Five locations in Northern Ireland have been named among the Best Places to Live in Britain by The Sunday Times. In addition, the guide has named Holywood as the Best Place to Live in Northern Ireland.


The accolade comes ahead of the full reveal of The Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide, including the overall winner, which is published on Sunday, April 14. The supplement assesses a wide range of factors, from employment, schools and broadband speed to culture, community spirit and local shops, in order to compile the definitive top locations to live.

The methodology uses robust statistics, including exclusive, up to date house prices provided by Habito and TwentyCi, but also the knowledge of The SundayTimes’s expert panel. The judges combine the hard data with their own on-the-ground experience and insight to ensure the chosen locations truly are places where everyone can thrive.

Holywood takes Northern Ireland’s top spot in The Sunday Times Best Places to Live this year. On the shores of Belafast Lough, the town is judged to offer the perfect combination of seaside and city, with vibrant Belfast just a 20-minute train ride away. There’s sailing, cycling and jogging, plus rugby, football and the golf club where Rory McIlroy started his golfing career. The high street, with its brightly painted buildings is unusually attractive and offers a high-quality range of food and drink, from fine dining at Noble, which has a Michelin Bib Gourmand to the traditional Maypole Bar.

Also in County Down, Hillsborough returns to this year’s list, praised for its immaculate town centre, Instagram-worthy Georgian houses, countryside setting and appealing pubs and restaurants.

Northern Ireland also has three other entrants in this year’s guide: South Belfast, the most favoured corner of the city, the beautiful traditional market town Enniskillen and Ballycastle, a lively, independently minded foodie hub on the stunning coast of County Antrimwhich has been picked twice before as TheSunday Times Best Place to Live in Northern Ireland.

The Sunday Times Best Places to Live in Britain covers the following regions: North and Northeast, Midlands, Northern Ireland, Southeast, Wales, Southwest, East, London, Scotland and the Northwest. It also reveals the overall best place to live in the UK.

The Sunday Times’s unique understanding of the housing market and in-depth property coverage helps readers find a place to call home, whether they are hip young professionals, growing families or discerning downsizers.

Helen Davies, The Sunday Times Home editor said: “Finding our very own best place to live now feels more important than ever, for our wellbeing and wealth, happiness and health. Wherever you are on the property ladder The Sunday Times has championed 101 locations across the UK, and crowned one lucky winner, that we think is a great place to make a home.

“This year we were looking for community spirit along with convenience and culture. There is so much going on around the country, and so many great places that the choice was a hard one.”

Daniel Hegarty, Founder and CEO at Habito, the online mortgage broker said: “The Sunday Times Best Places to Live really is essential reading for anyone looking to buy, move or renovate their home in the UK.

“We know there are many reasons, beyond house prices, why people live where they live in Northern Ireland. But, regardless of location, getting a mortgage can be the most hellish part of buying. Habito exists to make mortgages easier – whether that’s for a first time flat in South Belfast, a coastal retreat in Ballycastle or a forever home in Holywood.”

For longer entries, more on air quality, broadband, transport links, comprehensive listings of good schools and lifelong learning opportunities, local voices and property prices you can go online at Until April 15, readers can subscribe to digital access for £1 per-month for 3 months.

Readers can also join in the conversation online by sharing their favourite places and why they love them, using the hashtag #STbestplaces.

The Sunday Times Best Places to Live: Northern Ireland

Place Starter Mid-market Top of the range
Holywood, Co Down £242,900

(£650 pcm)


(£800 pcm)


(£1,230 pcm)

Ballycastle, Co Antrim £100,030

(£415 pcm)


(£467 pcm)


(£501 pcm)

Belfast: South £127,335

(£581 pcm)


(£702 pcm)


(£1,215 pcm)

Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh £111,870

(£461 pcm)


(£481 pcm)


(£543 pcm)

Hillsborough, Co Down £154,000

(£650 pcm)


(£750 pcm)


(£1,030 pcm)

NB: the above list is not in order of ranking. All average house prices and rental costs have been compiled by Habito/TwentyCi

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