Top Ten Districts to Live 2019
Orkney, the Scottish archipelago known for its historic sites and vast landscapes, has been named the best place to live in the UK.
The area’s high levels of employment and low crime rate, combined with steady health and happiness scores, smaller class sizes in primary schools and strong exam results, saw it knock Hart in Hampshire off the top spot in the 2019 Halifax Quality of Life Survey.
Despite its remote location off the Scottish mainland, Orkney has been a consistently high scorer on the survey, claiming second place for the past two years.
But while Hart has topped the list of the 50 best places to live for five of the past six years, the latest result survey has seen it drop to number 13 in the rankings.
Why is Orkney so popular?
Anne Robertson, a local solicitor and estate agent in the smaller town of Stromness in Orkney, is unsurprised by the area’s new accolade.
She said older Orcadians who may have moved away for work often return to the islands to retire, while younger residents are attracted by the arts and music scene, and the established renewable energy and marine biology industries bring workers and students alike.
“We’ve only got a short distance between us and the north of Scotland, it’s not difficult to access,” she said.
“There’s nothing strange about us coming top of the places to live – it’s the sense of community at the heart of it that people respond to here, whether coming to work or study. And the sun doesn’t shine every day – but it shines enough.”