5 min read

What makes a family friendly hotspot?

The ideal place to bring up a family can be a deeply personal thing. While some escape the city the minute their pregnancy-test stick turns blue, others come out in a cold sweat at the mere hint of a rural life with no public transport.

young child on fathers shoulder with mum walking next to them

The freedom to let our kids run through fields and climb trees may be appealing, but there is also the reality of being near to work, able to afford a house, and all the other aspects of life that determine where we settle.

The Family Friendly Hotspots Report

Starting a family can change one’s priorities. The latest Family Friendly Hotspots Report makes interesting reading if you’re weighing up the pros and cons of two areas. I remember when my first child came along. A decent place to go for brunch becomes more important than how quick the bus into town is.

Even if you’re not moving, our web tool means you can see how your area compares with the national average on a number of factors. It allows you to put more weight on specific criteria to generate the best postcode for your particular needs.

What do parents look for in a family-friendly area?

There are generally common aspects that all parents look for in a family-friendly area. The factors considered include; affordability of childcare, local crime figures, property prices and school performance. Yet as any parent of young children will know, happy, day-to-day living involves much more than these bald stats allow.

There are myriad of things that make life easier with young children and easy access to like-minded, similar stage parents is part of that. As are amenities that suddenly become so essential when there are kiddies to entertain through all weathers.

So other considerations have also been added to the mix to determine these hotspots such as;

  • The existing population of parents with young children.
  • Parks and green spaces.
  • Leisure centres.
  • Zoos and farms.
  • Museums and theatres.

For many people, living in a lovely rural location would be a nightmare it’s bereft of other young families.

This year’s list

In this year’s list, market town Wokingham in Berkshire comes out as the top spot for families. This is thanks to its Key Stage 2 results, childcare provision and earning prospects. Being within commuting distance of London as well as the M4 technology cluster probably helps here.

The top 20 rankings for family-friendly locations is dominated by rural options. Devon came out particularly well with four of the top 20 slots. But for many families more urban settings are a preferred, or indeed essential, choice. Which is why the inclusion of a top 20 list of cities and another for commuter towns this year is so pertinent.

The Midlands steal the top spots on the city list with Leicester and then Stoke-on-Trent ranked first and second. Commuter towns round Bristol dominate the other table. London is given two tables of its own for inner and outer boroughs.

Written by Jane Bainbridge

Note: Whilst we take care to ensure Talking Finance content is accurate at the time of publication, individual circumstances can differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decisions.