Where Are the Best and Cheapest UK Cities to Live In?

If you yearn for the chance to strike out from your home city and try your luck elsewhere there are plenty of cities in the UK to choose from.

Will you take the traditional route of heading for the bright lights of London or will you give somewhere like Bristol or Belfast a try? There are many issues to consider and the cost of living is high on the list. So which are the best cities to live in here and which are the cheapest?

Here are three you might want to consider to get started.


Anyone who has ever visited London or lived there won’t be surprised to find that it is the most expensive British city to live in. The main expense in the cost of living here is, of course, the rent. I still grimace when I recall how much I used to pay for living in a place where swinging a cat could have cost a few disasters. The average rental costs are calculated at a staggering 5 or 6 times the cost in some other UK cities, although most people won’t pay as much as that. Of course, everything is relative and if you move to London there is a good chance that you earn more than you would in any other part of the country. Many people love living here but I have to confess that the high cost of rent left a nasty taste in the mouth, as did the expensive daily commute on the Tube. The fact that there are so many exciting things to do in the capital is obviously a good thing but it also means that there are plenty of tempting things to spend money on, which might explain why living costs excluding rental income are also the highest in the country. Conversely, I found this to be one of the UK’s best cities for looking for bargains from shops and markets. I used to love going to my local Turkish shops and buying loads of cheap vegetables and, for some bizarre reason, chocolate filled magadelenas.


I might as well put Belfast in next, since I moved there from London. I was immediately impressed by the friendliness of the locals and pleasantly surprised by the cost of living. For £200 less per month I got a far bigger house in a nicer area than the one in London. I was also lucky enough to get a job that paid a similar salary to my London one, but I realise that salary rates are typically lower here. The Northern Irish capital is actually currently rated as one of the best value places in the UK to live, due to the relatively low cost of living. Rental costs here are especially low and have been calculated as an average of £686. From personal experience I can also recommend talking a stroll down to Friday’s Farmer’s Market to get some cheap vegetables and artery clogging fifteens.


Sadly, I haven’t yet had the pleasure of living in Cardiff, although I enjoyed a weekend break there once. Maybe I should think about moving there though, as it has just been named as the best city in the UK in which to live. This is down to a combination of factors, such as low cost of living, good employment rates and a rapidly rising amount of disposable income. The weekly living expenses here are an impressively low £359, while monthly rent is under £900 per month on average. With a decent average salary of £22,312 (in London it is over £30,000 and in Belfast just under £20,000) it is easy to see how people in the Welsh capital now have more disposable income than ever before.

Which city would you choose to live in?

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One Response to Where Are the Best and Cheapest UK Cities to Live In?

  1. One of my childhood dream is to visit London or to live in there! That’s great to know that London is one of the UK’s best cities for looking for bargains from shops and markets.
    Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way recently posted..September 2014 blog income and stats recapMy Profile

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