Orkneys rated best rural place to live in Britain – again

Halifax has released its latest Rural Areas Quality of Life Survey. The survey searches for the most desirable rural areas in the UK and compares aspects such as employment, crime rates and general happiness.

Stromness town on the Orkney Islands
For the second year running, the Orkney Islands – the UK's most northerly group of islands – have been named the best rural place to live in Britain.

Employment and education push Orkney to first place

The Orkneys saw off a challenge from second-place Rutland in England's East Midlands to come out top of the annual Halifax Rural Areas Quality of Life Survey.Orkney achieved top scores for its employment rate of 87 per cent, high education spending, low crime rate and personal satisfaction levels.Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said, “With strong education and employment levels, low crime rates and residents loving life, not to mention breath-taking wide open spaces, the Orkney Islands have retained the crown of Britain’s best rural place to live.“The winning formula for quality of life in the countryside seems to consistently include high employment levels and top scores on wellbeing, along with low school class sizes and high average spend per pupil – more than twice the national average.“However, there is more variety and balance across the country scoring strongly across each category this year, with rural areas in the South East receiving higher weekly earnings, while the East Midlands have larger property sizes.“On the southern coast, sunnier climates shine through in the rankings, whole, lower house prices to earnings, wellbeing and class sizes give northern areas the desirability factor.”This year’s survey revealed that almost a third of the top 50 rural locations rated as the best places to live were in southern and east England. By contrast, the North East of England had no places in the top 50, with Northumberland highest ranked at number 95.
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Halifax's top 30 for best rural quality of life:

1. Orkney Islands, Scotland
2. Rutland, East Midlands
3. Wychavon, West Midlands
4. Winchester, South East
5. Waverley, South East
6. Craven, Yorkshire and the Humber
7. Richmondshire, Yorkshire and the Humber
8. Stratford-on-Avon, West Midlands
9. Uttlesford, East of England
10. Ryedale, Yorkshire and the Humber
11. South Oxfordshire, South East
12. Selby, Yorkshire and the Humber
13. St Edmundsbury, East of England
14. Suffolk Coastal, East of England
15. Purbeck, South West
16. Hambleton, Yorkshire and the Humber
17. West Oxfordshire, South East
18. Harborough, East Midlands
19. Monmouthshire, Wales
20. Eden, North West
21. South Cambridgeshire, East of England
22. Tewkesbury, South West
23. Chichester, South East
24. Babergh, East of England
25. Maldon, East of England
26. Cotswold, South West
27. Aylesbury Vale, South East
28. Wiltshire, South West
29. West Dorset, South West
30. East Devon, South WestFor related news and features, visit our International Assignments section.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory 

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