A LEAGUE table of the best places to live in the UK says Swanage is the best area in Dorset when it comes to natural beauty.

The seaside town came 35th out of almost 1,400 cities, towns and villages across England and Wales when it comes to its natural beauty credentials. 

Meanwhile, Blandford Forum achieved an overall ranking of 89th when scored in terms of its natural beauty, architectural beauty and quality of life making it the most desirable place to live in Dorset.

Property experts Garrington has ranked 1,372 places to create the definitive league table of post-Covid property hotspots.

Locations were scored on their proximity to open water, national parts and areas of outstanding beauty, the number of listed and period homes, air quality, crime figures and the number of farm shops within a three-mile radius.

Bath took first place thanks to its architecture and nearby rolling hills and open spaces.

It scored top for its architectural beauty, 40 for its natural beauty and 269 for quality of life. The average cost of a family home is listed at £650,000. 

Other locations that appeared in the list included Tenby in Pembrokeshire, Bradford on Avon in Wiltshire, Ilfracombe in Devon and Canterbury in Kent.

Rye in East Sussex scored highest for its natural beauty. 

Lyme Regis, where the average family home costs £520,000, was the only place in Dorset to feature in the shortlist coming in 15th place.

To view the report in full visit garrington.co.uk/best-places-to-live-in-2021.

Here’s how some of our other towns fared:


Overall rank: 347 / 1372

Natural beauty rank: 432 / 1372

Quality of life rank: 360 / 1372

Architectural beauty rank: 526 / 1372

Average family home cost: £350k-£650k

Rank in price band: 191 / 605


Overall rank: 361 / 1372

Natural beauty rank: 239 / 1372

Quality of life rank: 516 / 1372

Architectural beauty rank: 655 / 1372

Average family home cost: £350k-£650k

Rank in price band: 197 / 605


Overall rank: 207 / 1372

Natural beauty rank: 64 / 1372

Quality of life rank: 400 / 1372

Architectural beauty rank: 617 / 1372

Average family home cost: £350k-£650k

Rank in price band: 123 / 605


Overall rank: 118 / 1372

Natural beauty rank: 35 / 1372

Quality of life rank: 625 / 1372

Architectural beauty rank: 328 / 1372

Average family home cost: £350k-£650k

Rank in price band: 77 / 605

Blandford Forum

Overall rank: 89 / 1372

Natural beauty rank: 87 / 1372

Quality of life rank: 667 / 1372

Architectural beauty rank: 141 / 1372

Average family home cost: £350k-£650k

Rank in price band: 58 / 605