It’s official – Skipton is the best place to live in Britain

TRANQUIL: The Canal Basin

TRANQUIL: The Canal Basin

First published in News

Skipton is celebrating after being crowned the most desirable area in the country by The Sunday Times’s 101 Best Places to Live in Britain.

But supporters of the town – which also won Great Street of the Year in 2008 – say it must be protected against overdevelopment.

The Sunday Times judges put it in top spot for its ideal combination of low crime rates, “top class” schools, great transport links, “buzzing” high street, pretty and reasonably priced property and beautiful surrounding countryside.

“Skipton is a worthy winner,” said home editor Helen Davies. “We love it for its big-hearted, buzzy life.”

Second in the list was Newnham, a district of Cambridge, with Monmouth, third and Falmouth, fourth.

Each place was selected for offering the best quality of life to the widest number of people and combining desirable features such as a positive community spirit, good local shops, services and attractive outdoor spaces.

Skipton MP Julian Smith said he was over the moon.

“The judges described all the attributes we know Skipton has, whether it is access to the Dales, quality of its schooling or its high street.

“I think the title is very, very richly deserved and I pay tribute to the community groups, councils and civic leaders as well as the community at large who have played a role in making Skipton the best place to live in Britain.

“I am a very proud local MP.”

There was also delight – and a word of warning – from Sebastian Fattorini, administrator of Skipton Castle.

“The recent accolade for Skipton is well deserved but to keep our pole position we need to protect its uniqueness from the grey institutional developers,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by local town, district and county councillor Robert Heseltine.

He said: “It’s good for Skipton to be recognised as a rather exceptional market town and the premier place to live.

“It’s in the heart of Yorkshire and it’s the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales. It’s strong on tradition and it has a really excellent education system.

“It is of paramount importance that we do not lose or throw away the character of our town. Overdevelopment could erode or destroy it.”

Coun Chris Harbron, leader of Skipton Town Council, said: “This is a fantastic result for the town and is all the more valuable in that it is an independent survey based on a combination of hard data and research.

“It’s no accident that Skipton performs so well. It is a combination of the hard work of so many organisations – councils, schools, police and emergency services, shops and businesses, community groups and their support networks – they all come together to make Skipton what it is. I’m very proud to work and live in the town. We should sing this from the rooftops.”

Leader of Craven District Council, Coun Chris Knowles Fitton, said everyone should be grateful and proud. “This accolade will further boost the area as a great place to live, work and visit and we shall all continue to work hard to maintain and enhance the town’s growing reputation.”

Chief executive Paul Shevlin added: “Topping the list is the result of joint effort and hard work by those who live and work here. Residents, businesses, authorities, everybody in the Craven area should feel proud of this achievement.”

Comments (5)

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7:09pm Thu 20 Mar 14

Skipton12 says...

I would have agreed with this a few years ago but now the high street is dull, we seem to be getting more and more cheap and tacky shops (near the bus station in particular) and how many charity shops does one town need?
I would have agreed with this a few years ago but now the high street is dull, we seem to be getting more and more cheap and tacky shops (near the bus station in particular) and how many charity shops does one town need? Skipton12
  • Score: -1

12:57am Fri 21 Mar 14

Yorkshire Girl 68 says...

Congratulations on this wonderful achievement which is well deserved, although it did not come as a complete surprise. Its been many years since my family and I visited the town, due to calling North Carolina home for four decades ,however I remember it having a story book likeness.
Congratulations on this wonderful achievement which is well deserved, although it did not come as a complete surprise. Its been many years since my family and I visited the town, due to calling North Carolina home for four decades ,however I remember it having a story book likeness. Yorkshire Girl 68
  • Score: 6

8:51am Fri 21 Mar 14

Skipton Ratepayer says...

Tell us about these 'great transport links'. Where can you get to after 6pm or on a Sunday on a bus? Why do we have no direct way of getting to our nearest town in the same county? Why do so many train users drive to Steeton & Silsden?
Our house prices are high compared to the surrounding towns, but to those in the south they must look cheap. The main reason for their choosing Skipton must be the grammar schools and the surrounding scenery; of course it could be the wide choice of charity shops, it could be our 'buzzing' Town Hall, which cannot take a full audience because of an unsafe fire exit, or it could be for our wonderful bus station.
Tell us about these 'great transport links'. Where can you get to after 6pm or on a Sunday on a bus? Why do we have no direct way of getting to our nearest town in the same county? Why do so many train users drive to Steeton & Silsden? Our house prices are high compared to the surrounding towns, but to those in the south they must look cheap. The main reason for their choosing Skipton must be the grammar schools and the surrounding scenery; of course it could be the wide choice of charity shops, it could be our 'buzzing' Town Hall, which cannot take a full audience because of an unsafe fire exit, or it could be for our wonderful bus station. Skipton Ratepayer
  • Score: 7

11:27am Fri 21 Mar 14

White Rhino says...

Skipton Ratepayer wrote:
Tell us about these 'great transport links'. Where can you get to after 6pm or on a Sunday on a bus? Why do we have no direct way of getting to our nearest town in the same county? Why do so many train users drive to Steeton & Silsden?
Our house prices are high compared to the surrounding towns, but to those in the south they must look cheap. The main reason for their choosing Skipton must be the grammar schools and the surrounding scenery; of course it could be the wide choice of charity shops, it could be our 'buzzing' Town Hall, which cannot take a full audience because of an unsafe fire exit, or it could be for our wonderful bus station.
Misery comes from within you know
[quote][p][bold]Skipton Ratepayer[/bold] wrote: Tell us about these 'great transport links'. Where can you get to after 6pm or on a Sunday on a bus? Why do we have no direct way of getting to our nearest town in the same county? Why do so many train users drive to Steeton & Silsden? Our house prices are high compared to the surrounding towns, but to those in the south they must look cheap. The main reason for their choosing Skipton must be the grammar schools and the surrounding scenery; of course it could be the wide choice of charity shops, it could be our 'buzzing' Town Hall, which cannot take a full audience because of an unsafe fire exit, or it could be for our wonderful bus station.[/p][/quote]Misery comes from within you know White Rhino
  • Score: -1

11:24am Wed 26 Mar 14

thegreatbeyond says...

Well said White Rhino and Yorkshire Girl. I love it in Skipton - agreed, best place in Britain. As the kids would say "Hater's gonna hate!"
Well said White Rhino and Yorkshire Girl. I love it in Skipton - agreed, best place in Britain. As the kids would say "Hater's gonna hate!" thegreatbeyond
  • Score: 1

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