Suffolk among best rural areas to live in Britain, says survey – see which areas of the county ranked best

Felixstowe beach is among Suffolk's coastal communities to feature highly in the survey. Picture:

Felixstowe beach is among Suffolk's coastal communities to feature highly in the survey. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

St Edmundsbury and the Suffolk coast are among the top rural places to live in Britain, according to a new survey.

Several rural areas of Suffolk featured in the survey. Picture JOHN KERR

Several rural areas of Suffolk featured in the survey. Picture JOHN KERR

The annual Halifax Rural Areas Quality of Life Survey assesses the nation’s rural communities against a host of criteria, including employment and education as well as social and environmental considerations.

Uttlesford in Essex was ranked ninth, ahead of St Edmundsbury in 13th and Suffolk Coastal in 14th.

Babergh was placed 24th – one place ahead of Maldon in Essex.

South Norfolk also featured in the list at 34 while Mid Suffolk was 46th.


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John Griffths, leader of St Edmundsbury Council said: “I am delighted but not surprised that St Edmundsbury has been recognised in this way.

“It’s quite a lovely part of the country not only to live and work in but to visit and enjoy.”

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The most desirable rural place to live according to the survey was the Orkney Islands for the second year running.

Rutland in the East Midlands came second ahead of third-placed Wychavon in the West Midlands.

Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said: “With strong education and employment levels, low crime rates and residents loving life, not to mention breathtaking wide open spaces, the Orkney Islands have retained the crown of Britain’s best rural place to live.”

Looking at how rural quality of life varies across the country, he said rural areas in the South East receive higher weekly earnings, while those in the East Midlands have larger property sizes.

Mr Galley said: “On the southern coast, sunnier climates shine through in the rankings, while, lower house prices-to-earnings, wellbeing and class sizes give northern areas the desirability factor.”

The top 50

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 West

31. Mid Devon, South West

32. Rushcliffe, East Midlands

33. Malvern Hills, West Midlands

34. South Norfolk, East of England

35. South Lakeland, North West

36. Vale of White Horse, South East

37. South Hams, South West

38. Huntingdonshire, East of England

39. Horsham, South East

40. North Warwickshire, West Midlands

41. Shetland Islands, Scotland

42. East Hampshire, South East

43. Central Bedfordshire, East of England

44. Derbyshire Dales, East Midlands

45. North Devon, South West

46. Mid Suffolk, East of England

47. East Riding of Yorkshire, Yorkshire and The Humber

48. Teignbridge, South West

49. Ribble Valley, North West

50. North Kesteven, East Midlands

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