Thinking of relocating to the United Kingdom? Halifax Bank’s annual survey of the best places to live in the UK has just come out, with the district of Hart in Hampshire coming out number one.
Various factors were taken into account, including average wage, cost of living, crime, and average lifespan. While this survey is obviously geared towards residents and not visitors, a nice place to live is generally a nice place to visit.
UK media were quick to notice that all of the top fifty places were in southern England. Northern England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales didn’t win a single entry. As someone who has tromped all over the UK, I find this a bit surprising. The country grows steadily more beautiful the further north you go, and the people become nicer the further you go in any direction from London.
I suspect the Halifax survey is skewed towards economics. London is the UK’s economic powerhouse and the closer you live to it the better your economic opportunities are. Of course bringing cost of living and crime into the picture means London itself doesn’t score very well!
A favorite town of mine, St. Albans, ranked number 11 and may be typical of what Halifax was looking for. A prosperous town with a high average income thanks to its easy commuting distance from London, it’s generally safe and far cheaper than living in the city itself. It also has good shopping and leisure facilities. Click on the link to learn what there is to see in this easy day trip from London.
The Halifax survey also gets skewed to the south thanks to another criteria it takes into account: the weather. How the hell is Orkney supposed to compete with Hampshire when you take the weather into account?So what’s there to see in the Hart District of Hampshire? Its main town of Fleet is only 37 miles from London and there’s a train from Waterloo station. Besides the historic town itself, there’s the Fleet Pond Nature Reserve, shown below in this image courtesy Vicki Jull. Throughout Hart there are various historic sites and areas of natural beauty. The entire region is crisscrossed with historic canals, like the one shown above in this image courtesy David M. Moore.
So if you’re looking for a relaxing day trip from London, you might want to consider the Hart District.