Once upon a time I chose my postcode according to three things: proximity to public transport, how easily I could get home from the local nightclub, and how close the nearest takeaway was.
Needless to say, my priorities have changed somewhat since having children. Now I look at proper, grown-up stuff like: are we in the catchment area for the good schools? Are there nice parks nearby? How safe is the neighbourhood?
The last time we went house hunting we were making the move from edgy London flat to suburban family home. Big Sis had just turned two, and Lil Sis was just a few days old. We had a limited budget and absolutely NO idea where to start looking.
Luckily (and it really was just blind luck) we stumbled across the perfect location for our budget, and our family. Our neighbours were lovely, the surrounding area was filled with nature reserves, and there were fantastic local schools.
Fortunately, you don’t have take the ‘stick a pin in a map’ technique we employed, as Family Investments (the UK’s favourite Child Trust Fund provider) has just released its third annual Family Friendly Hotspots Report.
Using detailed information based on local property prices, crime data, local amenities and education reports, they’ve uncovered the most family friendly places in England and Wales to raise a family.
And the overall winner was… the market town of Bingham, Nottinghamshire, which was deemed to have just the right mix of great schools and amenities, low crime rates, and affordable housing.
However, if you live in Wales, you can also afford to feel smug, as 12 of the 20 safest postcodes were found to be in your neck of the woods. Brighton and Hove proved to be the districts with the best childcare provisions, while Wokingham was the most ‘fun’ with plenty of local amenities to keep you and your family occupied.
Compare your own postcode, or research new ones, using the Family Investments handy HOTSPOTS tool.
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