A village in Devon is the best place to bring up children in England and Wales, new research claims. How does your city, town or village compare?
Winkleigh, a village between Dartmoor and Exmoor, has topped a list of 2,400 postcodes as the best location for young families to set up home.
The ranking was drawn up based on a range of factors including crime rates, earnings, house prices and access to good schools.
Winkleigh – postcode EX19 – has low crime figures, salaries well above the national average (£37,566 compared to a national average of £24,170), a successful local primary school and cheap housing. The average value of a two-bedroom home is £150,837, compared to £167,659.
Analysts examined more than 60 sets of data to build up a detailed picture of each postcode in England and Wales using police figures, Land Registry information, Ofsted reports and ONS population data.
They also took into account other factors like access to green spaces, harking back to the rural idyll of England as a “green and pleasant land”.
Local facilities were also considered, such as access to post offices, shops including butchers or fishmongers, and cultural facilities like theatres or museums. The results were aggregated and weighted to generate scores for each postcode.
South Petherton in Somerset and Galgate in Lancashire took second and third place in the survey, compiled by savings provider Family Investments. City centre locations, with high property prices and crime rates, did not score well in the rankings.
Catherine Kenny, a 37-year-old research consultant and mother of three, said: “Winkleigh is a lovely place to live. My husband and I moved to the village five years ago to bring up our children and now we plan to grow old here.
“There is a fantastic community spirit and within a stone’s throw of our house there are so many friends and neighbours we could call on at a moment’s notice.”
The worst postcodes were not revealed.
Top 20 postcodes
1 Winkleigh, Devon, EX19
2 South Petherton, Somerset, TA13
3 Galgate, Lancashire, LA2
4 Eaglescliffe, Stockton on Tees, TS16
5 Bromley Cross, Bolton, BL7
6 Shebbear, Devon, EX21
7 Great Ayton, North Yorks, TS9
8 Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B74
9 Moor Row, Cumbria, CA24
10 Bromyard, Herefordshire, HR7
11 Groby, Leicestershire, LE6
12 Ilkley, West Yorks, LS29
13 Chellaston, Derby, DE73
14 Dunnington, North Yorks, YO19
15 Horncastle, Lincolnshire, LN9
16 Ramsbottom, Manchester, BL0
17 Wirral, Merseyside, CH60
18 Borth, Dyfed, Wales, SY24
19 Longridge, Lancashire, PR3
20 Sutton, London, SM2