December 8, 2023

Ilkley in West Yorkshire has topped a list of 70 locations to be named the UK’s best place to live by the Sunday Times.

The town was praised for its top schools, interesting shops, spectacular scenery and convenient rail links.

Judges were also impressed by its sports clubs and opportunities for young people, and by the energetic community spirit.

Tour de France preparations
Ilkley Moor attracts thousands of walkers each year (Lynne Cameron/PA)

The guide also includes a list of regional winners.

The Isle of Bute was identified as the best place to live in Scotland while Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, was placed top in Wales.

The comprehensive guide is released online on Friday and an edited version will be available in the paper on Sunday.

The Sunday Times’s expert judges assessed a wide range of factors from schools, transport and broadband to culture, green spaces and the health of the high street.

Helen Davies, the Times and Sunday Times property editor, said: “The Sunday Times Best Places to Live list is necessarily subjective.

“Leave it just to statistics and you will never capture the spirit of a place. For that, you need to visit to take into account that ‘you have to be here’ feeling.

“Is the pub dog-friendly, for example? Can you live car-free? What are the schools and houses like? Is it multicultural and multigenerational, and can it offer a good way of life to lots of different sorts of people?”

She added: “We hope there is something to suit everyone.”

The Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2022 regional winners are:

– East of England, Norwich, Norfolk

– London, Crystal Palace

– Midlands, Uppingham, Rutland

– Northern Ireland, Ballycastle, County Antrim

– North and North East, Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire

– North West, Trawden, Lancashire

– Scotland, Isle of Bute, Argyll

– South East, Sevenoaks, Kent

– South West, The Chalke Valley, Wiltshire

– Wales, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire

And here is a further breakdown of the places listed:

(Overall winner) Ilkley, West Yorkshire

– London

(Winner) Crystal Palace


King’s Cross

New Malden


Victoria Park, Hackney

– East of England

(Winner) Norwich, Norfolk

Boxford, Suffolk

Great Massingham, Norfolk

Leigh-on-Sea, Essex

St Ives, Cambridgeshire

Saffron Walden, Essex

Woodbridge, Suffolk

– North and North East 

(Winner) Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire

Cawthorne, South Yorkshire

Great Ayton, Cleveland Hills, North Yorkshire

Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Hovingham, North Yorkshire

lkley, West Yorkshire

Leeds city centre

Morpeth, Northumberland

Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear

– Midlands

(Winner) Uppingham, Rutland

Birmingham (especially the Jewellery Quarter and King’s Heath)

Ellesmere, Shropshire

Hathersage, Derbyshire

Lincoln cliff villages, Lincolnshire

Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire

Shipston on Stour, Warwickshire

– South West

(Winner) Chalke Valley, Wiltshire

Bridport, Dorset


Budleigh Salterton, Devon

Charlton Kings, Gloucestershire

Dartmoor: Ashburton

Sherborne, Dorset

Stroud, Gloucestershire

Wellow, Somerset

– North West

(Winner) Trawden, Lancashire

Altrincham, Cheshire

Christleton, Cheshire

Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria

Prestwich, Greater Manchester

West Kirby, Merseyside

– Wales

(Winner) Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire

Conwy, Gwynedd

Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan

Ruthin, Denbighshire

St Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire

Usk, Monmouthshire

– Scotland

(Winner) Isle of Bute, Argyll

Braemar, Aberdeenshire

Culross, Fife

Dunblane, Stirling

Glasgow: Shawlands

Melrose, Borders

North Berwick, East Lothian

– Northern Ireland

(Winner) Ballycastle, County Antrim


2 Helen’s Bay, Co Down

– South East

(Winner) Sevenoaks

Brighton: Fiveways & Preston Park

Cobham, Surrey,

Cookham, Berkshire

Deal, Kent

Englefield Green, Surrey

Farnham, Surrey

Olney, Bucks

Reading, Berkshire

St Albans, Hertfordshire


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