Looking to start a new chapter in life, in a new place? Well, as a nation, we have plenty of towns and cities to choose from – so where are the best places to live in the UK. Almost every place has something to recommend it. So even if you’re moving house for work reasons, you don’t necessarily have to live in the same place as your new company. You could also move nearby and commute if the next town is a better fit.

But how can you choose where to move? Well, to make things easier, we’ve mapped out the realm in a series of easily explorable buzzmove Area Guides:

  1. South East
  2. London
  3. East of England
  4. South West
  5. Wales
  6. West Midlands
  7. East Midlands
  8. Yorkshire and the Humber
  9. North West
  10. North East
  11. Scotland
  12. Northern Ireland

Best Places to Live in UK: Top 20 Destinations

Want to save our area guides till later, or just need a few ideas? Here are our Top 20 moving house destinations from across all regions to get you thinking …

London

Expensive, yes. But more work opportunities that anywhere else in the UK. Full of history, great restaurants and unrivaled shopping. Almost anything you want, London has it. Plus a surprising amount of green space. Plus it’s startlingly cosmopolitan.

London is a huge city, so there’s plenty of choice when it comes to moving house. Each part has its own character, so check out our guide to the Best Places to Live in London, as well as our individual London area guides.

London skyline

Bath

This is definitely one of the best places to live in the UK if you’re after public baths! But this quiet West Country town has plenty more on offer as well, including a fair assortment of tea rooms and plenty of architectural interest.

Birmingham

Home to a vibrant cultural scene and fascinating industrial history, Birmingham is a large city – without the overwhelming hugeness of London. Culturally diverse and full of great-value ethnic restaurants. Among many other claims to fame, the Balti curry was invented here.

Brighton

This south-coast city is famous for its artsy inhabitants and open gay scene. A politically progressive beacon for many reasons, Brighton is home to the UK’s only Green Party MP. Plus it also has the Regency-era architectural curio that is the Brighton Pavilion.

Bristol

Bristol has a rich Roman and Iron Age history. It was also significant as one of the UK’s major ports and trading centres in the 18th century. This explains the charming dockyard area, nowadays a cultural centre with a number of restaurants and cocktail bars. Also host to one of the UK’s two major crime fiction conventions each year.

Cardiff

Capital and largest city in Wales, Cardiff is famous for its castle, the Millennium Stadium and the Great British Cheese Festival.

Derby

If you’re moving house to the East Midlands, Derby is well located for commuting. A major industrial centre in its own right (Rolls Royce for one is headquartered here), it’s also close to some of Britain’s loveliest countryside. The Peak District National Park, a fantastic location for hiking or family picnics, is under an hour by car.

Edinburgh

A major tourist destination, the Scottish capital is dramatic and full of architectural delights, from the castle to the 18th century New Town. Home to famous writers such as JK Rowling, Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall Smith (who reputedly all live on the same street!), Edinburgh has a long literary tradition stretching back to Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott and even philosophers such as David Hume and Adam Smith.

Hull

Full name Kingston upon Hull, this port city in Yorkshire was a trading hub, fishing town and industrial powerhouse. Its 18th century MP William Wilberforce was one of the main British anti-slavery campaigners. The Old Town and Museum Quarter pay homage to the city’s rich history.

Leeds

A major player in the UK industrial revolution, Leeds is the UK’s third-largest city. A great place for the ambitious, Leeds today has the most diverse economy in the UK. It’s also seen the fastest rate of private sector job growth of any UK city.

Leicester

Home to one of the UK’s best known rugby clubs: the Leicester Tigers. The city is also famous as the last resting place of hunchbacked king Richard III, whose body was found underneath a public car park. Leicester has a large ethnically south Asian population, as well as one of the UK’s oldest Polish communities dating back to the Second World War.

Liverpool

The Beatles, Liverpool Football Club, Everton Football Club… Liverpool needs little introduction as one of Britain’s most important centres of popular culture. Another historically important port city, Liverpool’s striking waterfront architecture is still a draw for local and tourist alike.

Manchester

Another cultural powerhouse, Manchester is also rich in industrial heritage and home to two of the world’s most famous football clubs, as well as pop and rock bands from the Hollies and the Smiths to the Stone Roses, Oasis and many more. Manchester is the 3rd most-visited city in the UK, well known for its shopping, music scene and restaurants, nightclubs and bars.

Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes is a new town in Buckinghamshire that incorporates older towns and villages such as Bletchley – the famous site of World War Two codebreakers depicted in movies like The Imitation Game. The town is also home to Marshall, one of the most famous guitar amp makers in the world, responsible for the wild onstage tone of classic rock heroes Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Pete Townsend and Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore.

Northampton

Northampton is an overlooked gem for those moving house. Centrally located in the East Midlands, it enjoys great transport links and a number of architectural treasures. These include the All Saints’ Church, the Guildhall and Delapre Abbey. The city had one of the fastest rates of population growth of any in Britain during the first decade of this millennium.

Nottingham

Legendary home of Robin Hood and his nemesis, the evil Sheriff of Nottingham, the city is also famous for its lace-making heritage, the footballing success of Nottingham Forest in the 70s and early 80s under the leadership of iconic manager Brian Clough, and its world class university.

Sheffield

Birthplace of actor Sean Bean and pop-metal giants Def Leppard, former parliamentary seat of even more former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, Sheffield is another Yorkshire city with an industrial heritage and easy access to glorious countryside.

Swindon

A large town in north Wiltshire, Swindon is famous as a commuter town, with easy rail and road access to London. Swindon was a major hub for railway production and maintenance, and now has a museum to celebrate this legacy.

York

York is another British city packed full of historic attractions. Just take the famous York Minster and Jorvik Viking Centre. York has also been a traditional centre for chocolate makers in Britain such as Terrys and Rowntrees. Unemployment in York is lower than the UK average.

So there we have it: the 20 best places to live in the UK. Or should that be: 20 of the best places to live in the UK. We’ve barely scratched the surface of our green and pleasant land, and it was hard indeed to whittle down our long list to only 20. So, if you want a few more ideas, check out our other Regional Guides here!

And, lest we forget, there’s the whole world outside the UK – quite a lot of it – with many more exciting destinations to choose from. So if you fancy going down the expat route, why not take a look at our guide to moving abroad? Happy explorations!

Looking to move within the UK or abroad? Compare the best house removal companies using buzzmove. Get up to 6 free quotes from trusted movers.

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