Winchester named as the best place to live in the UK

by Ray Clancy on December 20, 2016

Expats want different things when they start a new life in their chosen country, but now new research could help them make up their minds where in the UK is the best place to relocate.

Winchester, famous for its cathedral and history and less than an hour from London, has been named as the best place to live in the UK.

Winchester-UKThe Orkney Islands have taken second place, followed by Wychavon in Worcestershire, Derbyshire Dales and Hambleton in North Yorkshire, according to the 2016 Halifax Quality of Life Survey.

If you are after good weather then the sunniest place in the UK is the Isle of Wight, not far from Winchester, where residents enjoy an average of 36.9 hours of sunshine a week, above the national average of 29.7 hours per week.

The lowest average annual rainfall at 525 mm is in Castle Point in Essex and eight of the 10 driest districts in the UK are in the East of England. The UK average annual rainfall is 869.9 mm.

If access to superfast broadband is important then the south of England does not do well. It is areas such as Greater Manchester, York and Ards in Northern Ireland that have the highest proportion of premises able to receive 5 Mbps (megabits per second).

If you have children and their school results are in important then the best GCSE results in England can be found in Sutton with 81.1% success

If your lifestyle involves having a great British traditional pub then Eden in Cumbria is the place to go as it has the highest number of pubs per 10,000 adults at 28.3, followed by the Derbyshire Dales 26.7. The national average is 10.1. Cornwall comes out top when looking at the total number of pubs in a local authority with 620.

If physical activity is important then Islington in London is the place to head to for health and fitness clubs where there are 6.3 clubs per 10,000 people. The national average is 1.4.

‘Looking across a wide range of indicators considered by our research, residents of Winchester in Hampshire enjoy the best quality of life in the UK, benefiting from a combination of above average weekly earnings, low crime rate and good health,’ said Martin Ellis, an economist at the Halifax.

But he pointed out that there is a cost associated with a high quality of life in Winchester with house prices in the city some 9.7 times the average annual local income, significantly higher than the UK average of 7.2.

Overall areas in the South of England scored highly on weekly earnings, weather, health and life expectancy. Meanwhile, areas in the North received high ratings on low house price to earnings ratio, environmental measures such as low population densities and low traffic flows, as well as smaller primary school sizes.

Northerners believe themselves to be less anxious and happier than in those living in the south, whereas southerners responded as more satisfied and content in life.

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