YORK has been ranked among the best places to live in the North and Northeast of England.

Easingwold, north of York, is also included in a list of 10 places in the region chosen to represent the best of Britain in the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide.

Judges for the guide, released online today, assess factors, from schools, air quality, transport and broadband speeds to culture, green spaces and the health of the high street.

They also look for well-designed homes and locations bursting with community spirit - which the pandemic has shown to be vital.

In York, with average house sale of £285,000 and £850 pcm rental, judges gave it a particularly high score for education.

At least 90 per cent of state pupils attend a school rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, and Fulford School was named 'comprehensive of the decade' by The Sunday Times Parent Power guide.

They picked out South Bank as a good area for people priced out of the city centre, praising the independent shops and Rowntree Park.

Judges said: “York is one of the very best locations in the country for schools, and its unbeatable rail connections and interesting shops and restaurants give this historic city a thoroughly modern edge."

Ilkley, West Yorkshire, came top in the region, while Stroud, Gloucester took the national crown.

About Easingwold, with an average sale price of £270,000 and £725 pcm rental, judges picked out the choice of secondary schools, including Outwood Academy.

They said: “Civilised shops and a cobbled market square are one reason we think this unpretentious Georgian market town is one of North Yorkshire’s best.

"The other is the perfect location, close to both the Dales and Howardian Hills but conveniently located on the A19."

The 10 best places in the North and Northeast of England also include (in alphabetical order, rather than ranking): Alnmouth, Northumberland; Barnard Castle, Co Durham; Leeds; Masham, North Yorkshire; Slaithwaite and Todmorden, both in West Yorkshire; and Tynemouth, Tyne & Wear.

A detailed breakdown of house prices has been supplied by data specialists TwentyCi and information on internet speeds has been supplied by Thinkbroadband.com, the UK's independent guide to broadband.

Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times Property Editor said: “This guide has never been so important.

"The pandemic has taught us just how much we rely on our homes, our communities and our surroundings. With working from home now common, it’s no surprise that many of us are reassessing our priorities and thinking hard about where we really want to live.

“Our focus for this year has been community, countryside and convenience. It hasn’t been a year for big cities or small villages. Instead it is small towns that have shone: big enough to have everything you need within walking distance and small enough for everyone to feel connected."