel adventure, you can take advantage of Plymouth Ferries, which cross to Roscoff in France and Santander in Spain. You can take your car to continue your venture when you arrive on the European mainland.

Plymouth has two universities, Plymouth University and the University of St Mark & St John (Marjon University). There are also several highly rated schools, including Devonport High School for Girls which lists in the Sunday Times School Guide.

There are many employment opportunities, including maritime, engineering, and healthcare. There’s also strong potential for entrepreneurs to create their own businesses in anything from technology to tourism.

Overall, Plymouth is a city that offers its residents an exceptional quality of life, a wonderful coastal location with rich history and a vibrant cultural scene.

The city is another one of our more affordable locations with average property prices at around £250,000. It’s easy to see why Plymouth is such a desirable place to live.

You can find more information in our guide, The Best Areas To Live In Plymouth, UK.

19. Nottingham

Nottinghamshire – Central England

Nottingham might well be the undiscovered gem that you’re looking for. In terms of size, it’s a bit of a Goldilocks, not too big and not too small. It’s very well connected near the centre of England, it has some great schools and Nottingham University is ranked by the Times in UK’s top 20 universities.

Nottingham. Photo by Ebun Oluwole on Unsplash

The city centre, especially the cultural quarter of Hockley, is very pleasant, you’ll find plenty of trendy bars and cafes as well as traditional old pubs if that’s your thing.

The city has abundant nightlife, some of the best in the UK. Don’t miss Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem; open since 1189, it’s the oldest pub in England. If you’re in the mood for cocktails, try the Be At One Cocktail Bar.

Public transport is pretty good, as well as the Nottingham Express Transit, a very modern 32-kilometre-long tram system. There are plenty of buses, and the train station connects you to all the major cities.

There are plenty of parks and nearby countryside. If you fancy a drive out, the Peak District National Park isn’t too far away.

Also, if you’re a cyclist, you’ll live in one of the UK’s safest cities for cycling. Nottingham and the surrounding area are a bit of an undiscovered paradise for avid cyclers. From the Ancient Sherwood Forest cycle route to a host of country park cycle trails and the Nottingham city centre route, there’s a lot to do for the whole family, whether you are an experienced biking crew or just casual cyclists who enjoy the pleasure of the great outdoors.

Nottingham is another one of the more affordable cities on our list, with average house prices currently at around £250,000

20. Aberdeen

Scotland – North East

Our last city on the list is far from the least. Prepare for a few surprises.

Aberdeen. Photo by Laurentiu Morariu on Unsplash

If you’re thinking a city as far north as Aberdeen will be void of blue skies and sunshine, think again! Aberdeen is actually one of the UK’s sunniest places to live in the UK. It has an average of 1,452 hours of sunshine a year.

It’s not a big city with a population of around 200,000. There’s no huge suburban sprawl. Locals would describe it more as a huge village where everyone knows someone who will probably know you.

Aberdeen’s smaller size doesn’t mean it’s lacking. You’ll find all the shops, restaurants and pubs you could ever want, and plenty of those services arrive at a very high level of service and quality.

The independent bars and restaurants are especially pleasing. If you love traditional food, you might want to drop by The Dunavon; it’s a hotel, so you can book a room as well if you fancy. If curry nights are your favourite, you won’t be disappointed with the Monsoona.

If you love walking, exploring Aberdeenshire and beyond is a fantastic experience. Some of the beaches are absolutely stunning, and the countryside is gorgeous, ideal for walking, cycling and relaxing on the weekends.

Saying that Golf is also popular here is somewhat of an understatement. If you’re an avid golfer, you won’t be disappointed. Golf Aberdeen manages four incredible golf courses, all within a short drive of each other.

You’re probably already aware of the vast significance that the oil industry has on Aberdeen. However, it’s not just oil that makes Aberdeen so prosperous. Granite, fishing, and agricultural research also play a big part in Aberdeen’s economic success.

The city’s schools perform well, and The University of Aberdeen is in UK’s top 20. Aberdeen is also one of the safest cities to live in the UK.

The icing on the cake! The city is very affordable, with the average property priced at a very affordable £200,000 and the cost of living one of the lowest in the UK.

We said there were some surprises, don’t miss out on what Aberdeen has to offer. It really is a stand-out city on all levels. You can find out more in our Living In Aberdeen guide.

Final thoughts on the best places to live in the UK

The UK is home to many wonderful places to live, each with its own unique characteristics and advantages. Whether you prefer the hustle and bustle of city life or the peace and tranquillity of the countryside, there is a place in the UK that will suit your needs and lifestyle.

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