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The 10 best and worst places to live in England

Given the whole of England to choose from, where should you live? Which places are the best? What does ‘best’ even mean? Obviously the answer is pretty subjective – after all, our requirements for commuting, local amenities and other such factors are different. However, as our mission is to help people decide where to live, we’ve done some analysis of our own  to rank and compare different areas across the whole of England.

We’ve used three sources of Open Data for this analysis – the 2010 economic deprivation index produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the reported health of citizens from the 2011 census, and schools performance data published by Ofsted. We think the three factors this data represents – economy, health, education – can be combined to provide a decent measure of the ‘quality’ of an area, and how good (or bad!) it is to live there.

We did our analysis at a ward level. There are approximately 7500 wards in England. For schools, we scored each ward based on the schools within it and in neighbouring wards. We did not have enough data for about 470 of the wards to be able to compare them like-for-like, so have excluded them from the final analysis, resulting in the holes you can see in the map. Areas on the map of the same colour indicate they are in the same decile from our rankings.



So, according to our rankings, what are the 10 best places to live in England? Here they are:

Best 10 areas to live in England

  1. Valley Park – Southampton, Hampshire
  2. Englefield Green East – Staines, Surrey
  3. Hale Central – Altrincham, Greater Manchester
  4. Heatherside – Camberley, Surrey
  5. Bishop’s Stortford Silverleys – Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire
  6. Blackheath and Wonersh – Guildford, Surrey
  7. Hedge End Grange Park – Southampton, Hampshire
  8. St. Margaret’s and North Twickenham – Richmond, Greater London
  9. Fleeth North – Fleet, Hampshire
  10. Weybridge South – Weybridge, Surrey

The top 10 is dominated by areas in the south of England, with 5 areas from Surrey alone. While this may be somewhat expected based on the three factors we included, it’s interesting to note that Southampton has two areas in the top 10, including the number one spot. Of the top 10, Weybridge and Heatherside were nearest to the best schools, Heatherside and Fleet North were the least deprived and Fleet North and Hedge End Grange Park were the most healthy.

Now on the opposite end of the scale, here’s the results for the 10 worst places to live in England:

Worst 10 areas to live in England

  1. Golf Green – Clacton-on-Sea, Essex
  2. Bank Hall – Burnley, Lancashire
  3. Orchard Park and Greenwood – Kingston-upon-Hull
  4. Daneshouse with Stoneyholme – Burnley, Lancashire
  5. Central – Accrington, Lancashire
  6. Talbot – Blackpool, Lancashire
  7. Rush Green – Clacton-on-Sea, Essex
  8. East Marsh – Grimsby, Lincolnshire
  9. Mablethorpe Central – Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire
  10. Dearne North – Thurnscoe, South Yorkshire

Do you live in any of our best or worst places? Do you agree or disagree with them? Tweet us @locatable and let us know what you think. Don’t forget you can also use the Locatable search engine to find the best places to live based on your own needs!

Locatable is a platform offering a number of tools to make managing your home a breeze. If you houseshare or flatshare, check out our newest addition to the family to split bills and eliminate awkward conversations about money – Splittable! www.splittable.co


Economic Depivation Index – Released under the Open Government License v 1.0.

Ofsted Data for Maintained and Independent schools – Released under the Open Government License v 1.0.

Reported Health Data (.XLS file) – Adapted from data from the Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v.1.0.

26 Responses to The 10 best and worst places to live in England

  1. Paul Dineen says:

    Just wanted to point out that Fleet is in the county of Hampshire, not Surrey.

  2. GEOFF BANWELL says:


  3. Locatable says:

    Thanks Paul – we’ve updated accordingly. Do you know Fleet? Do you think it deserves to be up there in the list?

  4. jessica h. says:

    My fiance and i are contemplating moving to the UK from the US. He still has family there (his grandmother was british), so we do have their input, but as for me doing my own research this has actually helped. Of course we will be visiting a lot before we make a final decision.

  5. Jennifer Leadbitter says:

    I would just like to pint out that Englefield Green is in fact in Egham Surrey not Staines as Staines is in Middlesex

  6. Jennifer Leadbitter says:

    Englefield green is in egham Surrey Staines is in fact in Middlesex

  7. James says:

    Proud to live in accrington and support Stanley

  8. Adele Cullumbine says:

    I moved from Yorkshire almost twenty years ago to Mablethorpe. … your chart is utter crap. Yes it may be in need of a cash input into the town to enable us to keep up with the 21st century but it is a beautiful part of country with a very low crime rate. Good schools. Blue flag beaches etc etc….. if its that bad why on earth does the town attract tens of thousands of tourists every week all year round?

  9. bobby says:

    Mablethorpe has lovely long stretching golden blue flag award beaches. Retired people make up the majority of the population and is a very sort after resort where people of retirement age want to live due to the low crime rates and a safe feel when walking down the streets. I am disgusted that anyone could put it in the top 10 of worst places to live

  10. Bryan says:

    I live just outside Accrington and it should definitely be higher up on this list! What an absolute sh#thole it is! The only good thing to come out of this place is the M65!

  11. Mark says:

    Whats up with Accrington, people who move away always move back….

  12. anon says:

    Surely a more accurate description of the study would be ‘best/worst place to grow up’ or ‘best/worst place to be born’, given that you have chosen health and education as factors. I would have thought crime rate might appear as a factor. I actually live in and am from one of the worst places on your list and was astonished to see it in there, given the wealth of reputable educational establishments we have. I would admit that economically, it is not as booming as London, but we certainly have a lot of nice, affordable housing, making it more accommodating. Healthwise, I would admit that things could improve, but i think that is a nationwide problem. I think he criteria above may be too vague.

  13. Fred F says:

    I live in Accrington central and so sad to see what the results are when the majority of people are friendly and helpful. It’s not a war zone. And it’s not that bad compared to areas of other boroughs and towns in the area.

  14. Lisa says:

    Think it’s very unfair for burnley to be on the list twice I’ve lived in burnley all my life there’s good and bad like everywhere else but there is also some very nice areas here too burnley always gets slated

  15. ryan says:

    Thurnscoe isn’t even that bad there’s places worse, such as goldthorpe!

  16. emma says:

    Bank hall burnley?? Lol thats in stoneyholme/daneshouse/dukebar aka Islamabad listed as two seperate locations when they are the same bloody place!

  17. keely says:

    I live in Accrington central, and I hate it most of the time. Dirty needles on my property, aggressive homeless people, rude taxi drivers, endless amounts of jobless scroungers…..English and foreign!
    But, I own a coffee shop and we have some lovely customers and there are fantastic people here too! Plus peel park primary school has been rated as the best school out of 500 schools across Lancashire.
    So there’s good and bad in every area!

  18. Sophie says:

    Blackburn used to be alright but it’s growing worse by the minute. It’s definitely a candidate for the worst places and I was born there. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my home when I was little but it’s become a dirty area with several grimy living areas and it’s often scary to walk through.

  19. Martyn says:

    How on earth is scunthorpe not on that list! Though its close enough to grimsby and mablethorpe to be guilty by association

  20. Helena.L says:

    I live in Accrington and all I can say is there’s worst places I’ve lived and seen. There’s not enough funding in the place it’s like the town time forgot but there is lovely area’s too in Accrington.im quite sad that it’s been rated 5th worst area..this needs showing to the council they need to pull their fingers out

  21. Kay says:

    I live in Mablethorpe and love it here. I would never go back to the city. We have a beautiful beach and there is plenty of work. (for those that actually want it..)

  22. Jax says:

    Golf Green ward is in Jaywick not Clacton.