The different regions of the UK offer hugely varied lifestyles, from vibrant cities and suburban hotspots to picture-perfect rural locations. But which UK locations are the best to live in? We reveal the top 10 best places to live in the UK in 2023, according to thousands of ratings from verified residents on HomeViews.
What are the rankings based on?
HomeViews gathers reviews of the UK’s new property developments, with residents rating every aspect of their property, including its location. We compiled location ratings from more than 6,000 residents of the UK’s new homes on HomeViews, submitted between July 2022 and June 2023, to create this list of the best places to live in the UK.
See the most popular locations to live in the UK in the map below, and scroll down to click through for more details on each area.
The combined areas of the city of Aberdeen and wider Aberdeenshire rank as the best place to live in the UK, according to the reviews of new build residents on HomeViews. The location scored a near-perfect 4.9 out of 5 according to verified resident reviews. The vibrant city offers an exciting place to live and work, while the rural landscapes of wider Aberdeenshire provide plenty of fresh Scotland air, and rugged landscapes to explore, as well as easy access to the stunning Cairngorms National Park.
The County of West Midlands climbs from number 12 in last year’s listings, to number two in 2023. The area offers exceptionally connectivity and transport links, with easy access to Birmingham and other midlands cities. The wide open spaces of the Cotswolds and surrounding counties are also within easy reach.
Taking third place is the relatively small but pefectly situated county of Buckinghamshire. With Milton Keynes as its main urban hub and exceptional transport links by road and rail, Bucks is popular with commuters. The county also enjoys access to the sweeping rural landscapes of the Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Merseyside jumps from eighth to fourth place in our top 10 places to live in the UK, with its average score of 4.7 out of 5 increasing in the past year. Stretching across both banks of the Mersey River and centred around the bustling metropolis of Liverpool, Merseyside offers a huge range of living locations, from city-centre to semi-rural. Despite being heavily populated and urbanised, Merseyside does have some greenbelt areas spread throughout the county, especially in the Wirral and around Southport that offer country living right next door to the fifth-largest metropolitan area in the UK.
Leicestershire ranks as the fifth best location in the UK according to verified residents on HomeViews, scoring an average location rating of 4.69 out of 5. Centred around Leicester, an important economic and cultural centre for the East Midlands, Leicestershire offers an enticing combination of countryside and metropolitan living. The county is also known as “The Garden of England,” due to its abundance of orchards and market gardens and is the birthplace of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Darwin and George Eliot.
Lat year’s best-rated location, the City of Edinburgh easily retains a place in the top 10 this year, with an impressive average location rating of 4.63 out of 5. The county of ‘City Edinburgh’ has long been considered one of the most desirable places to live in Britain. It’s a county with a rich history and thriving culture, and it’s also the home of many prestigious universities.
Greater Manchester’s impressive 4.61 out of 5 location rating takes it to seventh place in our list of the best places to live in the UK. Manchester is the second largest urban area in England, and is often thought of as the UK’s second city. Located in the north west of England nestled between Liverpool and Leeds, Manchester is also reportedly the UK’s fastest growing city economically. The area’s 2.8 million residents are incredibly proud of their city – and rightly so.
Essex’s appealing mix of pastoral landscapes and urban centres sees it climb from 16th last year to eighth place in the HomeViews 2023 location rankings. Essex benefits from excellent commuter links to London and several urban hubs on the fringes of the capital, while its historic cities of Chelmsford and Colchester are ever attractive with families. Meanwhile, the county enjoys some of the prettiest countryside the UK has to offer, alongside plenty of coastline to explore.
Shropshire enters the 2023 top 10 in ninth place, with an average HomeViews location score of 4.6, according to reviews from verified residents. The county is home to historic Shrewsbury as well as the new town of Telford, and enjoys a variety of beautiful rural landscapes, including the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, home to the famous Wrekin.
Somerset takes the final spot in our top 10 location list, thanks to its average location score of 4.57 out of 5. This county in the South West of England enjoys some stunning rural landscapes and beautiful coastline, as well as some of the region’s most beloved cities in vibrant Bristol and historic Bath.
The city of Aberdeen and the wider county of Aberdeenshire blows the competition out of the water in 2023. It ranks as the best location according to the reviews of new build residents on HomeViews over the past 12 months. Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire scored a whopping average location rating of 4.9 out of 5.
So what makes Aberdeen such a highly rated location? Verified residents at Aberdeen’s new build developments consistently mention the factors below in their reviews:
Walking distance to local amenities New build residents place great emphasis on proximity to local shops and amenities. The ability to walk to the shops and local facilities is not only good for your health, it fosters a sense of connection to your local community.
Transport connections Easy access to great transport connections just makes life easier. It’s no surprise to see it rank highly among the reasons given for Aberdeen’s top ranking. As a small and relatively isolated city, it’s important for residents to have access to nearby road and rail links.
Safe, friendly community Safety, a sense of community and the friendliness of local residents is also a key theme to emerge in reviews from Aberdeen and the wider Scotland region. Residents value these factors in making them feel at home, and creating a connection to the location in which they live.
New build developments in Aberdeen
Aberdeen is home to some impressive new build developments, including plenty of modern apartment buildings as well as single family homes. The highest-rated development in the region is The Point by Dandara Living. This build to rent development in the heart of the city currently has a near-perfect 4.91 out of 5 location score from residents.
According to Rightmove, the average 2023 asking price in Aberdeen is £183,000. This places it some way below the average for the UK. Prices in Aberdeen are continuing to rise, even when the UK average property price is stalling. Aberdeen’s asking prices have decreased by 5.0% in the past year, compared to an average decrease of 0.1% across the UK.
Buckinghamshire’s average asking price is the highest among the top 10, at £499,000 – almost double the average price for the UK. The county has experienced a 1.0% increase in prices across the year, bucking the trend of the UK as a whole. Other higher-priced regions have also seen prices remain steady, such as Essex (£417,000 asking price, similar to the previous year).
Now that you know the best places to live in the UK, you might be wondering what our reviewers had to say about the worst locations to live in. Based on data from HomeViews’ latest Location Ratings Report, the North East of England was the UK’s lowest-rated wider region with an average score of 3.9 out of 5. London ranked second from bottom, with a still-respectable location score of 4.35 out of 5.
Are you considering relocating to a different part of the UK? If you want to find out about any of the locations above, or any other UK location, read our comprehensive area guides. Click on the HomeViews homepage, select ‘Guides’ from the menu and choose which area you’d like to explore.
HomeViews provides verified resident reviews of the UK’s housing developments. We’re working with developers, house builders, operators, housing associations and the Government to recognise high performers and help improve standards in the built environment.