London isn’t my immediate thought when it comes to ideal places to raise a family, solely due to the expense of it. I, for one, hotfooted it out of there the minute I fell pregnant, because the thought of renting anywhere bigger or better than my one-bed flat in Stratford made me wince, and my bank account scream: “Don’t do it, Georgie! You can’t do it, Georgie!” But ADT, the alarm systems company, didn’t ask me what I thought when they conducted a recent study, and found that, actually, six of the top ten places to raise a family in the UK are in fact in London.
Looking at things like quality of schools, burglary and crime rates and, amazingly, the price of houses, Waltham Forest in northeast London came out on top in the running for Best Place to Raise a Family in the UK. It scooped an overall ‘family safety score’ of 7.23, ranking particularly highly for schools and number of green spaces. And sure, the houses aren’t cheap, but bus travel is: a basic adult fare costs just £1.75.
And I can definitely see why the area might be appealing to families – aside from 82.8% of schools having a “good” or higher rating from OFSTED, it’s also brimming with brilliant things to do. Take the neon-lit paradise that is God’s Own Junkyard, for example – or the rather gorgeous Walthamstow Wetlands, the biggest nature reserve in London.
London’s Havering, Bexley, Bromley, Hounslow and Hillingdon all made ADT’s top ten, too. But it was Kirklees in West Yorkshire that came in second place, and the median house price is £340,000 less than in Waltham Forest (£181,00 compared to £520,000). I’ll say no more.
Read the full study over on ADT’s website.
Also published on Medium.