Tag: UK

The Best Cities to Live in the UK

The Best Cities to Live in the UK

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Ever sat and wondered where the best place to live in the UK actually is? Wonder no longer, we’ve got the answer! Provident have been working hard to survey each UK city as part of their Unbroken Britain report. They went to major UK towns and cities and asked residents to rate their local area (from 1-10) on a number of key factors. With their data and key info gained from our own Property Detective reports, we can definitively tell you where the best cities to live in the UK are.

Top 10 Safest UK Cities

What are the safest cities in the UK? We wanted to offer more insight than just residents’ perception of their hometown. We’ve run a PD report on the central postcode of each location to give accurate crime stats to support (or disprove) Provident’s findings.

10. Norwich – 7.5 Average Rating

Residents of Norwich feel pretty safe in their city. With an average score of 7.5, there’s a generally positive feeling towards living in the area. Before packing up your bags and moving your family to the East Anglian spot, crime rates dramatically vary around the different spots in the city. The centre for instance (NR3 3AT) sees 521% more crime than the national average.

9. Worcester – 7.51 Average Rating

The perception of safety in the West Midlands city has actually dropped since Provident’s September survey. Maybe this could be an indication of seasonal crime, or even the difference in people surveyed. With 747 crimes reported in the central postcode (WR1 3LE), we understand why.

8. Swansea – 7.54 Average Rating

People in Swansea feel pretty good about their city. With a 7.54 average rating, you could say it’s believed to be a suitably safe city to live. The centre of a city is usually where most crime is committed however Swansea’s central postcode (SA1 1EE) has seen 1036 offences in the last year, the majority of which being antisocial behaviour.

7. Edinburgh – 7.67 Average Rating

Edinburgh in renowned for being a welcoming and friendly city, according to its residents it’s a pretty safe one too! With a 7.67 average rating, there’s a generally pleasant view of the local area among its population.

6. Wrexham – 7.72 Average Rating

If you’re looking to move to a spot you’ll feel comfortable, you can’t go too far wrong with Wrexham. The city had a seriously high 7.72 average rating among its surveyed population. The city centre (LL11 2AH) features pretty low in comparison to other cities in our top ten list with 533 crimes reported in the last year.

5. Southampton – 7.75 Average Rating

The pleasant harbour town of Southampton is a great place to live according to those asked by Povident. With a 7.75 safety rating, there’s little to complain about in the coastal destination. The central postcode (SO14 0AB) sees a pretty high level of crime with 1064 reported offences in the last year.

4. Aberystwyth – 7.76 Average Rating

In Provident’s September report, Aberystwyth came in as the safest spot to live. Six months later and the company’s March report has seen the city drop to fourth. So how safe is it? With the city centre postcode (SY23 1LH) seeing only 274 crimes reported in the last year, it’s head and shoulders above every other entry on our top ten list so far.

3. York – 7.77 Average Rating

York’s a great place to live isn’t it? With a booming 7.77 rating for safety, we’re looking at one of the top UK cities. The central postcode (YO1 8QT) has a relatively high level of reported crime with 902 reported incidents in the last year.

2. Plymouth – 7.78 Average Rating

According to its residents, Plymouth is one of the safest cities in the country. According to our crime stats, Plymouth’s central postcode (PL1 1EA) has a very reasonable 610 reported crimes in the last year.

1. Aberdeen – 7.82 Average Rating

Aberdeen hits top spot for safety. The residents of the city have had their say and give the Scottish city the title of safest in the UK.

Top 10 Most Welcoming UK Cities

Next up on Provident’s survey of the UK is the most welcoming cities in the UK. Again, residents were asked to score themselves from 1-10. Here’s how they ranked.

