Best Places To Live In The United Kingdom: Top 5 Cities, According To Experts

Known for its extensive history, stunning architecture, and passionate football fans, the United Kingdom is the beloved home of over 67 million people. And with cities ranging from cobblestoned old-world charm to modern metropolis, the United Kingdom has plenty to offer for all kinds of potential transplants. Recent data from the UK Parliament shows that 1.1 million people chose to make the migration to the UK between June 2021 and June 2022.

Perhaps that should be unsurprising, considering the opportunities for flexibility that the pandemic introduced for so many people. With more employees working from home than ever before, individuals and families are now able to consider packing up their lives and moving to a new country in a way that would not been feasible in years prior. The numbers are in, and according to a new survey, a staggering 62 percent of Americans working remotely are considering moving to a new country. Two in three people also shared their companies have allowed all of their employees to work from home permanently. Now that they’re working remotely, 70 percent of respondents feel like they finally have the opportunity to travel and live wherever they want.

Moving can be tough, whether you’re moving to a new city in the same country or venturing across the pond. In fact, many people find that moving is one of the most stressful events of their life. According to a recent survey conducted by long-distance moving company North American Van Lines, 45% of 1,000 Americans polled say that moving is more stressful than other life events such as getting a divorce or raising a child. Packing and transporting personal belongings and figuring out what to keep or donate can be stressful, as well as managing the logistics of your move. 94% of Americans from the same survey who used a moving company for their last big move say it “was worth every penny.”

Whether you’ve already memorized the lyrics to “God Save the King” or are just tentatively considering making a move across the pond, the UK is a great place to scope out potential new hometowns. Here at Study Finds, we want to help make the search for a new home as easy as possible. That’s why we took to the internet to collect expert opinions on the best places to live in the United Kingdom, from Scotland to England, and beyond. Our list includes the top recommendations from ten expert sources. If you have one we missed, be sure to let us know in the comments!

The List: Best Places To Live In The United Kingdom, Per Experts

1. Edinburgh, Scotland

Scotland’s capital city is a place full of culture, history, and community. “A port city, Edinburgh has the beauty of a seaside town, mixed in with the bustling vibrancy of a modern world city,” says Homelike. “Although Edinburgh is not the largest city in Scotland, it has long been Scotland’s cultural and spiritual heartland.”

For history buffs, Edinburgh is a treasure trove. “With the iconic sight of Edinburgh Castle sat atop an extinct volcano looking down on the city, the capital of Scotland has plenty of history on offer,” says Nomads Nation. “Most notably this is to be found in the city’s Old Town (or Auld Toun), where the medieval street plans mix with Reformation-era edifices for a higgledy-piggledy place to wander.”

“The county of ‘City Edinburgh’ is one of the most desirable places to live in Britain,” claims HomeViews. “It’s a county with a rich history and thriving culture, and it’s also the home of many prestigious universities.”

Skyline and buildings in Edinburgh Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland (Photo by Peter Cordes on Unsplash)

2. Manchester, England

Manchester is a bustling community with plenty to offer for young and old. Home to the University of Manchester, the city has a youthful feel that is rivaled only by its historic charm. “Set in the north of England, Manchester is a former industrial town that’s now a great place to come to soak up a bit of British culture,” says Nomads Nation. “The area’s 2.8 million residents are incredibly proud of their city – and rightly so,” HomeViews adds.

If you’re looking for a lively city to call home, Manchester is sure to satisfy. “Home to the vibrancy that is often unmatched by anywhere else, Manchester is full of restaurants, nightlife, and shopping districts that can compete with the best,” says Homelike. “This outpouring of fun and life in Manchester not only makes it a great place to live but also one of the best cities in the UK for students.”

Skyline in Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Manchester, England. (Photo by William McCue on Unsplash)

3. Bristol, England

If London isn’t quite your speed, experts suggest that you check out Bristol next. “The port city of Bristol is quietly becoming one of the UK’s most sought-after cities for expats and locals alike,” says Expatica. “The growing metropolis has something for everyone, mixing its heritage with modern living and vibrant cafe culture.”

While Bristol is certainly a city of its own, it is within easy reach of the sweeping British countryside. “Combining city and countryside living, Bristol is one of the most popular cities for Londoners looking to escape,” claims HomeViews. “This link to the countryside is complemented by Bristol’s status as being one of the most eco-friendly cities in the UK. This status was gained by having some of the best scores when it came to carbon emissions, recycling rates, and gas consumption,” Homelike adds.

Bristol Cathedral in Bristol, England, best places to live in the United Kingdom
Bristol Cathedral (Photo by V2F on Unsplash)

4. London, England

It would be difficult to make a list of UK locations that didn’t include its most famous city. Rightfully taking the cake for notable British hotspots, London is the beloved capital of the United Kingdom. “This vibrant and multicultural city is one the best cities in the UK for expats as it is home to large communities of adventurers who now call the UK home,” claims Homelike. “London is the proud, multicultural, never-boring capital of the UK with everything [one] could need for a good life,” Nomads Nation adds.

Much like the United Kingdom on the whole, London has a little something for everyone. “London is not just a major city but a thriving hub of 32 boroughs, each with their own, distinct character, from hip Dalston to colourful Notting Hill and buzzing Soho,” says Condé Nast Traveler. “Covering such a huge area, the city of London encapsulates British culture and is a city of a thousand experiences,” Homelike boasts.

Aerial photography of London skyline during daytime
London, England (Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash)

5. Oxford, England

It should be no surprise that one of the world’s most famous college towns is noted for its thriving culture and cozy feel. “The ultimate university town – Oxford has long been a honeypot for creatives and academics,” says Condé Nast Traveler. “There is a youthful energy, and cool restaurants and hotels have opened among the storied bookshops and hallowed halls that have long served as the main draw here.”

“This city, and its university, are steeped in history and for many people going about your day to day business will be like walking around an open-air museum,” Nomads Nation claims. “Seriously charming and historical stuff going on here, guys.”

But the university isn’t the only thing Oxford has to offer. “Apart from the connections to the university, the landscape that surrounds the city is one of rolling hills and little rivers, idyllic for a day trip away from the modern city,” boasts Homelike. “Employment is at an all-time high, with huge companies such as BMW, BT, the charity Oxfam providing over 100,000 jobs and more. The charming balance of old and new make Oxford one of the most peaceful cities in which to live.”

beige concrete building under blue sky during daytime
Oxford University (Photo by Ben Seymour)

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links.


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