Sunday Times reveals UK’s best places to live 2023 as quiet town beats rest – full list
A quiet market town in East Sussex has been named Britain’s best place to live in the Sunday Times’ 2023 list of cheapest places to live.
The popular annual list has ranked Wadhurst as the loveliest place to live in Britain, beating out competition from 71 other places. See the full list below.
The small southern market town offered “just about everything you need for modern life in miniature,” according to the coveted list, which also included the Dorset villages of Poundbury and Ruthin in Denbighshire as ideal locations.
The judges on the list made trips to each of the cities, assessing things like schools, transport links, culture, broadband speeds, access to nature and the condition of their main roads.
Wadhurst has been praised for its good schools, convenient transport links, a variety of high street shops and the surrounding area of ”breathtaking scenery”.
A winner was also selected for each region in England, with Crouch End being named Best Place to Live in London, beating out competition from Notting Hill and Beckenham.
Crown of the North was Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear’s seaside gem, a frequent nominee for its picturesque beach and lively high street, while previous winner Ilkley and the West Yorkshire town of Holmfirth also received honorable mentions.
Cities that also returned to the shortlist were Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield and Newcastle, while the cities of Chichester and Cirencester won best locations in the South East and South West respectively.
Meanwhile, the list mentioned a group of local fathers who have dubbed the “Wadhurst Warriors” “stars of the show” for their efforts in raising funds for investments in the city.
With a population of just 5,000, the town is the smallest to have held the top spot in its 11-year history, with previous winners including Ilkley near Leeds and Stroud in Gloucestershire.
Wadhurst Parish Council called the news “really exciting”.
“Wadhurst is a wonderful place to live with a great sense of community,” said a spokesman.
“What really makes it special is the community. We have many different village clubs and a really active community.
“We’re all helping each other and during Covid that really came to the fore with a lot of groups helping to get people around with food and medicine.
“I would say to someone thinking about moving here, it’s a great place to live, you have the best of both worlds.”
Paula Lee, 58, owner of home goods store @ONE on Wadhurst’s High Street, said: “I totally agree – it’s a nice place to live and has a good sense of community.
“I’m not surprised – I think you’d have a hard time finding a better spot, certainly in the South East.
“There are some really nice shops, it’s a rounded high street – there’s a nice independent butcher, grocer and nice community spirit.
“The scenery in this area is simply outstanding. There are many opportunities for hiking and many sporting activities in an area of outstanding natural beauty.”
Ruthin in Denbighshire has won Best Place to Live in Wales, Dunkeld in Perthshire Best Place to Live in Scotland and Donaghadee in Co Down Best Place to Live in Northern Ireland.
Helen Davies, Editor of Best Places To Live 2023, said: “In difficult times, where we live matters more than ever.
“An attractive environment, good neighbors, and a comfortable home are your best defense when the stresses of modern life seem overwhelming.
“This guide is a celebration of the towns, cities and villages that are all amazing places to live in 2023, from Orkney to Felixstowe, from the Chew Valley to Manchester city centre.”
Here’s the full list
Wadhurst, East Sussex was voted the UK’s Best Place to Live overall
EAST OF ENGLAND
winner: Saffron Walden, Essex
Buckhurst Hill, Essex
Dedham Vale, Suffolk
winner: Crouching end
Hackney borders N1 and E8
winner: Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
Digbeth, Stirchley, Birmingham
Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire
Great Malvern, Worcestershire
Market Harborough, Leicestershire
winner: Donaghadee, Co-Down
Enniskillen, County Fermanagh
NORTH AND NORTH EAST ENGLAND
winner: Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear
Holmfirth, West Yorkshire
Ilkley, West Yorkshire
Thirsk, North Yorkshire
Sale, Greater Manchester
Stockport, Greater Manchester
winner: Dunkeld, Perthshire
East Linton, East Lothian
Newport on Tay, Fife
Tighnabruaich, Argyll and Bute
SOUTH EAST ENGLAND
winner: Chichester, West Sussex
Brighton and Hove, Seven Dials
Lindfield, West Sussex
winner: Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Broad Chalke, Wiltshire
The Kautal, Somerset
winner: Ruthin, Denbighshire
Gower Peninsula, Swansea
– The list can be found online at thetimes.co.uk/bestplacestolive.