10. Coventry – 6.91 average score

9. Cardiff – 6.92 average score

8. Southampton – 6.93 average score

7. Birmingham – 6.95 average score

6. Wrexham – 6.95 average score

5. Worcester – 7.08 average score

4. Aberystwyth – 7.1 average score

3. Swansea – 7.12 average score

2. Gloucester – 7.14 average score

1. York – 7.43 average score


Top 10 Friendliest UK Cities

It’s an interesting activity to ask residents of a city how friendly their local area is. Provident did this and some interesting results appeared. Here’s the top 10. (Interesting fact: London came in 30th on this poll).

10. Cardiff – 6.99 average score

9. Edinburgh – 7.03 average score

8. Birmingham – 7.04 average score

7. Southampton – 7.04 average score

6. Wrexham – 7.12 average score

5. Aberystwyth – 7.14 average score

4. Aberdeen – 7.16 average score

3. Swansea – 7.31 average score

2. Gloucester – 7.32 average score

1. York – 7.47 average score


Top 10 Politest UK Cities

How polite is your city? It’s interesting to see how these 10 cities differ from the most welcoming and friendliest cities. Here’s the list.

10. Manchester – 7.13 average score

9. Coventry – 7.17 average score

8. Edinburgh – 7.19 average score

7. Aberdeen – 7.22 average score

6. Aberystwyth – 7.24 average score

5. Southampton – 7.33 average score

4. Gloucester – 7.36 average score

3. Swansea – 7.4 average score

2. Wrexham – 7.42 average score

1. York – 7.59 average score

Top 10 UK Cities for Area Upkeep

Next on Provident’s report is area upkeep. How well maintained do the citizens of the UK think their city is? Sorry to anyone from Sheffield, you came in last on this one.

10. Southampton – 7.14 average score

9. York – 7.19 average score

8. Gloucester – 7.2 average score

7. Edinburgh – 7.24 average score

6. Coventry – 7.26 average score

5. Swansea – 7.26 average score

4. Aberystwyth – 7.33 average score

3. Worcester – 7.35 average score

2. Aberdeen – 7.36 average score

1. Wrexham – 7.39 average score

Top 10 Happiest UK Cities

Do the residents of your city walk around with a smile permanently glued to their face? Or are you in one of the UK’s grumpy hotspots? Interestingly, Sheffield came bottom on this poll with London not far behind at 28th.

10. Coventry – 7.19 average score

9. Brighton and Hove – 7.21 average score

8. Manchester – 7.22 average score

7. Aberystwyth – 7.24 average score

6. Swansea – 7.3 average score

5. Aberdeen – 7.34 average score

4. Gloucester – 7.39 average score

3. York – 7.39 average score

2. Wrexham – 7.46 average score

1. Worcester – 7.47 average score

So it’s official, if you’re looking to relocate, we’ve got a few suggestions for you. When you do move, be sure to get all the facts about your new area. Find out about local crime rates, amenities, schools, noise pollution, flight paths, transport routes and much more with a Property Detective report.

10 London Underground Facts Ever Commuter Needs to Know - Picture of London Underground Train

10 London Underground Facts Every Commuter Needs to Know

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In 1884 the Circle line opened and was described by The Times as ‘a form of mild torture, which no person would undergo if he could conveniently help it’. Despite many changes to the London Underground network since, popular opinion remains the same. Considering this, we thought we’d look back at some of the most intriguing and interesting London Underground facts. Give thought to the 249 mile tube network, there’s more than meets the eye. If you’re more interested in having a moan, be sure to check out our list of the worst tube lines.

10. You Can Never Miss the Last Train

This is a rarely helpful fact that could actually change your last minute dash for the train. Once you’ve tapped in, there’s no need to race down the escalator to catch the last train home. Once you’re through the barriers the station staff will radio to the driver and ask them to wait. This is no excuse to stop for a chat on the way though, other passengers are waiting for you too.

