City workers looking for a country escape may want to try Rutland, which Halifax has today named as the best area in the UK for rural quality of life.
“Rutland has moved up 11 places to the top spot in the 2015 Halifax Rural Areas Quality of Life Survey. Taking a wide range of economic and social factors into account residents here can now lay claim to having the highest standard of living in rural Britain,” said Craig McKinlay, mortgages director, Halifax.
The country’s smallest county boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the country and less rainfall per year than the national average.
Maldon in Essex has the lowest average annual rainfall at 561mm, below the UK average of 878.8mm, but fails to make the top 50 of rural escapes. Taking the train from Rutland’s county town of Oakham can get a commuter to St Pancras in around an hour and a half.
If that journey is too long, Chiltern finishes in second place. Residents in Chiltern have the highest gross weekly earnings of anywhere in the UK at £941. Chiltern is tied with Uttlesford in Essex and Rutland for the largest average houses. Other nearby areas in the top 20 are Waverly, Mid-Sussex, South Oxfordshire, West Oxfordshire, Aylesbury Vale, and Wealden.