Ballycastle is the best place to live

Ballycastle has been named as the best place to live in Northern Ireland, according to The Sunday Times in the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide.

The Sunday Times’s expert judges behind the guide assess a wide range of factors, from schools, transport and broadband to culture, green spaces and the health of the high street.

They look to celebrate improving towns, villages or city centres, attractive, well-designed homes and locations bursting with community spirit – which the pandemic has shown to be the most vital quality of all.

Ballycastle took the No1 spot in Northern Ireland with Londonderry/Derry in second, Helen’s Bay third.

The Guide’s listing reads: “This unspoilt fishing village is a real coastal town rather than a tourist honeypot, with a strong independent streak and a welcoming atmosphere.

“There’s a vibrant food scene, with everything from old-fashioned fish and chips at Morton’s by the harbour to tasty sourdough at Ursa Minor bakery. The mile-long beach and beautiful surroundings make it a blissful base for families.

“Average house price: £169,000. Growth since 2020: 11%”

Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times Property Editor said: “The Sunday Times Best Places to Live list is necessarily subjective.

“Leave it just to statistics and you will never capture the spirit of a place.

“For that, you need to visit to take into account that ‘you have to be here’ feeling. Is the pub dog-friendly, for example?

“Can you live car-free? What are the schools and houses like? Is it multicultural and multigenerational, and can it offer a good way of life to lots of different sorts of people?”

Ilkley, West Yorkshire, was named the overall Best Place to Live in the UK.

Read More
Collette’s Snowdon climb in memory of mum