9. Don’t Believe the Signs

Ever walked past a sign that tells you how many steps on a staircase in the Underground? Don’t believe what it tells you, it’s a complete fib. The number of steps on each staircase is different at most stations. Here’s a full list of the accused:

  • Belsize Park – 189 steps (sign says 219)
  • Russell Square – 171 steps (sign says 175)
  • Elephant & Castle – 117 steps (sign says 124)
  • Tottenham Court Road – 116 steps (sign says 99)
  • Queensway – 126 steps (sign says 123)
  • Kentish Town – 117 steps (sign says 121)
  • Tufnell Park – 116 steps (sign says 110)
  • Old Street – 109 steps (sign says 100)
  • Holland Park – 93 steps (sign says 92 steps)

8. A Few Guineas for the Most Popular Image in London

The London Underground map is one of the most recognised images in the world of transport. It’s even inspired other nations to follow suit. Despite this, the image was met with doubt by transit authorities. Thankfully, the guide to the capital’s transport network was so popular with commuters it became the cornerstone of London culture. For his trouble, creator Harry Beck was given 10 guineas – that’s only about £5.25 to us.

7. War-Time Relics

London Underground has a deep history of involvement in World War Two. It’s common knowledge that many stations were air raid shelters but these tunnels offer more war-time secrets. In fact, it was from Goodge Street Underground Station that General Eisenhower broadcast the announcement of the invasion of France on 6th June 1944. It was also told that the British Museum stored some of it treasures in a branch of the Piccadilly line. The Central Line, specifically between Newbury Park and Leytonstone, was even the site of an aircraft factory.

6. Some Commuters Need Padded Cells

The original carriages of the Underground were not a pleasant place to be at all. Carriages were small and cramped with the only air coming from ventilators above. The coaches were nicknamed ‘padded cells’ due to the high backed bench seats and very small ceiling windows.

5. Ghost Stations Exist

You may have heard of the numerous ‘ghost stations’ which are no longer used today. These do in fact exist and some hide an intriguing past. First we have British Museum Station, between Tottenham Court Road and Holborn, which hasn’t been used since 1932. Then we have Down Street which was once used as a bunker by Winston Churchill during the Second World War before the Cabinet War Rooms were built. Then we have a station set to be named North End, sitting between Hampstead and Golders Green which never opened. Aldwych Station, which closed in 1994, is now commonly used as a film set.

4. Nature’s Playground

It may surprise you to learn that over half the London Underground network is above ground. In fact, the 4,000 hectares of land that surround the Tube’s tracks are actually a safe haven to many forms of wildlife. From bats to badgers, reptiles to beetles and even water voles all take up permanent residency on your commute. There have even been sightings of deer, snakes, newts and woodpeckers on the tube lines. It’s also widely reported that a species of mosquito has evolved specifically to live in the London Underground network. Yes, you heard that right, TFL are responsible for the evolution of mosquitos.

3. Aldgate Station is Nothing but a Plague Pit

It is believed that Aldgate Station sits upon a massive plague pit where over a thousand bodies have been buried. These pits were used as mass graves for victims of the 1665 and 1666 Bubonic Plague. Daniel Defoe, author of Robinson Crusoe wrote a piece titled ‘A Journal of the Plague Year’. In this he described the Aldgate pit; ‘it was about forty feet in length, and about fifteen or sixteen feet broad, and at the time I first looked at it, about nine feet deep; but it was said they dug it near twenty feet deep afterwards in one part, till they could go no deeper…’ It’s enough to make you shudder into your skinny chai latte.

Picture of TFL Lost Property Office

2. Anyone Lost a Leg?

Lost Property is generally a boring topic of discussion. This isn’t the case when it comes to the London Underground. When an entire transport network opens its doors to roughly 1.34 billion people every year, there’s a lot of lost luggage. TFL’s Lost Property department is possibly one of the most intriguing hordes in the country. Here you can find everything from a prosthetic leg, judge’s wig, £15,000 in cash, urn of ashes, false teeth, a stuffed puffer fish, coffin, jar of bull sperm or even two human skulls. We wonder what you have to do to prove ownership of the £15,000 cash.

