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Top 5 places to live in the UK in 2020

You’ve decided you want to move to a new place. But how do you know where to go?

Top 5 places to live in the UK in 2020

Is 2020 the year you finally fly the nest? Or maybe you’ve started to get itchy feet, and want a new start in a brand new city. Whatever the reason, the UK has a huge range of towns and cities to choose from, whether you’re a city lover, a rural retreater or somewhere in between. Here are reallymoving’s top 5 places to live in the UK in 2020.

Hexham

A few weeks ago, Rightmove revealed that the Northumberland town of Hexham was the happiest place to live in Great Britain. It seemed only right it should be the top of our list too!

Hexham’s strong sense of community is one of the main reasons its residents are so happy, so if you’re after somewhere to live in for a long time to give you that sense of belonging, Hexham could be for you. Home to Hexham Abbey and Hexham Old Gaol, it's also perfect if you’re looking to live somewhere with a rich history that you can explore at the weekends. There’s also plenty to do outside, with the beautiful Sele Park’s woodland, flower beds and bandstand, and the children’s play areas, water sports, picnic areas and golf courses at Tyne Green Country Park.

With an average house price of £248k Hexham is slightly above the UK average, but it’s still very affordable compared to many places further south.

Wales

If you’re looking for more opportunities to get up close and personal with nature, 2020 is the Year of Outdoors across the whole of Wales. There will be a focus on Wales’ natural riches, such as its 870-mile coastal path, 600 castles, and three national parks. It will also celebrate a variety of outdoor activities, ranging from water sports to mindfulness and wellbeing.

You could be a part of this no matter where you’d want to live in Wales. If you’re after a small town with independent shops, Crickhowell, situated in the Brecon Beacons National Park, has a population of just two thousand friendly residents and is the only town in Wales with no national chains on its high street. If you’re looking for a seaside town with affordable housing, Aberdyfi could be your new home. Or if you want to be in the hustle and bustle of a city centre but still be within reach of nature, Cardiff offers the best of both worlds – it’s home to shops, galleries, bars, and venues like the Wales Millennium Centre, but is a mere 30 minute drive to the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Whatever it is you’re after, Wales could be the place for you if you’re looking to reconnect with the great outdoors in 2020. And average house prices are lower in Wales than they are in England, so you might be pleasantly surprised by what you can afford.

Oxford

If you’re seeking city life, Oxford could be for you. With London starting to fall behind on the list of best places to live and work because of its high cost of living, other cities are picking up the gauntlet.

A recent report found that Oxford has been the best place in the UK to live and work for the fourth year in a row. It takes into account a number of criteria like jobs, health, house-affordability and environment. Oxford is known for its university, but this isn’t the only educational establishment that excels – its selection of good primary and secondary schools means that it attracts families from all over. So if you’re moving to start a family or if you already have kids in tow, Oxford could be a brilliant choice.

Oxford is also perfect if you’re looking for a historic town with plenty of places to explore. St. George’s Tower, Christ Church Cathedral and the Radcliffe Observatory are just some of Oxford’s historical spots, and they’ll keep architecture enthusiasts happy too!

With an average house price of £492k, Oxford is certainly not as affordable as Hexham or Wales. But if it works for you, it might well be worth the extra spend.

Hertfordshire

If you’re an artist of any sort, or even if you’re just trying to find somewhere with a rich culture, Hertfordshire could be the place for you – 2020 is the Herts Year of Culture. You can expect to see a different theme each month to promote and celebrate existing cultural activity across the county, along with new activities, collaboration between local groups, and a push to make the arts more accessible to new audiences.

Alongside the Herts 2020 Year of Culture, Hertfordshire is home to the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio, innumerable green spaces like the Rickmansworth Aquadrome and Aldenham Country Park, and historical sites like Hatfield House and St Albans Abbey.

There’s a place in Hertfordshire to suite anyone. Commuting into London? Watford or Croxley are ideal. Looking for a quiet life? Old Hatfield could suit you perfectly.

Prices across Hertfordshire vary dramatically, and its proximity to London pushes up the average to around £464k. But as long as you go into your research clear about what you want and what, if anything, you’re willing to compromise on, you might be surprised at how affordable some areas are.

Brighton

If you’re an eco-warrior, Brighton could be the place for you in 2020. Not only is the MP for Brighton Pavilion the only Green Party MP in the House of Commons, next year is Nature2020. A group of local environmental organisations, the universities of Brighton and Sussex, and Brighton & Hove City Council will run a whole year of eco-positive events to raise awareness of local nature reserves, celebrate The Living Coast, and encourage care and conservation of local nature from a wide range of people. If you’d like the opportunity to be involved in the scheme or you just want to live somewhere where the local authorities are constantly striving to connect people to nature, Brighton could be the place for you to move to in 2020.

Brighton also offers a host of other activities, from exploring the Royal Pavilion to family-friendly activities like the Sea Life Centre. Brighton also has its famous beach and pier, perfect for whiling away summer evenings with friends and family.

Brighton’s average house price is £417k, putting it below Hertfordshire and Oxford. But if you’re after buzzing nightlife in a thriving seaside city with a wealth of options for family-friendly activities, it could be worth every penny.

How to decide where to move to

Deciding to move to a new town or city is incredibly exciting, and fantasising about where you could move to is a very important part of the process!

Why not set up a Pinterest board and start gathering a collection of places you’d like to travel or move to? Then once you’re ready to start making firm plans in the new year, have a look at what you’ve pinned and see if there’s anything they all have in common. Perhaps they’re all by the sea, or have a historic city centre, or have a lot of green space? Have a go – you may discover that they all have something that you didn’t realise was important to you.

It’s also important to think about what you like, or don’t like, about your current location. Check out our article on how to decide where to live for more tips on choosing your next home and if you want to get a head-start on the moving house process, or just want more information to get ready, visit our moving house checklist.
 
There are so many amazing places to live in the UK – and these are just five of them. As long as you do your research, think about what’s most important to you and listen to your heart as well as your head, you can’t go far wrong.
 

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