2 / 10

2. Rutland, East Midlands

Halifax said residents in Rutland have some of the biggest homes in rural Britain, with an average of 6.4 habitable rooms. [Picture: Getty]

Orkney Islands declared Britain's best rural place to live - for the second year in a row

The Orkney Islands have been declared Britain’s best rural place to live – again.

The latest Halifax 2018 Rural Areas Quality of Life Survey put Orkney at the top of the table for the second year in a row, followed by Rutland in the East Midlands in second place, Wychavon in the West Midlands in third place,  Winchester in fourth place and Waverley in the South East in fifth.

The annual study looks at aspects of life including employment, education as well as social and environmental factors to make the findings.

The Orkney Islands kept the top spot after scoring well on employment levels, average spend per pupil on education, low anxiety levels, low crime rates, low primary class sizes and consistently high scores in life satisfaction and happiness.

The North East of England had no places in Halifax’s top 50, with Northumberland ranked at number 95.

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Russell Galley, Managing Director, and Halifax, said: “With strong education and employment levels, low crime rates and residents loving life, not to mention breathtaking wide open spaces, the Orkney Islands have retained the crown of Britain’s best rural place to live.”

He said rural areas in the South East receive higher weekly earnings, while those in the East Midlands have larger property sizes, adding: “On the southern coast, sunnier climates shine through in the rankings, while, lower house prices-to-earnings, wellbeing and class sizes give northern areas the desirability factor.”

Here are the top 10 rural areas in Britain with the best quality of life, according to Halifax: