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London area crowned best place to live

The picturesque north London area has two art house cinemas, leafy promenades, record shops and independent cafes, attracting celebrities such as Simon Pegg, James McAvoy and Katherine Ryan.

The judges praised the area’s grand Victorian homes in a tube-station free enclave and retained a market town feel, describing the “vibrant suburb”.

“It’s all about green spaces and independent shops in this vibrant north London suburb,” said Helen Davies, editor of Best Places to Live 2023.

“The streets leading out from the clock tower have a lively market-town feel, where you’ll find dozens of cafés, bars and restaurants. Grand Victorian and Edwardian homes are frequented by a large number of celebrities, there are abundant parks, two cinemas, sports clubs and a swimming pool.

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“Best of all, there’s a friendliness here that’s often absent in the capital – people say hello to each other on the street.”

Nationally, Wadhurst in East Sussex fended off 71 other places to be crowned Britain’s best place to live in 2023 by The Sunday Times.

The judges said the small market town “offers everything needed for modern life in miniature”.

Wadhurst in East Sussex has been named as the best place to live in the UK (Patrick Nairne/Image/PA)

A winner was selected for each English region, as well as for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Expert judges from the Sunday Times assessed a wide range of factors, from schools, transport and broadband to culture, green spaces and the health of the high street.

These were the winners:

Scotland – Dunkeld, PerthshireThe small town was praised by the judges for combining “stunning” Highland scenery with “Scandi sophistication”.

Wales – Ruthin, DenbighshireThe judges said it offered “great small-town living” with food and craft markets, pop-up restaurants, cafes and independent shops.

Northern Ireland – Donaghadee, Co DownThe town, where the BBC daytime TV drama Hope Street is filmed, was praised for its clean sea, beautiful scenery and “vibrant community”.

East of England – Saffron Walden, EssexThe judges said that “youthful vigor” was being injected into the market town as young families move in and new bars, shops and restaurants open.

Midlands – Leamington Spa, WarwickshireThe tech hub has well-maintained parks, good schools, excellent transport links and will improve further once the Creative Quarter is launched.

North and North East England – Whitley Bay, Tyne and WearThe town was said to be “catching up fast” after “years of doldrums” with its affluent neighbor Tynemouth – with affordable homes and connections to Newcastle that are just as good.

North West England – LiverpoolThe judges said there were “plenty of reasons to be optimistic” about the city, from Eurovision to its reputation for science and technology and grandiose projects such as the new Everton stadium and film studios. Waterloo was chosen for its seafront, while Toxteth was praised for its “cultural and community vibe”.

South East England – Chichester, West SussexWhile Wadhurst was crowned the best place to live in the UK, Chichester – which has more Ukrainian refugees per capita than any other UK city – was praised for its good schools and transport links and is still It was also considered worthy of inclusion separately.

South West England – Cirencester, GloucestershireThe heated outdoor swimming pool was marked as a special attraction of the capital of the Cotswolds.

– The full list can be viewed online at


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