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Britain's most desirable postcodes for work-life balance revealed; can you guess which northern town came out trumps?

Neilston, East Renfrewshire.jpg

Northern towns dominate in a comprehensive new survey of Britain's most desirable postcodes.  

Royal Mail commissioned the Centre for Economics and Business Research to look at the UK's best locations, based on a series of key work-life factors.

These included good schools, access to green spaces, good employment prospects, crime levels, affordable housing and average commuting times - all of which were calculated using the data from the latest Census, land surveys and government-based statistics on house prices. 

Based on these variables, analysts picked out the small Merseyside town of Bebington (below) as the most wanted postcode in England.

Residents here "enjoyed the ideal balance" of living close to their work place, good schools and high employment, the report said. 

The town has plenty of history too; it boasts a  golf course that was once the site of one of the bloodiest battles to have taken place in Britain, as the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings clashed in the year 937 AD.  

Six other northern destinations, including Dalton-in-Furness in Cumbria, made up the top 10 most desirable postcodes for England in the survey. Unsurprisingly, pricier and more crowded towns in the South did not make the shortlist. The highest southern postcode district to appear in the top ten is the old town of Kesgrave in Ipswich.

Craigavon, County Armagh

Craigavon Lakes in Craigavon, County Armagh

As far as Northern Ireland is concerned, the report selected the town of Craigavon in County Armagh (above) as the best place to live.

Craigavon was built in the 1960s, with a modernist vision and architecture to match. 

"Its innovative and risky housing design drew inspiration from around the world, rejecting indigenous housing styles and embracing modern European aesthetics," says Rebekah McCabe, who has curated an exhibition on the history of the town.

"Today it feels like Craigavon has come full circle, with new developments springing up everywhere and people not just from Northern Ireland but from all over the world moving there," she says. "It's a very progressive place to live." 

The survey described the town as having "lower than average commuting times and fewer people working over 50 hours a week."

"In addition, there is high employment, low crime rates, good schools and local services are within easy reach," it said. 

Moving over to Scotland, the picturesque town of Neilston in the west central Lowlands of Scotland (above) was singled out as the best place to live and work.

"The outer city suburbs feature heavily in the Scottish top ten thanks to the affordable cost of living, lower levels of crime and better schools – compared to the city centre - as well as lower commute times and better access to services than those further into the countryside," said the survey. "Twelfth century former industrial town, Neilston (G78) in East Renfrewshire tops the table." 

Unlike desirable towns in England and Scotland - which were concentrated in particular areas - the most desirable postcodes for Wales were dotted across the country, from seaside resorts to city suburbs.

Morriston in Swansea, the earliest planned industrial village in Wales, was found to be the most desirable place "due to its mix of low unemployment and reasonable house prices,"  the report said. 

Take a look at the full list of most desirable UK postcodes, below. 

Swansea

Parc Llewelyn in Morriston, Swansea

Britain's most desirable postcodes

England

CH63 - Bebington, Wirral
IP5 - Kesgrave, Ipswich
LA15 - Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria
NR8 - Taverham, Norfolk
FY6 - Poulton-Le-Fylde, Blackpool
DT1 - Dorchester, West Dorset
WA1 - Warrington, Cheshire
CH62 - Eastham, Wirral
CH45 - Wallasey, Merseyside
LA13 - Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria

Scotland

G78 - Neilston, East Renfrewshire
G64 - Torrance, East Dunbartonshire
G66 - Lenzie/Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire
G62 - Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire
G76 - Eaglesham, East Renfrewshire
G61 - Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire
G46 - Giffnock, East Renfrewshire
EH5 - Granton, Edinburgh
EH7 - Edinburgh central/Bellevue
EH11 - Edinburgh

Wales

SA6 - Morriston, Swansea
SA7 - Birchgrove, Swansea
CF64 - Penarth
SA61 - Haverfordwest
SA4 - Gorseinon, Swansea
LL55 - Caernarfon, Gwynedd
SA9 - Ystradgynlais, Swansea
SA31 - Carmarthen
CF24 - Roath, Cardiff
LL11 - Wrexham

Northern Ireland

BT64 - Craigavon, County Armagh
BT10 - Finaghy, Belfast
BT66 - Lurgan, County Armagh
BT16 - Dundonald, Belfast
BT38 - Carrickfergus, County Antrim

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