The 7 best places to live in Scotland, revealed in Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide 2023 | Full UK list

Seven locations have been named in the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide.

Dunkeld in Perthshire was named as the overall Best Place to Live in Scotland in the annual guide, with all other places in Scotland unranked.

Expert judges visited all the locations and assessed factors ranging from the quality of schools and transport links to broadband speeds, culture, access to green spaces and the health of the high street.

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The Sunday Times judges praised Dunkeld for its proximity to nature and pine forests, a top-notch food scene, connections to Edinburgh and Glasgow from nearby Perth, and a thriving village community.

The Sunday Times guide has been publishedThe Sunday Times guide has been published
The Sunday Times guide has been published

“A winning combination of stunning Highland scenery and chic Scandi-style sophistication are what you get in Dunkeld. Top shops include Aran Bakery and Lon – possibly the hippest general store in Scotland – both run by ex-Great British Bake-off contestant Flora Shedden.

“You can get close to nature with countless walks, with the mighty Hermitage Forest a highlight, while community spirit comes to the fore at the Field, an inspiring community organic veg garden.”

East Linton in East Lothian, Portobello in Edinburgh, Shawlands in Glasgow, Newport-on-Tay in Fife, Orkney and Tighnabruaich in Argyll and Bute make up the rest of the Scottish entries.

The Times describes East Linton as a worthy entry as a result of its “impressive environmental credentials and its wide, leafy streets, this attractive” with The Times adding that the town “deserves its reputation as Scotland's greenest town.”

"An impressive roster of shops includes a brilliant bookshop, butcher and the Bostock Bakery, and a new station, due to open later this year, will make getting to Edinburgh even easier.”

Praising Edinburgh's seaside suburb, Portobello and the “refreshing contrast” from Edinburgh.The Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide reads: “With interesting shops – a bookshop, artisan baker and a branch of Bross Bagels – it's no wonder that it is now the location of choice for artists, authors, foodies and cool young families.”

Shawlands in the southside of Glasgow was praised for its arty pop ups and sports facilities as well as rail links to Glasgow with the list adding: “There's an unbeatable coffee culture in this creative, multicultural corner of the Southside, and much more besides.” It made the list for the second year in a row.

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Newport-on-Tay in Fife made the top 71 in the UK due to its “spectacular sunsets and a grandstand view of the Tay Bridge are the most visible highlights of this buzzing suburb of Dundee.” The high street and transport links were also praised.

Orkney was a newcomer to the list this year with “the wonderful wildlife and dramatic landscapes make living in this remote location worthwhile” praised.

Tighnabruaich in Argyll and Bute was the final Scottish entry on the list with the town being described as “once a holiday-home hotspot for wealthy merchants, this tiny village is now worth celebrating for its outstanding natural beauty, but also for its thriving independent businesses and a busy community keen to get involved in activities from veg-growing, drama and art to sailing and shinty.”

The Sunday Times list includes 72 locations across the UK, with Wadhurst in East Sussex named the overall best place to live in the UK.

Here is the full list:

Wadhurst, East Sussex was named as the overall Best Place to Live in the UK

Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide – Full list


Winner: Saffron Walden, Essex

Aylsham, Norfolk

Bourn, Cambridgeshire

Buckhurst Hill, Essex

Dedham Vale, Suffolk

Felixstowe, Suffolk



Winner: Crouch End


Hackney borders N1 and E8


King’s Cross

Notting Hill



Winner: Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

Digbeth, Stirchley, Birmingham

Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire

Great Malvern, Worcestershire

Market Harborough, Leicestershire

Melbourne, Derbyshire



Winner: Donaghadee, Co Down

Ormeau, Belfast

Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh


Winner: Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear

Holmfirth, West Yorkshire

Ilkley, West Yorkshire


Ouseburn, Newcastle


Thirsk, North Yorkshire

Wooler, Northumberland


Winner: Liverpool


Penrith, Cumbria

Rawtenstall, Lancashire

Sale, Greater Manchester

Stockport, Greater Manchester

Tarporley, Cheshire


Winner: Dunkeld, Perthshire

East Linton, East Lothian

Portobello, Edinburgh

Shawlands, Glasgow

Newport-on-Tay, Fife


Tighnabruaich, Argyll and Bute


Winner: Chichester, West Sussex

Alresford, Hampshire

Brighton and Hove, Seven Dials

Folkestone, Kent

Guildford, Surrey

Lindfield, West Sussex

(East) Oxford

Reading, Berkshire

Reigate, Surrey

Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire


Winner: Cirencester, Gloucestershire

Bishopsteignton, Devon


Broad Chalke, Wiltshire

The Chew Valley, Somerset

Marlborough, Wiltshire

Penzance, Cornwall

Poundbury, Dorset


Winner: Ruthin, Denbighshire

Abergavenny, Monmouthshire

Barmouth, Gwynedd

Pontcanna, Cardiff

Gower Peninsula, Swansea

Narberth, Pembrokeshire

Solva, Pembrokeshire

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