The best places to live in Yorkshire

The best places to live in Yorkshire have been revealed. Sharon Dale reports on top spots and the surprise number one

Property hot spots like York, Harrogate and north Leeds are certainly desirable with prices to match their sought-after status. But the 2014 Quality of Life survey by Halifax today reveals that all that glitters is not in the county’s golden triangle.

A list of the Best Places to Live in Yorkshire puts the district of Hambleton at number one. There are nine Yorkshire areas in the Best Places to Live index, which features the top 250 locations in Britain.

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The running order is Hambleton, number one in Yorkshire and number 50 overall, followed by Richmondshire at number two (51 overall); Harrogate, 3, (52); Selby, 4 (54); Ryedale, 5, (81); East Riding, 6, (86); York, 7 (91); Craven, 8, (144) and Scarborough, 9, (236).

Halifax assessed everything from health and life expectancy, wellbeing, employment and pay to crime rates, numbers of young people with five or more GCSEs, good weather, and broadband internet access.

Hambleton, which takes in the market towns of Thirsk, Bedale, Northallerton and Easingwold, has a lower burglary rate than the Harrogate district. It is 19.6 per 10,000 people compared to 26 in Harrogate. The average home is also bigger, with 6.6 rooms compared to 5.9 in the spa town area, and it scores higher in happiness ratings.

Britain’s best to place to live overall is tranquil Hart in Hampshire, which has been top of the table for the past four years.

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Martin Ellis, housing economist for the Halifax, says: “The allure of the famous golden triangle remains undimmed. However, there are pockets right across the region, particularly among the areas spreading out from the A1M, which score highly too, like Hambleton, of course.”

Hambleton’s “capital” is Northallerton and the area is named after the Hambleton Hills, which fringe the North York Moors. Estate agents know it as a place full of “serious but quiet money” and some of Yorkshire’s wealthiest families have properties in this part of North Yorkshire. It is also a Conservative party stronghold.

Tim Blenkin, of Blenkin and Co., says that its transport links, countryside and pretty market towns, have helped it secure the top spot.

Estate agent Robin Jessop, who is based in Bedale, adds: “It does not surprise us in the least that Hambleton has been named as the best place to live in Yorkshire. With its picture-perfect rural market towns like Northallerton, Bedale, Thirsk and Stokesley surrounded by villages such as Newby Wiske, Felixkirk and Kirkby Fleetham, there is a location to suit everyone. There is still a strong sense of community here, as the market towns are underpinned by small, family run businesses so each town has something different to offer.”

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He adds: “The transport links such as the A1M and A19, and main East Coast railway stations at Northallerton and Thirsk, mean that its inhabitants can live in a rural idyll yet only be a short car or train journey to the major conurbations, such as Newcastle, York and Leeds.

“In fact, many people commute to London on a weekly basis as it is only two-and-a-half hours away by train.”

Robin says there has been a shortage of good property coming on to the market and a growing number of house hunters.

“This part of North Yorkshire is still largely a well-kept secret but we’ve noticed that there are many people moving from East, West and South Yorkshire to join us.”