Photo: Amy Ferguson
The tiny coastal village came top of the 2014 Family Hotspots report from family finance specialist, Family Investments. The report, which began in 2012, compares 71 factors between UK postcodes, from safety and house prices to the cost of childcare and the number of green spaces.
St Bees may be one of the smallest on the list – with a population of just 1,800 – but it is number one for families looking for somewhere to liv, thanks to its low crime rate, lower than average house prices (£139,000) and strong exam results at Key Stages 2 and 4.
One famous person will be familiar with the area’s appeal: Rowan Atkinson, who is an ex-alumni of St Bees school. He faces competition from X-Men star Nicholas Hoult, who was born in Berkshire’s Wokingham, which is number two on Family Investments’ list – down from its pole position last year. The reason for its slip? Rising house prices: an average two bedroom property now costs £254,000.
Steve Ferrari, Head of Customer Insights at Family Investments, said: “The rural village of St Bees is well deserving of its title as the best place in the UK for families. It has a heritage that stretches back over 1,000 years, the schools achieve excellent results and locals tell us that it has a small but very close-knit community making it a great location for families.
“Deciding where to live is one of the most important financial and lifestyle choices families will make in their lifetimes. Our report is designed to help people navigate this decision by showing them how areas of England and Wales score on some of the major factors that play a part in everyday family life – whether that’s the quality of local schools or the area’s crime rates.”
Source: The Movechannel