Sunday Times Best Places to Live: Isle of Bute named as best place to live in Scotland

The Isle of Bute has been named as Scotland’s best place to live by a panel of judges.

The island heads a list of seven Scottish locations chosen by The Sunday Times in the newspaper’s annual Best Places to Live guide.

The other Scottish places that made it on to the list – which is released on Friday ahead of an edited version appearing in the paper on Sunday – include Braemar in Aberdeenshire, Culross in Fife, Dunblane, near Stirling, the Shawlands area of Glasgow, Melrose in the Borders and North Berwick in east Lothian.

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In coming up with the list, which features 70 locations across the UK, the judges consider a range of factors including schools, transport and broadband as well as culture, green spaces and the health of the local high street.

Bute, which is 90 minutes from Glasgow, was said to be “head and shoulders above all the other Scottish islands for commutability” as well as being “full of adventurous locals fizzing with ideas to make their neighbourhoods shine”.

The average house price on the island is £155,000, according to the Halifax, which is the sponsor of the guide.

Helen Davies, property editor for The Times and Sunday Times, said: “The Sunday Times Best Places to Live list is necessarily subjective. Leave it just to statistics and you will never capture the spirit of a place. For that, you need to visit to take into account that ‘you have to be here’ feeling. Is the pub dog-friendly, for example? Can you live car-free? What are the schools and houses like?

Rothesay on the Isle of Bute in Scotland. The Isle of Bute has been named as Scotland's best place to live by a panel of judges. Photo: PA

“Is it multicultural and multigenerational, and can it offer a good way of life to lots of different sorts of people?.”

She added: “Ten years ago, when we launched the inaugural list, London’s gravitational pull was strong, the WFH (work from home) revolution had not yet reached our doorstep and high streets were stacked with chains. How times have changed — and how welcome that change is.

“This year we have discovered new best places to live, from resurgent city centres in the North, rejuvenated suburbs across the country, hidden villages in the South West, and a commutable Scottish island. We hope there is something to suit everyone.”

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