Orkney is the best place to live in the UK, with cheap homes, low crime rates, good schools and a population that are among the happiest and healthiest in the country, according to the annual Halifax Quality of Life Survey.
The study found that all five best places to live in the UK are in Scotland or north of England. Richmondshire is in the north of Yorkshire Deal, and Edmonton's third district in Cumbria.
Southeastern England has dominated the survey, but with inaccessible homes, heavy traffic, and large-scale classes in the classroom, it has fallen to the table, with half of the 50 largest places now outside the region.
Only two parts of London sank into the top 50 – Westminster, in 15th place, and Richmond Thames on the 4th.
The previous advantages of the South, which Halifax says are high levels of employment, income, more sunlight and less rainfall, are obscured by better accessibility of housing to the north, quieter roads, lower crime rates and more space, as well as lower average sizes in primary schools. better educational outcomes.
At 530 miles from London and 40 minutes by ferry from John O Groots in the far north of Scotland, Orkney is one of the most remote locations in the UK. But the islands have the best work experience in the United Kingdom, with 88% of the population aged 16 to 64 at work, compared to the UK average of 74%.
A total of 97% of the population describes themselves as good or fairly good health, while average crime is 5.9 per 10,000 people, compared to the UK average of 44.1. The size of the school classes is small – only 18.6 children in the class compared to 27.1 at national level and the results of the exams are excellent. About 75% receive five or more SCQFs at level 4, which is basically equivalent to GCSE. This helps pupils spend the highest in the UK, at 9,662 pounds, compared to the average of £ 4,633 in the UK.
Average house prices in Orkney are £ 173,349, Halifax says, meaning local workers can afford home with 5.2 times local income, compared to 7.3 at the national level.
James Stockan, the leader of the Orkney Islands Council, said: "It is very pleasant that Orkney has taken the crown for the best quality of life in the UK. This is not only for our environment but also for the people who live here who combine a traditional sense of community with an advanced, self-confident, ambitious attitude that makes this a very special place to live and work. ,
"However, we are not without our challenges – our worst winter days, albeit wildly dramatic, may be too much for some, as the old advice is that you have to go through a winter here to find out if Orkney really is for you."
There was one area in the United Kingdom that headed Orkney for the level of happiness – the Rushmoor council area in Hampshire. The result may be a surprise to the residents of Aldershot in Rushmore, abandoned by M & S, whose high street is a cemetery of trade names. But Rushmoor also covers Farnborough and other green areas with concentrated wealth.
The Halifax survey examined a wide range of factors and revealed other large sales locations:
Want a big house? The county of the UK with the largest average size of the home is not in some rich part of Surrey, and in the middle of Ulster in Northern Ireland.
Like the sun? White Island has the most sunshine in the UK – 36.9 hours a week.
Do I hate the wet days? Castle Point in Essex has the lowest rainfall in the United Kingdom at 525 mm per year compared to 870 mm for the country.
Do you want less traffic? Head to the western islands of Scotland for the quietest roads.
Do you need an ultra-fast broadband connection? Great Manchester is the best place.
Looking for the best start in life? The children in Rutland have the best results at school.
Are you looking for some peace? The Northern Irish border may be the most tense element of the Brexit debate, but people living on the border are reporting the lowest levels of anxiety in the UK. Adults in Nuri, Morn and Down were worried about 1.9, compared to the UK average of 2.9.
Like many pubs? Then go to Eden in Cumbria, which has three times more pubs per head than the UK average.
Orkney: "I often see the northern lights"
Fran Hollinrake, 50, is the custodian of the 12th Century Cathedral of St. Magnus in Orkney
"I moved from Edinburgh 15 years ago and never regretted the decision. I came here for the quality of life and I certainly met my expectations.
"It sounds like a cliche, but it really has a strong sense of community and a sense of pride. I have a better and more fulfilling social life. Maybe 15 or 20 years ago there was not much for young people, but now we have the University of Highlands and Islands, and at work there is a remarkable number of entrepreneurs.
– Wages are relatively low and cost a little higher and you might think someone survives but you adjust to it. You certainly are not getting the next day on Amazon, and the broadband connection is not big. But the opposite is that we have been selected as one of the UK's first places to get 5G.
"People ask about the winter, but I love it. I often see the northern glow. That night the curtains of light almost danced in the sky. But the wind is constantly blowing. You need to get used to this. "