Top 7 Best places to live in England with the Best quality of life – 2024

England is recognized for its stunning scenery, historical architecture, safest neighbourhoods, and a wide variety of beautiful towns. It offers a variety of environments in which to reside, from the metropolis of London to smaller towns like Whitby. In England, urban life and the environment coexist in perfect harmony from hills to climb, woodlands to hike through, and rivers to canoe. It is well-known for the British Royal Family, its pub fare, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Stonehenge and the Lake District.

If you are considering moving to England, MovingWaldo has got you covered with the top 7 best places to live in England with the best quality of life in 2024.

Top 7 Best Places to live in England with the Best Quality of life - 2024

Methodology

Based on “best” being a subjective word, below is our methodology to compile the best places.

Using our ranking of the safest and cheapest places to live in England, we based our ranking on three criteria: safety, affordability, and quality of life.

Our safety ranking methodology is based on a careful analysis of crimes, which is derived from UK Office of National Statistics records recorded in the year 2022. These are the police-recorded crime statistics, including percentage changes and rates per 1,000 population, categorized by offence groups such as firearms, knife and sharp instruments, fraud, child sexual abuse and exploitation, and anti-social behaviour. These statistics are broken down by the Police Force Area (PFA).

We based our ranking of the 5 cheapest places to live in England on the average cost of buying a property in September 2023, the average cost of rent for a 1-bed flat in December 2023, and the quality of life. We collected the data from the UK Land Registry and Zoopla.uk. To help you compare, as of September 2023, the average property buying cost in England is £301,613 and the average 1-bed flat rent is £2,800.

The “best quality of life” aspect is measured based on feedback from real people who have moved to this area in our database or real people from trusted online forums. More specifically, we look for positive feedback on job opportunities, quality of education, quality of healthcare, feeling of safety, public transportation, environment (cleanliness), as well as availability of recreational facilities and parks.

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1. Surrey

4. Surrey - best places to live in England
  • Number of offenses: 72,348
  • Population: 1,203,108
  • Crimes: 60 crimes per 1000 people
  • Average property buying cost: £520,727
  • Average 1-bed flat rent: £2,486

Surrey is England’s most densely wooded county, with over one fifth of its land area covered by trees. This place has been featured in numerous blockbuster movies like Four Weddings and a Funeral and Skyfall. Surrey offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cinematic charm. With a crime rate of 60 crimes per 1000 people, Surrey stands out for its safety and quality of life.

Despite being one of the UK’s pricier counties, its higher incomes and lower crime rates justify the cost. As of September 2023, the average property buying cost in Surrey is £520,727, while the average one-bedroom flat rent as of December 2023 is £2,486. Surrey is also well-connected, providing quick access to London and beyond. Locals enjoy exploring its world-famous gardens, ancient heathlands, The Sculpture Park, Spa at The Runnymede on the Thames, and the British Wildlife Centre.

ONS (2022), Surrey Settlements (2021), UK Land Registry (Sept 2023) & Zoopla (Dec 2023)

Surrey, England

2. Devon and Cornwall

5. Devon and Cornwall - best places to live in England
  • Number of offenses: 103,072
  • Population: 1,381,945
  • Crimes: 75 crimes per 1000 people
  • Average property buying cost: £314,894
  • Average 1-bed flat rent: £1,118

Devon is the third-largest county in the UK, while Cornwall boasts the longest coastline in the country, spanning over 600 miles. Devon’s appeal lies in its impressive National Parks, Exmoor and Dartmoor. This is a safe place to live with 75 crimes per 1000 people. In September 2023, the average cost to buy a property is £314,894, and in December 2023, the rent for a one-bedroom flat is £1,118.

Devon’s coastline may not be as long as Cornwall’s, but it’s still beautiful, with over 500 miles to explore. Locals who live here love the charming villages, pretty fishing spots, and wild moors and there are plenty of things to do, like surfing in Newquay or hiking in Exmoor National Park. And don’t miss catching a sunset in Torquay, known as the ‘English Riviera’.

ONS (2022), South West England (2021), UK Land Registry (Sept 2023) & Zoopla (Dec 2023)

Devon and Cornwall, England

3. North Yorkshire

3. North Yorkshire - best places to live in England
  • Number of offenses: 47,318
  • Population: 615,491
  • Crimes: 77 crimes per 1000 people
  • Average property buying cost: £277,809
  • Average 1-bed flat rent: £1,008

North Yorkshire offers stunning scenery, tranquil countryside, and plenty of outdoor activities like hiking and wildlife spotting. With a crime rate of 77 crimes per 1000 people, it provides a safe and idyllic living environment. As of September 2023, the average property buying cost is £277,809, while the average one-bedroom flat rent as of December 2023 is £1,008. Locals consider it one of the “happiest places to live in the UK,” thanks to its picturesque landscapes, quaint villages, and relaxed way of life.

The county’s strong agricultural tradition provides employment opportunities, particularly in sheep farming. North Yorkshire is also known for its brewing industry, offering traditional ales from both small breweries and larger, more famous brewing families. In their free time, locals can enjoy the Valley Gardens, Peasholm Park, and Brimham Rocks. For those wanting to stay close to friends, rural villages near Selby, Pontefract, and Wakefield offer convenient options.

