Ilkley may have topped The Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2022 chart.
And no disrespect to Ilkley; it is indeed a lovely place to live. But for most people, this upmarket town – famed for its moor and millionaire houses – simply isn’t affordable.
A mid-market house in Ilkley costs, according to the Sunday Times’ own guide, £428,000. That’s well beyond the reach of most people. The other Yorkshire towns and villages on the list aren’t exactly within the grasp of your average Joe or Jane either.
Take Harrogate where a mid-range property costs £390,000 or Cawthorne, South Yorkshire where it’s £24,000 more. Leeds city centre is more affordable (£167,000) although city centre living isn’t for everyone.
Slaithwaite (£199,000) is within the realms of affordability as is Great Ayton, North Yorkshire (£267,000) at a pinch. But there must be other great places to live in God’s Own County that a greater proportion of people can afford.
With a bit of local knowledge and some number-crunching, we’ve produced a short, alternative guide to the best places to live in Yorkshire.
But what is “affordable”? According to Zoopla, the average price of a home sold in Yorkshire in the last 12 months was £207,805. For that reason, we’ve selected cities, towns and villages where the average price of a home is approximately £200,000 or less. We’ve also considered the standard of local transport links and the amount of character each place has.
Average house prices quoted below ( courtesy of Zoopla ) are based on the prices of properties sold in the last 12 months.
The East Yorkshire coast is often overlooked and this attractive seaside town is an example of why it shouldn’t be. Hornsea (pictured above) boasts a smart seafront and a long beach and, a short distance inland, an historic centre and a mere famed for its birds.
Shopping is better than you’d imagine for a small town with Freeport shopping village a mile from the town centre. While transport links aren’t great – Hornsea doesn’t have a train station – it’s half an hour by road to Hull and just over an hour to York.
Property-wise it’s remarkably affordable.
Average house price:£189,778
The equally charming and slightly more rugged neighbour of Slaithwaite is a great alternative.
Marsden is another of those semi-rural old mill villages that’s undergone a bit of bohemian gentrification. It’s friendly and as the westernmost place before the Pennines, the scenery is arguably more spectacular than Slaithwaite’s.
Its lively village centre is bisected by the same two charming waterways as Slaithwaite and it’s on the same rail route which means travelling to Manchester or Leeds is relatively untraumatic.
A moor above Marsden was used as a location for external scenes in League of Gentleman but it’s no longer parochial. Sheep are often seen wandering into the village and who’d blame them?
Average house price:£223,499
Where do you think is the best, affordable place to live in Yorkshire? Tell us in the comments below.
Like Whitby but with fewer tourists and an equally romantic setting, Saltburn is a worthy plan B for those with a more modest budget.
An average house in this upcoming seaside town will cost you just over half what an equivalent property would set you back in Whitby.
Saltburn doesn’t have quite the number of attractions as Whitby but it has plenty of its own including a fabulous pier and smart seafront. It’s equally handy for trips into the North York Moors and is 25 minutes by train from Middlesbrough.
Average house price: £161,279
While economic misfortune has eroded the charm of many a classic northern seaside resort, Scarborough has retained much of it.
It’s surprisingly affordable too where £200,000 will comfortably cover the cost of a semi-detached house. Transport links aren’t bad with a fair rail service to York.
But it’s what’s on your doorstep that makes Scarborough shine. You’ve two bays, a castle, amazing parks and you’re two miles from the North York Moors.
Average house price: £188,006
Leeds always steals Sheffield’s thunder but the Steel City is markedly more affordable and a real upcoming city that’s yet to be spoilt by overdevelopment. The average house costs £225,746 but you can pay a fair bit less and live in hip Kelham Island, the city centre or in a terraced house in one of Sheffield’s green suburbs for significantly less.
Transport links are excellent (by northern standards) with fast trains to London and easy access to the M1.
Sheffield is a powerhouse when it comes to leisure; it’s packed with great, independent pubs, live music venues, restaurants and places for watching sport.
Average house price: £225,746
Hebden Bridge’s cheaper neighbour has more of the same free-spirited charm but a lot more space. The average price of a house is more than in Hebden but that figure skews heavily towards the town’s large, detached properties. Buy a terraced house or a semi and you will be paying substantially less than your mates in Hebden.
Although it’s miles from the motorway network it has the same rail link to Bradford, Leeds and Manchester as Hebden.
The village centre has been feeling the Hebden Bridge effect for more than a decade with a small explosion of unique bars, restaurants, cafes and shops. Being a border town, it’s also surrounded by scenery which wouldn’t be out of place in the Yorkshire Dales.
Average house price:£256,432