Folkestone named the best place to live in the South East

Folkestone, Kent has been named the best place to live in the South East of England in the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide.

The Sunday Times judges said: “Folkestone may have been transformed by its eye-catching culture-led regeneration, but it isn’t only the artists’ studios, the cool shops on the old high street or the chance to sip cocktails on the restored Harbour Arm that make this resort our best place to live in the South East. It also has impressive schools, state-of-the-art sports facilities and high-speed trains to London.” 

Nine other locations in the South East are featured in the comprehensive guide, including a first-ever appearance for Milton Keynes. 

The 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.

Published by The Sunday Times, the guide includes 72 locations across the UK and is released on Friday 15 March. An abridged version will be published as a magazine supplement on Sunday. 

The full list of South East locations is as follows. Aside from Folkestone as the winner, it is in no particular order:

  • Winner: Folkestone, Kent 
  • Chorleywood, Hertfordshire 
  • Farnham, Surrey 
  • Hove, Brighton & Hove 
  • Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire 
  • St Albans, Hertfordshire 
  • Sevenoaks, Kent 
  • Stockbridge, Hampshire 
  • Wadhurst, East Sussex 
  • Winchester, Hampshire 

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 Best Places to Live guide has again been sponsored by the mortgage lender Halifax, which has provided an average house price for each location. 

Kim Kinnaird, Halifax’s homes and protection director, said: “Where you want to live is a very personal decision. We know it can be daunting whether it’s deciding where to buy your first home or making a move as your circumstances change. 

“There can be lots to think about around what is right for you and your family. 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.”

Broadband speeds were provided by Thinkbroadband.com, the UK’s leading independent guide to broadband.

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