The 9 most desirable places to live and work in England

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The Royal Mail has released its annual ranking of the most desirable to live and work in England.

Many of those areas that make the top of the list aren't where you might expect — with London postcodes notably absent, and the list instead filled with quiet suburban areas dotted around the country.

The ranking of desirable areas was created by the consultancy firm Centre for Economics and Business Research. It used government data based on a range of factors, including good schools, access to green spaces, good employment prospects, working hours, affordable housing and average commuting times.

Take a look at the nine best places to live and work in England.

9. Dronfield, North East Derbyshire

(Tony Godwin / Geograph / CC 3.0)

The North Midlands town is located close to the city of Sheffield, and is only miles away from the picturesque Peak District National Park.

8. Horsforth, Leeds

Located five miles north-west of Leeds city town centre, the quaint Yorkshire town has good employment prospects and affords residents a high quality of life.

7. Ipswich, Suffolk 

The town, located in the south-east of England, is one of the oldest in the UK. In recent years it has undergone extensive redevelopment, with its famous industrial dock area turning into an affluent residential and commercial hub.

6. Eastleigh, Hampshire

(Wikipedia Commons)

The town sits between the large cities of Winchester and Southampton, and is home to a large number of businesses including a major manufacturing plant. It lies on the River Itchen, which is world-famous for fly-fishing.

5. East Cowes, Isle of Wight 

The coastal town, located in the English channel, is the home of many iconic buildings including Norris Castle and Osborne House, the former summer residence of Queen Victoria.

4. Sale, Greater Manchester 

(Wikimedia Commons)

Sale is a thriving commuter town with fast transport links to Manchester's city centre. The town is known for its rugby union club, Sale Sharks.

3. Broadstone, Dorset

Located in the south-west of England, Broadstone is a small town with a bustling centre and a number of highly-rated schools.

2. North and North West Norwich

(Wikimedia Commons)

The area is located just outside Norwich city centre, in the east of England. It has good employment prospects due to its proximity to Norwich, and contains a long stretch of the River Wensum (pictured) as well as the Royal Norwich Golf Club.

1. Bebington, Wirral 

"Located close to the River Mersey, Bebington residents enjoy the ideal balance of living close to work, having access to good schools and high employment rates," said a statement from the Royal Mail.


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