1. Eau De Underground

In 2001, London Underground attempted to integrate its very own fragrance. It began with three trial stations where its scent ‘Madeleine’ was applied to the floor and released by passengers’ footsteps. Described as ‘a fresh, watery floral bouquet of rose and jasmine, combined with citrus top notes, tiny touches of fruit and herbs, giving way to woody accents and a hint of sweetness in the base’. The scent lasted only a day after passengers complained of feeling nauseous.

So whether you’re a London Undergound aficionado or plague weary Aldgate commuter, you’ve got some intriguing facts to accompany your travels. If you’re looking to move house and want to find out more about your transport links, along with other handy info like noise pollution and crime stats, fill out a Property Detective report.

The UK's 10 Youngest Towns by Population

The 10 Youngest Towns in the UK by Population

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Last week we brought to you the 10 UK towns with the oldest populations. Now we’re bringing you the UK’s 10 youngest towns by population. As with our last post, all data here is comes from the Office for National Statistics. The data here corresponds to geographical areas known as LSOAs (lower layer super output areas).

10. Haringey 029C – 19.8 Average Age

Overall Haringey covers more than 11 square miles, the London Borough of Haringey hosts some famous London landmarks including Alexandra Palace, Bruce Castle, Jacksons Lane, Highpoint I and II as well as Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. There are some deep contrasts within the borough. Areas like Highgate, Muswell Hill and Crouch End are deeply affluent while others are classified as being some of the most deprived in the country.

9. East Northamptonshire 002E – 19.6 Average Age

Bordering the city of Peterborough, the district of East Northamptonshire has a population of roughly 87,000. With market towns and quaint villages, this area offers a mix or rural and urban culture.

8. Harrow 029D – 19.6 Average Age

Sitting on the outskirts of Northwest London, Harrow is a large culturally diverse suburban town. The borough offers a mixture of contemporary and historic sites with a high proportion of Georgian architecture. This self-contained urban town was initially a borough of Middlesex before being included in the Greater London region in 1965.

7. West Dorset 001E – 19.5 Average Age

West Dorset is a place of contrasts. Renowned for its elderly population, the LSOA 001E goes against the wider regional trends with an average age of only 19.5. There’s no denying the rural and tranquil feel of the wider area with its deep rooted heritage and rolling countryside.

6. West Berkshire 011C – 18.6 Average Age

West Berkshire sits between Bristol and London. It has the 21st largest economy in England. Low unemployment and high wages have led the economy to boom. Technology and finance jobs are plentiful in the district.

5. Rutland 005D – 18.6 Average Age

Rutland is the fourth smallest historic county in the UK. It’s home to a large artificial reservoir and plenty of important nature reserves. Rutland is a destination of escape for many city dwellers. Its rural guise and convenient transport routes make it a popular destination to visit. The intimacy of the county is clear to see in its attractive villages and charming market towns.

4. Horsham 008E – 18.4 Average Age

Horsham’s a historic market town in West Sussex. The area was renowned in medieval times for its horse trading, iron and brick making as well as its brewing. Horsham actually holds the UK record for the heaviest hailstorm ever.

3. Bracknell Forest 012D – 18.2 Average Age

Bracknell Forest is a unitary authority in Berkshire covering Bracknell, Sandhurst and Crowthorne. The area is mainly wealthy with unemployment rates far lower than the national average. Property prices are far higher than average.

2. Salford 016E – 17.4 Average Age

Neighbouring Manchester, Salford offers an exciting and vibrant culture with deep sport and art heritage. The area has working class routes with close historic links to the Industrial Revolution. For many years the district’s economy was dependent on manufacturing for the textile and engineering industries though today unemployment is a growing issue.

1. Bury 026E – 17.2 Average Age

Coming in top spot is Bury, Manchester with an average age of just 17.2. This area has a highly diverse population and culture. The Guardian has reported that classes at local primary schools are filled to their 35 child limit.

