Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2022: Jewellery Quarter and Kings Heath make the list

Birmingham city has been named as one of the best places to live in the UK in the influential listing, with a special mention for Kings Heath and the Jewellery Quarter

The Peaky Blinders might have wreaked havoc on city streets back in the day but in 2022 they are credited with putting Birmingham on the map, along with the Commonwealth Games.

And in addition to bringing the eyes of the world to Brum the gangsters and Games have also influenced the creators of the prestigious Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2022 to include Birmingham.

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The city has been named as one of the best places to live in the Midlands section with a special mention to Kings Heath and the Jewellery Quarter. It’s the first time Kings Heath has made it onto the list.

With the average house price being £234,000 and the city seeing 12% growth since 2020 there are lots of reasons why living in Birmingham is great.

Sunday Times Property Editor Helen Davies explained how the list aimed to “capture the spirit” of a place rather than judging it on facts and figures.

Being able to live car free and offering lots of different ways of life to different sorts of people was also deemed important.

Kings Heath, Birmingham

Kings Heath was praised for its independent shops and its two parks - Highbury Park and Kings Heath Park. It also got noticed due to plans for a new train station. The Jewellery Quarter won praise for its heritage architecture and retail and hospitality venues.

Here’s what the Sunday Times said: “It’s a big year for Brum, with both Peaky Blinders and the Commonwealth Games putting Britain’s second city in the spotlight.

“The judges picked the Jewellery Quarter as their favourite city-centre location because of its attractive historic buildings and interesting selection of smart shops, cafés, bars and restaurants.

“In the suburbs, the prospect of a new station, as well as independent shops and a pair of top-class parks put Kings Heath (new) at the top of the list of suburbs.”

Kings Heath Park

Which area came top for the Best Place to Live in the Midlands?

The overall winner for the Midlands was Uppingham in Rutland.

The listing praised the market town for its houses and high street.

It said: “Beauty runs more than skin deep in this sophisticated little market town, where the houses are attractive and the high street has everything you need.

“The biggest star, though, is the Goldmark art gallery, one of the best outside a capital city, whose exhibitions regularly feature works by artists you’d normally have to take a city break to see.”

The average house price is £377,000 and it has seen 4% growth since 2020

Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham

What other towns and cities in the Midlands made the listing?

Birmingham was the only city to make the listing. The other places were:

Ellesemere in Shropshire - average house price £258,000. 19% growth since 2020

Hathersage, Derbyshire - average house price £514,000. No data on growth since 2020

Lincoln Cliff villages, Lincolnshire - average house price £354,00 20% growth since 2020

Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire - average house price £296,000. 16% growth since 2020

Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire - average house price £498,000. 27% growth since 2020

Birmingham skyline

What did the Sunday Times say about this year’s listing?

Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times Property Editor 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? Is it multicultural and multi-generational, and can it offer a good way of life to lots of different sorts of people?

“Ten years ago, when we launched the inaugural list, London’s gravitational pull was strong, the WFH 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 Southwest, and a commutable Scottish island.

“We hope there is something to suit everyone.”

St Paul’s Church in the Jewellery Quarter

Where was named the best place to live overall?

Ilkley in West Yorkshire was named the overall Best Place to Live in the UK 2022

You can see the full listing here: Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2022

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