1. ITV Report

50 best rural places to live

Uttlesford area tops the list Photo: ITV Anglia

With last year’s winner Waverley - which is home to towns like Godalming, Haslemere and Farnham - dropping back to third in 2014, Uttlesford tops the annual survey this year.

The annual Halifax Rural Areas Quality of Life Survey takes a wide range of factors into account, including residents' health and life expectancy, crime rate, weather, employment, school results, broadband access, and personal wellbeing.

This is the first time Uttlesford has come top, although prior to this the Essex District had made the top five on three separate occasions, coming second in 2013, third in 2011, and fourth in 2010.

1.Uttlesford - East of England

2.South Northamptonshire - East Midlands

3.Waverley - South East

4.East Hertfordshire - East of England

5.Rushcliffe - East Midlands

6.South Cambridgeshire - East of England

7.Vale of White Horse - South East

8.Chiltern - South East

9.Mid Sussex - South East

10.South Kesteven - East Midlands

11.North Kesteven - East Midlands

12.Rutland - East Midlands

13.East Cambridgeshire - East of England

14.East Hampshire - South East

15.Maldon - East of England

16.South Norfolk - East of England

17.Melton - East Midlands

18.Mid Suffolk - East of England

19.St Edmundsbury - East of England

20.Malvern Hills - West Midlands

21.Aylesbury Vale - South East

22.Test Valley - South East

23.Ryedale - Yorkshire and the Humber

24.Orkney Islands - Scotland

25.New Forest - South East

26.West Dorset - South West

27.Tonbridge and Malling - South East

28.South Oxfordshire - South East

29.Hambleton - Yorkshire and The Humber

30.Broadland - East of England

31.North Dorset - South West

32.Harborough - East Midlands

33.Selby - Yorkshire and the Humber

34.Cotswold - South West

35.North West Leicestershire - East Midlands

36.West Berkshire - South East

37.Wychavon - West Midlands

38.Tewkesbury - South West

39.West Oxfordshire - South East

40.Suffolk Coastal - East of England

41.Babergh - East of England

42.Wiltshire - South West

43.Shetland Islands - Scotland

44.Huntingdonshire - East of England

45.East Dorset - South West

46.Cherwell - South East

47.Wealden - South East

48.Tandridge - South East

49.Newark and Sherwood - East Midlands

50.East Devon - South West

Three reasons to live in the south east of England:

  1. Average earnings remain highest in the South East, with Chiltern (£926 per week) and Waverley (£902) taking the top two spots, ahead of East Hertfordshire (£825) in the East of England.
  1. The proportion of adults (16 years and over) with the highest level of qualification gained (such as a degree, NVQ level 4 and above or professional qualification) is the highest in Chiltern (55.0%), followed by Waverley (54.0%).
  1. The lowest average annual rainfall is in Maldon (552mm) in Essex. The top five sunniest districts in Great Britain are all in the South East.

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