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Underrated little city named UK’s best and it isn’t York, Bath or Cambridge



Underrated little city named UK’s best and it isn’t York, Bath or Cambridge

Dunfermline, Scotland’s ancient capital, is the number one best value city in the UK, according to a new list. Dunfermline was only awarded its official city status in 2022 in the lead-up to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. However, the historic Scottish city beat out cities like Leeds and Cardiff to claim the top spot in The Telegraph’s list of best value cities.

According to research from Savills, Dunfermline is the most attractive and affordable city for recent graduates in the country amid a cost of living crisis. Newcastle, Salford, Leeds and Cardiff rounded off the top five most affordable cities in the country.

Dunfermline has the magic combination of “well-paid jobs, comparatively low house prices, a favourable ratio of property costs to household income and somewhere which is teeming with culture and amenities”.

Aberdeen has marginally more affordable homes and a slightly more favourable house price-to-income ratio, but Dunfermline earned its top spot due to its expansive job market and cultural boom.

The league table highlights Dunfermline’s proximity to Edinburgh, with a 32-minute train to the Scottish capital.

While the distance between the two cities is only half an hour, the average house price in Dunfermline is more than £133,000 cheaper.

The research from Savills found that the average house price in the Fife city is £206,900, with the average household income £56,225

Meanwhile, the average sold house price in London last year was £723,132, versus £346,683 across Great Britain.

People who move to Dunfermline can expect gorgeous woodlands around Pittencrieff Park, while five minutes out of the city will land you in the adventurous Townhill Country Park and Town Loch – the national training site for waterskiing and wakeboarding.

There are also widespread wild swimming spots, such as Aberdour Silver Sands Beach, and a booming scene of independent craft makers.

The old Art Deco fire station has been reinvented as Fire Station Creative, a bustling arts hub of artists, printmakers and jewellers. New arrivals can also spot up-and-coming young bands given the city’s lively open mic scene.

Historically, the ancient Scottish capital is the resting place of some of Scotland’s great kings and queens – including Robert the Bruce.

Local campaigner Michelle McWilliams, who was part of the bid for city status, said at the time: “We were Europe’s fastest-growing town. Now we’re one of its most creative and historic small cities.”

The British capital, London, failed to make the top ten, as Lucian Cook, head of residential research for Savills, explained: “House prices are as high as eight times household incomes across 75 percent of the capital.”

Elsewhere, the jobs website Adzuna reported that Leeds offers the best-paid jobs outside the capital.

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