best place to live

South Oxfordshire named as top rural location in the UK

by Ray Clancy on April 7, 2016

People moving to the UK often gravitate towards London and other big cities but it seems that South Oxfordshire is the place to live having just been voted as the top rural area in the country.

People living in the area, which is not far from London, rate themselves as happy and content with a high level of life satisfaction and not a great deal of anxiety.

Indeed, the scored well on health, happiness and life expectancy, according to the annual Halifax survey and Chiltern in Buckinghamshire came second with Rutland in third.


Overall the top 50 list is dominated by the South East, with 16 districts found in the region, followed by the East of England which claims 12 of the top 50 positions.

The Halifax report points out that Southern areas tend to receive higher ratings for weekly earnings, the weather, health, and life expectancy. Northern areas score well on education in terms of grades and smaller class sizes, lower house prices in relation to earnings, and both lower traffic flows and population densities.

The survey takes into account a wide range of factors, including residents’ health, life expectancy, crime rate, weather, employment, school results, broadband and personal wellbeing.

There were several big climbers in the top 20, with West Dorset rising 47 places to number 17, East Hampshire up 35 places to 16 and East Dorset moving from slot 47 to 20.

Areas outside the south that are in the top 50 besides Rutland include Hambleton in North Yorkshire at 18, Wychavon in the West Midlands, Monmouthshire at 35, the Orkney Islands at 46 and the Ribble Valley in the North West at 49.

“Having scored strongly across a wide range of economic, environmental and social factors, residents of South Oxfordshire can now lay claim to having the highest standard of living in rural Britain,” said Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at the Halifax.

“Many of the towns in the top 20 are either within commuting distance to the capital or another major city. With South Oxfordshire particularly, the residents can enjoy the financial benefits of working in London and still have the rural lifestyle,” he pointed out.

“Importantly having an exceptional quality of life does not necessarily come with added costs, as house prices relative to earnings in the area are not much different from the average for the country,” he added.


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