Best UK Towns for Remote Work

While the world is slowly opening after the Covid-19 pandemic, some of its reverberations are here to stay. Remote working is the most notable change in terms of work culture. With Covid-19 restrictions being lowered, working in offices is allowed once again. With over a third of all employed people in the UK working partly from home during the pandemic, 84% of employees actually indicated they would prefer a flexible or hybrid model of working. There are several companies that also offer completely remote jobs, which especially younger people tend to lean towards. With the Hybrid and remote working options that have moved from a state of temporary work culture to a permanent option, people can be more flexible in where they live. But what is the best place in the UK for remote working?

What makes a city suitable for remote working

There are several important factors to consider when choosing a city to move for remote work. Obviously when working online, broadband speed is essential to ensure your meetings and work can go on smoothly. Other important factors include costs of living, the amount of green space in the city and the facilities available. In fact, when UK citizens were asked to take a survey outlining the most important factors in choosing a new place to live, the following factors were considered to be the most important:

  • House prices (53% answered)
  • Amount of green spaces (45% answered)
  • Crime rates (43% answered)
  • Broadband speeds (34% answered)

For broadband speed, there are quite considerable differences between cities and regions. It comes as no surprise that in urban areas, you are able to find faster broadband speeds. However, even between urban areas there exists quite large differences. Ranging from 10 Mbps to p to 80 Mbps in some areas. The majority of the spots in the UK have an average broadband speed of 15-50 Mbps.

Broadband costs can differ per region as well

Not only does broadband speed vary among regions, the average costs for your broadband plans between different broadband supplier also vary. This could imply a difference of as much as £30 on a monthly basis, or £360 per year. Quite a difference. Below you can see the cost per mbps per month for the different UK regions.

Broadband Cost Per Region
UK Region Average Download Speed (Mbps) Average Monthly Cost Per Mbps
London 52.38 £0.62
North East 41.41 £0.78
East of England 39.66 £0.84
North West 39.52 £0.82
West Midlands 39.29 £0.83
South East 39.17 £0.83
East Midlands 38.47 £0.85
Yorkshire and the Humber 37.78 £0.89
South West 35.45 £0.93
Scotland 34.8 £0.96
Northern Ireland 33.8 £0.97
Wales 32.6 £0.99
UK 35.3 £0.94

Cost of living and safety

Other than internet and digital factors, choosing the right city for remote working also often involves moving to a city with lower costs and higher quality of life. Comparing London and Manchester for example, prices for an average flat in London would be £814,000 whereas in Manchester it would cost around £235,000.

Region Average price November 2021 Annual change % since November 2020
East Midlands £229,277 10.7
East of England £336,937 12.3
London £519,934 5.1
North East £149,249 8.7
North West £197,797 10.8
South East £369,093 9.6
South West £308,497 12.9
West Midlands £230,888 9.8
Yorkshire and the Humber £191,036 7.2

Other factors such as the amount of parks and green space within the city, and the crime rates all can make a city more attractive relative to other cities.

The top cities for hybrid and remote working

Below is an overview of the top 3 cities for hybrid working with what makes these cities particularly attractive.

1. York

York landscapeLocated in North-East England, York is one of the recommended cities for remote working. With average costs for a flat in the city sitting at around £177,000 the city is significantly cheaper than some bigger cities such as Birmingham, Liverpool, London and Manchester. The city has a population of around 210,000 people so is still sizeable with all the facilities and social opportunities that come with a bigger city. Crime rates are quite low and broadband speed is among the highest of the country for the York city area.

Living Statistics York
Crime Rate Green Space Relative to Urban Natural Land Average Broadband Speed Average Cost of Living per Month Nearest Major Hub
York 73 crimes per 1,000 people 24% 159 Mbps £1562 Leeds (22 miles away)
Average in UK cities 79.52 crimes per 1,000 people 20.80% 50.4 Mbps £1,892


2. Edinburgh

edinburgh landscapeAnother recommended city for remote working is the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. The compact but populous city has around 550,000 inhabitants currently. While the city itself might be compact, Edinburgh has the largest ratio of green space to built environment compared to all other UK cities, with natural green areas accounting for 49.2% of the area. Despite being the capital city, property prices have not been rising starkly, sitting around £240,000 on average for a flat in the city centre. Broadband speed is very high and costs are quite decent and the city life is bustling which gives plenty of opportunity to build up a social network.

Living Statistics Edinburgh
Crime Rate Green Space Relative to Urban Natural Land Avaergae Broadband Speed Avergae Cost of Living per Month Nearest Major Hub
Edinburgh 15.56 crimes per 1,000 people 49.20% 115 Mbps £1,667 Edinburgh
Average in UK cities 79.52 crimes per 1,000 people 20.80% 50.4 Mbps £1,892


3. Harrogate

Harrogate landscapeLocated just 13 miles outside of Leeds, Harrogate is another top location for remote working. The city is very green with loads of opportunities to enjoy the nature. Download speeds are great and costs are manageable. Property values are slightly higher than other cities but still sit quite decent at £300,000. The city is decently sized with around 75,000 inhabitants but still has load to offer. A famous spa resort and countless options such the leafy valley gardens to enjoy nature to help you relax and surround yourself in a peaceful environment.

Living Statistics Harrogate
Crime Rate Green Space Relative to Urban Natural Land Average Broadband Speed Average Cost of Living per Month Nearest Major Hub
Harrogate 63 crimes per 1,000 people. Higher than UK average 82 Mbps £1,521 Leeds (16 miles away)
Average in UK cities 79.52 crimes per 1,000 people 20.80% 50.4 Mbps £1,892

Updated on 14 Jun, 2022

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