Moving to the United Kingdom? Think outside the London box with our guide to the 10 best places to live in the UK.
The United Kingdom is a land of contrasts. From the rugged highlands of Scotland to the sweeping turquoise bays of Cornwall, there is something to suit all tastes. For many, moving to the UK means settling in London, with its big-city bustle and enchanting neighborhoods. However, some of the best places to live in the UK lie outside the capital.
Living out of London opens up a whole new world for UK-based expats. Not only is the cost of living in the UK significantly cheaper outside the capital, but you’ll also be much closer to all that sumptuous British countryside. You’ll also be able to experience some of the many charming UK towns and cities, each with their own unique energy and personality. To inspire you, here’s the lowdown on the 10 best places to Live in uk.
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Despite being the UK’s second-largest city, Birmingham – or Brum, as the locals affectionately call it – is not on the radar of many expats moving to the UK. But it should be. Embedded in the city’s industrial heritage, Birmingham is a bustling, multi-cultural mix of museums, shopping, and canal-side dining. As many locals will happily remind you, the city has more kilometers of canals.
The size of Birmingham means there’s plenty of affordable places for expats to settle down, from the leafy Edgbaston and Harborne to the picturesque neighborhood of Bournville; home of Cadbury chocolate. Canalside living can be found in the center, too. Thanks to its location in the heart of the UK, Birmingham is also within easy access of many rural escapes, including Cannock Chase and the Malvern hills
Scotland’s largest city has reinvented itself over recent decades. Once an overlooked industrial hub, Glasgow is now one of the UK’s hippest expat destinations. The buzzing city center is crammed with architectural gems showcasing Glasgow’s heritage, while the modern River Clyde area looks to the future. The city’s big student population and friendly locals make Glasgow a great place to live, with excellent dining, shopping, And partying.
Glasgow’s West End neighborhood is popular with students and young professionals alike, while in the center you’ll find a mix of modern and traditional homes. More affordable is the up-and-coming Queen’s Park area, just south of the center. The city’s quirky metro system – nicknamed ‘The Clockwork Orange’.
Oxford and the Cotswolds
For centuries, the dreaming spires of Oxford have enchanted some of the world’s greatest minds. And thanks to its famous university, Oxford remains one of the best places to live in the UK. Despite its relatively small size, Oxford packs a punch with the diversity of its neighborhoods. From the cozy cafes of bohemian Jericho to affluent streets of leafy family-favorite Headington, the whole city exudes an atmosphere of effortless English-ness.
Head west from Oxford and you’ll soon find yourself in the charming Cotswolds, an area of picturesque rolling hills that takes in over 2,000 square kilometers. Quintessential villages scatter the landscape, each one built from the local honey-colored stone. The Cotswolds is a great place to settle in if you’re looking for a slice of family-friendly rural English living within easy reach of Oxford and its urban attractions.
Stretched out along the south coast of England, this effervescent resort city has something for everyone. Brighton is packed full of things to see and do, from the eclectic streets of bohemian North Laine to the elegant regency homes that line the waterfront. The beach and pier are family favorites, while the city is also home to one of the UK’s largest LGBT communities. If that wasn’t enough, Brighton even has a local Premier League football club.
Its proximity to the capital often sees Brighton unfairly dubbed ‘London by the sea’. However, it has plenty to offer expats in its own right. Each of the city’s neighborhoods has a surprisingly distinct feel, from the liberal Kemptown to the cozy hillside area of Hanover. More affordable homes can be found further west and can be easily accessed by local trains.