Ilkley has been named the best place to live in the North and Northeast of England, with judges saying it has everything the judges were looking for.
It was praised for its high street, community initiatives, magnificent scenery and good travel links to places such as Leeds city centre.
Chapel Allerton also bagged a place on the top ten list, with judges praising its particularly highlighting the work of community group CA Spaces, which works to beautify the area and create fun places for children.
Ilkley was named as the best place to live in The Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2021: North and Northeast guide. Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times Property Editor said: “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.”
2. Chapel Allerton, Leeds
Chapel Allerton in Leeds was described as a “A well supported independent high street - with fishmonger, bookshop, cheese shop and much more - and an inspiring and imaginative community group, CA Spaces, make this urban village our favourite corner of Leeds.” Judges also praised Gledhow Valley Woods as an atmospheric location for lockdown exercise.
3. Slaithwaite, Huddersfield
Tthe judges praised this canalside mill town as a “great choice for families”. It has easy train links to both Manchester and Leeds and is surrounded by lovely countryside. Most of all, though, they were impressed with its vibrant centre - “full of imaginative and hard-working businesses that could be a lesson to many other towns.” Among the many highlights are a co-operative greengrocer, the not-for-profit Handmade Bakery, family-run Anello, which serves some of the best pizza in the North, and the inventive and welcoming children’s store Acorn and Pip.
The judges said that York is one of the very best locations in the country for schools, and its unbeatable rail connections and interesting shops and restaurants give this historic city a thoroughly modern edge. They scored it particularly highly for education: at least 90 per cent of state school pupils attend a school that’s rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, and Co-ed Fulford School was judged to be the comprehensive of the decade by The Sunday Times Parent Power guide.