Leeds has been named best place to live in the north by The Times

‘The best and buzziest city in the north’ is right here in Leeds.

It’s official.

Leeds has come up top as the best place to live in the north and northeast by The Times.

In the annual ‘best places to live list’, our city was recognised for its ‘youthful energy’ and it’s opportunities to thrive that aren’t limited by age, or position on the property ladder: “the chance to be rich and enriched, to live a good life on a good salary”.

The salary and career-climbing opportunities are quickly pointed to in the article, nodding to some of the big names that have set up in Leeds, making the city the UK’s biggest financial and legal centre outside London, and a true ‘northern powerhouse’ with the ‘best-paying jobs in the provinces, ahead of Bristol, Cambridge and Manchester’.

And in terms of things to do, The Times recognised the limitless potential of Leeds, naming everything from Opera North, (“the only city outside London to have its own theatres, ballet and opera house”), the Royal Armouries and the Henry Moore Institute in the city centre, before praising our ‘funky neighbourhoods’ in the suburbs.

Chapel Allerton is a Sunday Times favourite, and has featured on its best places to live list for a number of years, but The Times praised the suburb here for “its tarted-up terraces and the award-winning cheesemonger George & Joseph”; before moving on to highlight Headingley, “where young families dodge students on the Otley Run (two and a half miles of pubs and bars, usually in fancy dress),” as well as Meanwood, Oakwood and Roundhay, “where 1920s and 1930s semis back on to shopping parades and well-kept parks.”

Other notable mentions for Leeds will come as no surprise for locals: Kirkgate Market, the Corn Exchange and Trinity were all noted as top shopping spots whilst Salvo’s and The Vinyl Whistle in Headingley; Tandem in Headingley and The Little Bookshop in Chapel Allerton all make ideal locations to pass the afternoon away in the outskirts of the city.

The Times noted that towns and cities across the UK were chosen this year for their ability to suit everyone: “whether they’re first-time buyers looking for city life, families seeking schools, healthy activities and green space, or active downsizers looking to enjoy the best of the great outdoors”.

Previous national winners, including nearby York, that have “high house prices driven by high demand” did not make the cut this year, and instead the judges searched for “improving locations with a strong sense of community rather than high house prices driven by high demand.”

Whilst Leeds was the overall best in the north, there were additional places in West Yorskhire that received a favourable mention from the judges: including Saltaire “A fancy, funky and functional village vibe within commuting distance of Leeds and Bradford” and Boston Spa “Move over Harrogate and put a spring in your step — this village’s Costcutter offers fine wines”.

You can read the full list on The Times here.

Feature Image – Unsplash

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