The UK Relocation Report

There could be many reasons why you’re looking to relocate and move away from the city, but where are the best places to live in the UK?
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The UK Relocation Report - Image Module

The coronavirus pandemic saw many people decide that it was time to leave their homes in major towns and cities for a new life.

And before the time comes to compare mortgages for your new home, there are lots of things that will affect your decision on where to move.

With that in mind, here are some of the best places to relocate to in the UK, looking at factors such as the weather, salary potential, and more.

The best rural places to live in the UK

The UK Relocation Report - Image Module

There are 91 local authority areas in England that are considered either ‘mainly or largely rural’ by Defra. Here’s how the biggest town in each of these areas (excluding coastal areas) ranks for the following factors:

  • House prices
  • Average salary
  • Temperature
  • Rainfall
  • Internet speeds
  • Air quality
  • Restaurants

1. Maldon, Essex - 7.33 out of 10 relocation score

The best rural town to live in in the UK across all factors is Maldon, which sits on the Blackwater estuary in Essex.

Maldon has the driest climate on this list with just 658mm of annual rainfall. The town also boasts excellent air quality with only 4.1 tonnes of CO2 emissions per capita each year.

The area is made up of farmland, rolling wooded ridges and tidal salt marshes, known for producing Maldon Sea Salt.

2. Sleaford, North Kesteven - 7.02 out of 10 relocation score

In second place is Sleaford, in North Kesteven, Lincolnshire. The market town, located on the edge of the Fenlands, has a relatively low average house price of £239,733. The town also scores highly when it comes to air quality too (4.7 tonnes of CO2 emissions per capita annually) 

Sleaford has traditionally been an agricultural town and its main attractions are St. Denys’ Church and the National Centre for Craft & Design.

3. Cambourne, South Cambridgeshire - 6.95 out of 10 relocation score

South Cambridgeshire regularly ranks as one of the best places to live in the UK. The same is also true here when it comes to its biggest town, Cambourne.

The town has some of the cheapest housing on the list with an average price of £221,028. The area also has some of the highest broadband speeds, at 53.3 Mbps.

The cheapest rural town for housing

landscape of Cramlington

Cramlington, Northumberland - £174,040

Northumberland is home to the beautiful national park of the same name, and to live in the area’s biggest town is also very affordable. Cramlington lies between the national park and the city of Newcastle and has an average house price of just under £175,000.

The best rural town for wages

rural town

Cambourne, South Cambridgeshire - £33,797 a year

Job opportunities are a key factor when weighing up a move. The rural town with the highest average annual salary on this list is Cambourne, at £33,797 a year.

The warmest rural town

warmest rural town

Chichester, West Sussex - 11.4°C

The weather is another undeniably important factor to consider, and the warmest town here is Chichester, with an average annual temperature of 11.4°C. Like many other towns in the South, Chichester has mild winters and more hours of sunshine than other towns around the country.

The driest rural town

driest rural town

Maldon, Essex - 658mm

As is the case with sunshine, when it comes to rainfall, things generally improve the further south you go. The town with the lowest annual rainfall is the top-rated town overall, Maldon, at 658mm per year. To put that into perspective, the rainiest town studied was Kendal, South Lakeland, which experiences over twice as much rain per year (1,396mm).

The best connected rural town

best connected rural town

West Bridgford, Rushcliffe - 60.3 Mbps

A solid internet connection is important no matter where you live, but it takes on extra importance if you live in a rural area. The local authority of Rushcliffe is the rural area with the fastest connection, averaging 60.3 Mbps.

The rural town with the cleanest air

picture of field with clean air

Aylesbury, Aylesbury Vale - 3.8 CO2 tonnes per capita

If you’re moving to the countryside, then you’d expect to enjoy cleaner air. The rural council area with the best air quality is Aylesbury Vale, at 3.8 tonnes of CO2 per capita. There are no major industrial polluting processes in the area, which helps to keep emissions to a minimum.

The rural town with the most places to eat


Richmond, Richmondshire - 12.21 per 1,000 people

Richmond, North Yorkshire, is one of the tourist centres of the Yorkshire Dales and has been described as one of the best hidden gems in the country. It also has the highest concentration of restaurants on this list, with 12.21 establishments per 1,000 residents.

The best coastal places to live in the UK

seaside towns

Next up is a look at the best coastal places to live in the UK. As well as some of the factors included above, the quality of the local beaches and bathing waters are also considered.

1. Sheerness, Swale - 7.05 out of 10 relocation score

Taking the top spot is Sheerness, on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent. Sheerness scored highly across the board, particularly when it comes to average wages (£26,165 a year) and reviews for its beaches (3.83 out of 5).

While as a seaside resort it obviously has a big tourism trade, there are also lots of employment opportunities in Sheerness. The town’s port is, in fact, one of the country’s biggest importers of cars and fresh produce.

2. Shanklin, Isle of Wight - 6.56 out of 10 relocation score

In second is the Isle of Wight resort of Shanklin, known for its beach, Old Village and wooded ravine. Shanklin benefits from average temperatures of 11.6°C and has one of the highest beach review scores too.

A classically charming seaside town, Shanklin is set against the Isle of Wight’s sandstone cliffs and is home to one of the best beaches on the island.

3. Minster, Swale - 6.43 out of 10 relocation score

Third place goes to a town just down the coast from first-placed Sheerness, Minster. As with its neighbour, Minster has great weather, with just 709mm of rainfall a year and an average temperature of 11.2°C.

It also has a highly rated beach, Minster Leas, a tranquil beach that has won Blie Flag awards in the past and is popular with dog walkers and families.

The cheapest coastal town for housing

birds-eye view of town

Peterlee, County Durham - £99,468

The only coastal town with an average house price of under £100,000 is Peterlee, County Durham. The town is located between Sunderland and Hartlepool and is built on rolling hills that overlook the limestone coast.

The best coastal town for wages

seaside town

Seaford & Newhaven, Lewes - £27,142 a year

In terms of earnings, those in Lewes, home to the coastal towns of Seaford and Newhaven have the highest, at £27,142 a year. Seaford is a popular commuter town for those working in nearby Eastbourne and Brighton, while Newhaven has an active port trade.

The warmest coastal town

Warm coastal town

Penzance, Cornwall - 12.0°C

If you’re moving to the coast then it’s likely that the climate is going to be important for you. The warmest coastal town on average is Penzance at 12.0°C a year.

The driest coastal town

coastal town

Brightlingsea, Tendring & West Mersea, Colchester - 668mm

When it comes to rainfall, two Essex towns are tied, with both Brightlingsea and West Mersea having average rainfall of 668mm a year. That’s over two times less than in northern coastal towns such as Fleetwood and Cleveleys.

The coastal town with the best beaches


Burry Port, Carmarthenshire - 4.33 out of 5

Taking an average of the review scores of each beach in each town, it’s the Welsh port town of Burry Port that comes out on top. The town has three nearby beaches: Burry Port Beach, Blue Pool Bay and Broughton Bay.

The coastal town with the most places to eat

coastal town

Bude, Cornwall - 13.93 per 1,000 people

Bude is one of the first major towns you’ll reach in Cornwall, and it’s also the coastal town with the most restaurants per person. The town is a very popular tourist destination, which explains why so many eateries have popped up here.


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