So now you’ve read about the areas in the UK with the youngest population, now it’s time to find out about the oldest. If you’re looking to move, find out more about your local area with a Property Detective report. Just enter your postcode and we’ll tell you all about the local schools, amenities, travel information, demographics, crime rates and much more.

The 10 oldest towns in the UK by Population - picture of elderly residents of Eastbourne

The 10 Oldest Towns in the UK by Population

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Packing up your bags and moving away for retirement? We’ve got just the thing. Here’s a definitive list of the UK’s oldest towns by population. All data here comes from the Office for National Statistics.

Oh, We Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside

There’s a noticeable trend in the UK’s population age. The elderly seem to be drawn to the seaside. Is it the salty sea air’s life-giving qualities or simply the desire to retire somewhere peaceful? We’re unsure just yet, though the latter is possibly more accurate. Whatever the cause may be, here are the ten UK towns with the oldest populations. The data looked at LSOA (lower layer super output area) geographical areas so there are some repetitions in our list.

10. Wealden 018A – 67.2 Average Age

This rural East Sussex district is a picturesque 323 square miles characterised by fields, ancient woodland and welcoming villages. Hugging the South Coast, this area offers a pastoral feel set to the backdrop of rolling British countryside.

9. South Lakeland 013D – 67.9 Average Age

It’s no surprise South Lakeland features on this list. Firmly rooted in the Lake District, the area is renowned for its natural beauty and unique culture. Quaint villages and an active community are big draws of this Cumbrian region.

8. East Dorset 011A – 68 Average Age

There’s been a boom in East Dorset’s popularity in recent years. Rapid expansions in housing has seen the population quadruple since the 1970s. This is due to its desirable location, sitting close to the New Forest, Bournemouth and the Dorset coast. Despite this, much of the area still retains its rural identity.

7. Christchurch 003B – 68.3 Average Age

Christchurch stole news headlines back in 2014 with the UK’s oldest average population, today it’s dropped a few places down to 7. The town still can’t quite shake its reputation for being ‘the town that’s glad to be grey’. Covering 19.5 square miles, the coastal Dorset town is one of the UK’s most popular retirement destinations.

6. Poole 018B – 68.8 Average Age

Another Dorset town gleefully takes its place in our top 10 list. The large coastal town and seaport is very much a tourist destination with the natural harbour, arts centre and Blue Flag beaches being key attractions. The RNLI headquarters, Royal Marines base and University lend the town a vibrant culture.

5. Christchurch 003A – 68.9 Average Age


4. East Devon 020B – 69.1 Average Age

Renowned for its beaches East Devon is an area for relaxation and comfort. The coastline has recently been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its high number of prehistoric remains. Sloping valleys, idyllic villages and diverse wildlife are all key attractions of the region.

3. East Devon 012B – 69.1 Average Age


2. King’s Lynn and West Norfolk 017D – 69.7 Average Age

Stooped in history with a vibrant culture, King’s Lynn and West Norfolk offers a natural and untouched allure. Whether you find yourself in the town itself or one of its many surrounding parishes, you’ll notice the relaxed pace of its residents.

1. Eastbourne 012B – 71.5 Average Age

Move to Eastbourne for a simple, fuss-free lifestyle. With the UK’s highest average population age of 71.5 years, this is a place to kick back and watch the world go by. Why not stroll towards the croquet club for some afternoon entertainment before soaking up the sun at the famous pier. Situated on the South Coast, Eastbourne is surrounded by Wealden which comes in tenth on our list, proving that it really is a haven for the older generations.

So there it is, the country’s ten oldest towns. If you’re looking to move, find out more about your local area with a Property Detective report. Simply enter your post code and we’ll tell you all about the local schools, amenities, travel information, neighbourhood demographics, crime rates, noise pollution and much, much more.