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Sponsored property blog: The best and worst places to live in Britain20th November 2013

What do you think about the area you live? Are you happy where you live or perhaps you can’t wait to get out? You never know it could be on our list of the best and worst places to live in Britain. Take a look:

Best Places

Have you ever wondered where the best place to live in Britain is? Well here are our top five:


Surrey is home to the Beverly Hills of Britain, Elmbridge. This area inside the M25 is a mecca for celebrities and other wealthy individuals as it provides a rural idyll in an easily commutable location for London.

The average wage in this area is the third highest in the country, over double the national average, and this is reflected in property prices with the average home in Elmbridge costing just under £380,000.

As for the rest of the county, there is good schooling (both private and state), the lowest crime rate in England and an abundance of sporting opportunities amongst the green park land. It sounds lovely.


A London borough that has seen a significant rise in popularity in recent years, Islington is a wonderful place; any Islington Estate Agents will tell you that. With beautiful Georgian terraced properties and trendy shops and restaurants along Upper Street, Islington is a truly pleasant place to live. Islington is the birthplace of Monopoly, home to The Angel, and just ten minutes from the West End.


The birth place of the Land Rover is one of the best places to live in Britain. Birmingham’s neighbour was once home to Good Life actress Felicity Kendall, Top Gear’s Richard Hammond and England rugby captain Martin Johnson.

The standard of living is high in Solihull, which is a prosperous town and one of the most well off in the Midlands. It is also a great place to live due to its many open spaces and excellent transport links. 


Cardiff has been voted the best place in Britain for young people to live. A report from Legal & General says that if you are aged between 18 and 30 years old, Cardiff may be the city for you. The Welsh capital came top for topics such as job opportunities and satisfaction, level of wages and property prices.

With recent additions such as the St David’s 2 shopping mall and the green social spaces such as Roath Park, Cardiff is a small city with big impact.


Hertfordshire is an England home county, which is the setting to many literary classics including The Importance of Being Earnest and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. This county was recognised for its beauty then and little has changed the countryside since. As part of the London commuter belt, Hertfordshire has good transport links and is praised for low petrol prices and high gross disposable income.

Worst Places

Sadly, along with the best must come the worst; here are five of the worst places to live in Britain: 


Kingston upon Hull has had a lot of bad press recently which has given it a bit of a bad reputation. Hull has been ranked with the worst GCSE results in the UK with only 35% of students gaining five or more A* to C grades. It is also the fattest town in the UK thanks to its 101 chip shops and history as a fishing port.

It’s not all bad however, Hull is working hard to correct its image. Its once high teen pregnancy rates are down and new developments such as a waste-to-energy centre is set to bring many jobs into the area. It has also been announced that Hull is in the running for the 2017 UK City of Culture.


Middlesbrough has one of the highest crime rates in the UK; a fact that many may find scary. Annual salaries are low and over a fifth of the population in this area rent from the council.

Middlesbrough Council is working hard to improve the area and to make a town which is clean, safe and healthy. They are looking to create a town that will transform itself into a place where families can thrive.

The Scottish borders

The Scottish borders have seen a bit of a bashing as of late with low incomes, low life expectancy, and let’s not forget the few of hours of daylight.

The Scottish borders however are only an hour from the City of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, providing the area with great access to transport links and jobs. With rolling hills and plenty of outdoor activities, the Scottish border could be a great location for a staycation.


Bradford is West Yorkshire’s worst city and has been described as “a city with a giant hole in its heart- literally and metaphorically” in Crap Towns Returns by Sam Jordinson and Dan Kieran.

With areas in decline and social problems, Bradford has high unemployment levels and house prices remain low. There are plus sides to the area though; Bradford is home to the oldest concert hall in Britain and was awarded Curry Capital of Britain 2013. So pop by for a good tikka!


The concrete jungle that is Stoke is not the most popular area in Britain despite famous residents such as Neil Morrissey and Anthea Turner. Once a busy centre of pottery production, Stoke has in recent years seen a decline and stagnation.

Good news has come to Stoke-on-Trent, however as it has been picked to provide one of London’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show’s top showcase gardens. Congratulations Stoke!

So was your hometown on either list?  

About the author

Hugh Grover, founder of Hugh Grover AssociatesHugh Grover is Islington born and bred and has lived there all his life. He started in Estate Agency in 1987 and established Hugh Grover Associates in 1993. He has a deep knowledge of properties within the area and has seen Islington flourish throughout his time on Upper Street. He enjoys the different social structures within the area, meeting new people and promoting the Borough. He is also involved in local charities and has personally instigated and funded the restoration of landmarks such as the Boer War Memorial and the Clock Tower, both in Highbury Fields. He also sponsors local schools.


This is a sponsored blog post and in no way implies any form of endorsement by Property News of the products, services or information provided on this page. Before relying on material on the site, users should independently verify the accuracy, completeness and relevance of any information and obtain appropriate professional advice.

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