In this post, I’ll share with you some of the best places to live in England when working remotely.
2020 was a life-changing year for many people. This is the year we all spent at home. A lot of jobs that were previously office-based became remote in pretty much one day, and of course, that change affected the entire workforce of the UK. Some people embraced their new lifestyle; some others didn’t like it that much as the work-life blended into their personal life.
What 2020 also changed a lot is the way people perceive cities. While living in a big city used to have its own pros and cons (read my post about pros and cons of living in London), staying at home all day every day completely changed people’s perspectives on living in a big city. Suddenly, a lot of large cities lost their appeal while the countryside became more popular than ever. Suddenly green spaces, woods and opportunities for lovely walks became the main reason people moved out of big cities.
The best places to live in the UK when working remotely
If you’re one of the people whose job has gone fully remote and you wouldn’t need to go back to the office even when we are back to the “normality”, congrats, now you can live anywhere in the UK! Based on my experience travelling all around the UK and living in Edinburgh and London for over five years in total, I composed this list of the best places to live in England for remote workers.
Being able to go on morning runs next to the sea is truly a blessing, especially if you’re living in a city that is only 1 hour away from London and has an incredible amount of great restaurants, a very diverse community and plenty of things to do in the area.
Brighton is less than 30 minutes away from Gatwick airport, meaning that you have half of Europe at your doorstep (when we all can travel again, of course).
Moreover, Brighton is very pretty and has a lot of stunning places with a lot of history. And, of course, on warm summer days, you can also swim there (and even visit one of its kind sauna on the beach – read more about my experience in this blog post about Brighton).
Edinburgh is one of my favourite places on the entire planet Earth, and it’s a city that has inspired this blog (and made it possible). If cold weather and rain don’t bother you much, you will be fine living in the capital of Scotland because there are so many benefits of living in Edinburgh. As a relatively small city (compared to London), with a population of circa 450,000 people, Edinburgh is nice and compact; however, it has everything you could think of. Edinburgh has lovely restaurants, exiting board game cafes, plenty of green spaces, and wonderful opportunities for road trip and nature walks.
Read more about living in Edinburgh in my comparison of Edinburgh vs London.
Cotswolds (especially, Cirencester, Cheltenham or Moreton-in-Marsh)
Another amazing place to live in England when working remotely is Cotswolds AONB. AONB stands for the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and it’s living by its name. If you like rural life and “cottage core”, you will love Cotswolds. It’s a place where a lot of celebrities chose to have their second homes. Not only Cotswolds is home to some of England’s prettiest villages, but it’s also one of the best places for long walks around the countryside.
The only downside is that Cotswolds villages aren’t really interconnected by train, so you need to have a car to be able to make the most out of living in Cotswolds. Moreover, if you still need to commute to London once per week, you can drive to the capital in 1.5-2 hours!
If you want to live in a village that has access to a train, pick Moreton-in-Marsh for fast trains to London. And if you want to stay in a larger town with more infrastructure, Cirencester or Cheltenham would be a great option.
Read my post about the most Instagrammable villages in Cotswolds.
Bath is a Unesco heritage city, and it’s one of the most stunning cities in England. It’s rather a small city with a population of fewer than 100,000 people; nonetheless, it has everything you might need, from exquisite restaurants to posh interior design shops. Bath is not cheap, but that’s because it’s totally worth it.
And if you ever feel like you miss big city life, London is less than 1.5 hours away by train and Bristol is just around the corner!
Another amazing city to be based when working remotely is York. York is a small city with a population of 200,000 people, and it has very limited career opportunities. However, if you can work remotely (and I assume you can if you’re reading this post), then you can live there and enjoy everything York has to offer!
York is one of England’s most beautiful cities. It also has one of the most interesting and unique histories (you can learn a bit more about York in this post).
York has a lot of things to do, from exciting museums and theatres to the great outdoors and North York Moors National Park and Yorkshire Dales right at your doorstep (if you’re a nature lover, you will be delighted).
Canterbury is another small city that nonetheless has a lot to offer if you’re going to be based there. With a population of only 43,000 people, it has a lot of restaurants, coffee spots and museums to offer to its residents and visitors. Canterbury is just a short bus/car drive away from Whitstable, the Oyster capital of South England. Whitstable and Herne Bay also have lovely beaches that you can visit during some warm and sunny days.
Salisbury is another great place to live for remote workers. Salisbury is located in the heart of South England, meaning the weather there is mild and pleasant. Moreover, the city itself is very beautiful. Finally, Salisbury’s strategic location makes a lot of places accessible within just 1 hour – from Bath to Bournemouth and New Forest National Park, so there are plenty of things to do on the weekends!
Norwich is one of England’s hidden gems. There aren’t many tourists as, generally, Norwich isn’t that well known abroad. Hence, when I first came to visit Norwich, I was surprised by how lovely the city is. Norwich has some of the oldest city centres in England, and overall, the city is very green and walkable. It has good connections to London (although a very slow train – you’ll be faster if you drive) and beautiful countryside around it (The Norfolk Coast AONB is stunning).
Another wonderful place to live in England when working remotely is St. Ives in Cornwall. St. Ives is a small town, yet, its beautiful white sandy beaches make it very unique. Cornwall isn’t like the rest of England – it has a different climate, stunning turquoise water and overall, a very different atmosphere.
If you’re tired of London and you would like to be in a smaller city, which, however, has everything you might need including some of the best schools in the country and one of the best Universities in the World and is less than 1 hour away from London, head to Cambridge.
Cambridge is very beautiful, and it’s a fabulous place to live, however, the main downside of Cambridge that it’s very expensive – as expensive as London!
Finally, the last of the best places to live in the UK when working remotely is actually [formally] not the part of the UK, but it’s a Crown Dependency. However, as a British or Irish Citizen or a British Subject, you are able to live and work in Jersey. Why Jersey? Well, this small island is actually closer to France than England, so it has a strong French influence. Jersey’s culture is unique, and it’s a mix of English and French culture; however, everybody speaks English.
Jersey has a warmer climate and absolutely gorgeous beaches. Moreover, Jersey cows give slightly fatter milk, meaning that all the milk-based products are especially delicious in Jersey.
I recommend travelling to Jersey first and exploring this beautiful island. You can read a bit more about my suggested itinerary here.
Summary of the best places to live in the UK for remote workers
Alright, this was the list of the best places to live in the UK when working remotely. This list was mostly based on England with the idea that a lot of people, who are now working remotely, used to be based in London and may need to commute to London from time to time. However, I made sure to include some other stunning places that are a bit further away.
People mostly move out from London because it’s much easier and cheaper to buy a property elsewhere. When you don’t need to be in London for work, why not move somewhere else, at least for a few months?