ONS (2022), North Yorkshire (2021), UK Land Registry (Sept 2023) & Zoopla (Dec 2023)

North Yorkshire, England

4. Wiltshire

2. Wiltshire - best places to live in England
  • Number of offenses: 42,533
  • Population: 510,330
  • Crimes: 83 crimes per 1000 people
  • Average property buying cost: £340,199
  • Average 1-bed flat rent: £1,460

Wiltshire, a mostly rural county, is renowned for its rolling hills, picturesque villages, and the medieval city of Salisbury. With a crime rate of 83 crimes per 1000 people, it offers a safe and peaceful environment. As of September 2023, the average property buying cost is £340,199, while the average one-bedroom flat rent as of December 2023 is £1,460.

Locals adore the changing seasons in the Wiltshire countryside, which offers a variety of outdoor activities like trout fishing, canal boat trips, and hot-air balloon rides. Wiltshire is also known as Cider Country, with its orchards producing refreshing cider. It’s considered one of the best places to live in England, with ten locations shortlisted among the top places in 2024.

ONS (2022), Settlements in Wiltshire (2021), UK Land Registry (Sept 2023) & Zoopla (Dec 2023)

Wiltshire, England

5. West Midlands

7. West Midlands - best places to live in England
  • Number of offenses: 368,851
  • Population: 2,919,654
  • Crimes: 126 crimes per 1000 people
  • Average property buying cost: £234,206
  • Average 1-bed flat rent: £1,150

The West Midlands, one of England’s nine official regions, is known for its manufacturing heritage and vibrant cities like Birmingham, Coventry, and Wolverhampton. With a crime rate of 126 crimes per 1000 people, it offers a diverse range of amenities, including top-notch schools, universities, cultural institutions, and sporting facilities. As of September 2023, the average property buying cost is £234,206, while the average one-bedroom flat rent as of December 2023 is £1,150.

Locals can enjoy a variety of activities, from visiting dazzling theaters and exhibition centers to exploring ancient woodlands and wetlands. Sports enthusiasts can indulge in county cricket, Premier League football, and rugby union matches, while bookworms can delve into Europe’s biggest library.

ONS (2022), West Midlands (2021), UK Land Registry (Sept 2023) & Zoopla (Dec 2023)

West Midlands, England

6. Shildon/Sheldon

1. Shildon, England - cheapest places to live in the uk
  • Number of offenses: 59,058
  • Population: 522,068
  • Crimes: 113 crimes per 1000 people
  • Average property buying cost: £129,204
  • Average 1-bed flat rent: £465

Shildon, known as Britain’s budget capital, holds a significant place in railway history as the ‘Cradle of the Railways’. Located in County Durham, it offers ample green space and easy access to nearby urban areas like Durham and Middlesbrough. With a crime rate of 113 crimes per 1000 people, it provides a safe environment. As of September 2023, the average property buying cost is £234,206, while the average one-bedroom flat rent as of December 2023 is £465.

The town’s affordability is attributed to its predominance of terraced homes, keeping living costs down. Locals enjoy free museums, art galleries, and beautiful countryside parks, making Shildon a pleasant place to live.

ONS (2022), Settlements in County Durham (2021), UK Land Registry (Sept 2023) & Zoopla (Dec 2023)

Shildon/Sheldon, England

7. County Durham

Apartments in County Durham
  • Number of offenses: 59,058
  • Population: 522,068
  • Crimes: 113 crimes per 1000 people
  • Average property buying cost: £128,919
  • Average 1-bed flat rent: £1,289

County Durham boasts the rugged North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and picturesque dales, offering locals scenic walks and outdoor activities amidst rolling hills and woodlands. With a crime rate of 113 crimes per 1000 people, it provides a safe environment. As of September 2023, the average property buying cost is £128,919, while the average one-bedroom flat rent as of December 2023 is £1,289.

Locals enjoy low crime rates, a booming job market, and access to unique resources and activities. Darlington, the largest town in County Durham, is undergoing significant regeneration and offers good transport links via rail, road, and air. From stargazing in the unspoiled Durham Dales to visiting England’s biggest waterfall, locals find plenty to explore and enjoy in the area.

ONS (2022), Settlements in County Durham (2021), UK Land Registry (Sept 2023) & Zoopla (Dec 2023)

County Durham, England

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Conclusion:

Many people are curious about the best places to live in England and want to learn more about them. After reading our ranking of the top 7 best places to live in England, you should be able to decide about where you want to call home. If you are moving soon, you might want to find out about the best removal companies in London.

 

Last year’s ranking (2023)

  1. Brighton
  2. Wiltshire
  3. North Yorkshire
  4. Surrey
  5. Devon and Cornwall
  6. Bath
  7. West Midlands
  8. Cumbria
  9. Swindon
  10. Plymouth

 

Our rankings are meticulously curated, considering safety, affordability, and the quality of life. It’s important to highlight that certain places may have changed from last year’s lists due to fluctuations in criteria used in our methodology. We encourage readers to weigh these rankings in light of their individual needs and preferences for a more informed decision-making process.

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Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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