Sunday Times Best Places to Live: The 8 best places to live in Scotland as North Berwick tops UK list

The seaside town was selected by a panel of judges from The Sunday Times

North Berwick has been named the best place in the UK to live in a recent survey by The Sunday Times.

The seaside town in East Lothian came in first place out of 72 locations across the UK, with judges impressed by the combination of its great high street, beaches, local school, and its easy connections to Edinburgh.

It is the first time a Scottish location has come out on top in the 12-year history of Best Places to Live. Seven other areas in Scotland were selected in the annual guide, including the West End of Dundee, which was selected as an area winner, Falkland, East Linton and Leith.

Helen Davies, editorial projects director and Best Places to Live editor, said: “This guide is a celebration of towns, cities and villages that are each a fantastic place to live in 2024, from Dunkeld to Knutsford, Falmouth to Leeds. Wherever you are on the property ladder, there will be somewhere to suit you.

“These are all places where you can feel grounded as well as upwardly mobile: they have a mature sense of community, lively, supportive high streets and an eye to the future, whether that is eco-friendly measures, transport and regeneration, or imaginative inclusion of new housing.”

The Sunday Times’s expert judges visited all the locations and assessed factors from schools to transport, broadband speeds to culture, as well as access to green spaces and the health of the high street - and this year there were more new entries than ever before.

Ms Davies added: “What makes our guide unique is that we actually visit all the places we choose and talk to locals to find out what life is really like there. That means we can see what people really love about the places they live. That might be fast commutes and high-achieving schools but also clean water to swim in, lively town centres with useful shops, the possibility of earning a living and being part of a friendly community. “

The guide was sponsored by the mortgage lender Halifax, which provided an average house price for each location. Kim Kinnaird, Halifax’s homes and protection director said: “We know it can be daunting whether it’s deciding where to buy your first home or making a move as your circumstances change. With a great range of locations suited for different budgets and family situations, alongside a great mix of both rural and urban locations, this is a great place to start.”

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