Ilkley has been named as the best place to live in the North and North East of England in the Sunday Times ‘Best Places to Live’ guide.

The annual list is compiled by expert judges who assess a wide range of factors including schools, air quality, transport and broadband speeds.

And Ilkley in West Yorkshire came out on top for the whole region, with Masham among nine other places shortlisted.

Judges were impressed by Ilkley’s magnificent scenery, environmentally-minded community and excellent selection of restaurants and bars. (Photos: Natasha Leighton)

Judges look for improving towns, villages or city centres, for attractive, well-designed homes and locations bursting with community spirit.

And they were said to be most impressed by Ilkley’s “excellent transport links, magnificent scenery and the energetic, environmentally-minded community.” They also admired the thriving high street and the excellent selection of places to eat and drink.

Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times Property Editor, said: 

“This guide has never been so important. The pandemic has taught us just how much we rely on our homes, our communities and our surroundings. With working from home now common, it’s no surprise that many of us are reassessing our priorities and thinking hard about where we really want to live.  

“Ilkley has a beating community heart, a business brain, culture and a good sense of humour. 

“It’s also got excellent schools, great shops in its town centre and is within easy reach of both Leeds and the stunning scenery of the Yorkshire Dales, with its own magical moor as the icing on the cake.”

The Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2021 – North and Northeast:

  • Winner: Ilkley, West Yorkshire 
  • Alnmouth, Northumberland 
  • Barnard Castle, Co Durham 
  • Easingwold, North Yorkshire 
  • Leeds 
  • Masham, North Yorkshire 
  • Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire 
  • Todmorden, West Yorkshire 
  • Tynemouth, Tyne & Wear 
  • York

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