ILKLEY NAMED BEST PLACE TO LIVE IN THE NORTH
Other locations in the region’s top 10 include Alnmouth, Barnard Castle, Chapel Allerton, Easingwold, Masham, Slaithwaite, Todmorden, Tynemouth and York. Stroud in Gloucestershire was named as the overall Best Place to Live in Britain.
Patrick McCutcheon, head of residential at Dacre, Son & Hartley, which has 20 offices in West and North Yorkshire, said: “This is another fantastic accolade for Ilkley and is great news for its residents. Demand for property in Ilkley is as high as ever because it ticks so many boxes for local homebuyers, as well as those relocating to Yorkshire from other parts of the UK, which we’ve seen a big increase in since the start of the pandemic, meaning there’s a shortage of homes currently for sale locally.
“Homebuyers are attracted by its surrounding countryside, rail links to Leeds and Bradford, excellent schools, sports clubs, a beautiful park offering riverside walks and bustling town centre full of shops, bars and restaurants consisting of great independent names as well as leading national brands. Crucially, Ilkley also offers a vast range of homes, ranging from apartments and traditional terraces through to grand houses sitting in acres of land.”
Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times property editor, said: “This guide has never been so important. The pandemic has taught us just how much we rely on our homes, our communities and our surroundings. With working from home now common, it’s no surprise that many of us are reassessing our priorities and thinking hard about where we really want to live.
“Our focus for this year has been community, countryside and convenience. It hasn’t been a year for big cities or small villages. Instead, it is small towns that have shone: big enough to have everything you need within walking distance and small enough for everyone to feel connected.
“Ilkley has a beating community heart, a business brain, culture and a good sense of humour. It’s also got excellent schools, great shops in its town centre and is within easy reach of both Leeds and the stunning scenery of the Yorkshire Dales, with its own magical moor as the icing on the cake.”
The judges assess a wide range of factors, including schools, air quality, transport, broadband speeds, culture, green spaces and the health of the high street to compile the list. They also look for improving locations with attractive, well designed homes and areas bursting with community spirit.
Describing Ilkley, the judges said: “Ilkley has everything our judges are looking for. They were impressed by the excellent transport links, magnificent scenery and an energetic, environmentally minded community that showed its strength in the successful campaign against pollution in the River Wharfe.
“There’s plenty to do - tennis, rugby, cycling with the largest club in the country, and swimming in the beautiful lido - and plenty to get involved in. Initiatives cover everything from helping out at the literature festival to working to make Ilkley dementia-friendly. They also admired the thriving high street and the excellent selection of places to eat and drink, from authentic espresso at La Stazione to fine dining at the venerable Box Tree.”