Dales one of UK's top rural areas

The Derbyshire Dales is one of the UK's top three rural areas when it comes to residents enjoying the best quality of life, according to a new survey.

Based on advantages such as scenery, low crime rates, education, access to leisure and a good choice of pubs, the survey by the Bank of Scotland puts Orkney top of the list, followed by Wychavon in the West Midlands and then the Derbyshire Dales.

It's the first time the Orkneys have topped the rural quality of life survey, having jumped from 46th last year, and it comes four months after the same islands were rated the second-best place to live in the UK, when the Dales was placed fourth.

In that survey - carried out by the Halifax - the Derbyshire Dales was lauded for having one of the highest employment rates (87.7%), with more than 45% of adults having a higher level of qualification compared to the national average of 35.6%.

The Dales also scored well for pubs and bars, with 27 per 10,000 adults.

A District Council spokesperson said:

"For the Derbyshire Dales to be named as one of the top areas to live in two prestigious surveys really does put us on the map and confirm the status of this region as a beautiful place to live, work and visit.

"Alongside its stunning natural beauty, a lot of hard work goes into maintaining the Dales' first class reputation and we, along with our partners, are committed to continuing that work for the benefit of our residents and businesses."

The top 10 rural areas with the best quality of life:

  1. Orkney Islands, Scotland
  2. Wychavon, West Midlands
  3. Derbyshire Dales, East Midlands
  4. Hambleton, Yorkshire and the Humber
  5. Purbeck, South West
  6. South Cambridgeshire, East of England
  7. Chiltern, South East
  8. West Oxfordshire, South East
  9. South Hams, South West
  10. South Oxfordshire, South East.
  • The quality of life survey rates locations based on a variety of factors, including its employment rate, quality of education, and levels of anxiety. This year, two new categories have also been added to survey - rating the number of pubs and the availability of health clubs and leisure centres.
The Derbyshire Dales is the UK

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