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Ilkley West Yorkshire
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Revealed: these are officially the best places to live in the UK

The Sunday Times has ranked all the finest cities, towns and villages this country has to offer

Sophie Dickinson
Written by
Sophie Dickinson

We’ve all thought about moving somewhere new post-pandemic, right? Perhaps you’ve had enough of city life and gained a newfound appreciation for beach walks or countryside rambles. Maybe you want to move somewhere much bigger, because you’re hungry for culture and all the other exciting stuff that cities have to offer.

Well, handily, the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live ranking has just dropped – and it could well help you decide where to move next. Each year, the newspaper ranks all the finest places to live in the UK, considering a range of factors including value for money, local amenities and general vibes. It ranks the best places to live in 11 different regions, names a winner in each, then ranks all the winners.

So, where came top in 2022? That would be Ilkley in West Yorkshire: a charming spa town surrounded by glorious countryside. There’s a lot of stuff to do for such a small place – a market, a cinema, plenty of youth clubs – and it’s got decent rail links, too.

In second place was Norwich, with the editors citing its welcoming atmosphere and stunning medieval architecture. And third place went to London’s Crystal Palace area, no doubt ranked highly for the extra value and green space you get by living just that little bit further from the city centre.

Editors of the list noted that they left out York and Cambridge in 2022 – despite both being previous winners – due to the expensive cost of living in both cities. Cornwall was also left out of the rankings because of the issues caused by second-home ownership in the county.

You can check out the full list of 70 winners, broken down by region, here. But in the meantime, here’s the official ranking of all the winners:

  1. Ilkley, West Yorkshire
  2. Norwich, East
  3. Crystal Palace, London
  4. Uppingham, Midlands
  5. Slaithwaite, North and Northeast
  6. Ballycastle, Northern Ireland
  7. Trawden, Northwest
  8. Isle of Bute, Scotland
  9. Sevenoaks, Southeast
  10. Chalke Valley, Southwest
  11. Llandeilo, Wales

Got five minutes to spare? Want to tell us what life is like in your city? Take the Time Out Index survey here.

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