The 20 most picturesque places to move to in the UK

Rated People have published their latest Home Improvement Trends Report, which highlights the 20 most picturesque places to move to in the UK.

Despite the stamp duty holiday coming to an end, demand for moving home is still strong, so property experts reveal the most Instagram-worthy towns and cities in the UK for homebuyers to consider for their next move.  

Highlights from report:
  • Durham has been revealed as the most picturesque place in the UK, followed by Cornwall’s Newquay and Lincolnshire’s Stamford
  • Thecounties that boast the most picturesque areas are Cambridgeshire, Cornwall, Kent and North Yorkshire, all featuring twice in the top 20 list 
  • England’s largest city, London,and the second smallest city, Ely, both feature in the list 

The 20 most picturesque places to move to in the UK

Durham is ranked as the UK’s most picturesque place for homebuyers to move to, according to a new study by find-a-tradesperson platform, Rated People 

The latest Home Improvement Trends Report from Rated People reveals more than a quarter of UK homeowners (29%) say they want to move house this year to get more outside space and 25% want a bigger home.

So, to provide inspiration for property buyers as the ‘race for space’ continues, the research analysed Instagram hashtag data for over 500 UK towns and cities. The study then compared this with each place’s population size, to reveal the locations that people want to photograph the most. 

The Top 20 most picturesque places for homebuyers to move to 

Surrounded by the River Wear and boasting a beautiful Romanesque Cathedral, Durham is revealed as the most Instagram-worthy place to live in the UK. More than 2.5 million photos of Durham have been shared on Instagram, and with a population of just over 50,000, that means for every person there are 50 photos shared online, making it the UK’s most photographed city. 

Cornish surfing town Newquay follows as the second most scenic place in the UK with 42 photos shared per capita, and Stamford in Lincolnshire is third, with 32 photos. 

Scarborough boasts 31 photos per person, which puts the North Yorkshire town in fourth place. In fifth, with 30 Instagram shots per capita, it’s the northern city of Manchester, with a whopping 16.5 million shots and a population of just over 550,00. 

The UK’s 20 most picturesque locations:
Rank  City/Town  Instagram photos  County   Region  Population  Photos per person 
1  Durham  2,601,061  County Durham  North East  51,837  50.18 
2  Newquay  909,883  Cornwall  South West  21,889  41.57 
3  Stamford  653,624  Lincolnshire  East Midlands  20,558  31.79 
4  Scarborough  1,901,394  North Yorkshire  Yorkshire Humber  61,525  30.90 
5  Manchester  16,468,992  Greater Manchester  North West  554,400  29.71 
6  Brighton  7,075,737  East Sussex  South East  241,999  29.24 
7  Cambridge  4,319,044  Cambridgeshire  East  149,023  28.98 
8  Falmouth  684,587  Cornwall  South West  23,968  28.56 
9  York  4,554,540  North Yorkshire  Yorkshire Humber  161,994  28.12 
10  Warwick  851,832  Warwickshire  West Midlands  32,718  26.04 
11  Liverpool  14,833,871  Merseyside  North West  579,256  25.61 
12  Oxford  4,146,065  Oxfordshire  South East  163,967  25.29 
13  Newcastle upon Tyne  5,646,656  Tyne and Wear  North East  281,842  20.03 
14  Edinburgh  9,581,542  Edinburgh  Scotland  488,050  19.63 
15  London  150,696,691  London  London  8,907,918  16.92 
16  Ely  335,558  Cambridgeshire  East  20,255  16.57 
17  Canterbury  1,028,006  Kent  South East  62,767  16.38 
18  Torquay  822,303  Devon  South West  50,645  16.24 
19  Margate  870,828  Kent  South East  64,757  13.45 
20  Inverness  621,240  Highland  Scotland  47,290  13.14 


Interestingly, England’s largest city, as well as the country’s second-smallest city, make the top 20 list. The historic Cathedral town of Ely in Cambridgeshire, with a population of just 20,255 is England’s second-smallest city, but with 335,558 photos posted to Instagram, according to the research it’s one of the most picturesque places in the UK for homebuyers to consider for their next move.  

At the other end of the scale, England’s capital, London, also makes an appearance in 15th position with a colossal 150 million photos shared on the app. Despite the difference between the total number of photos, when the size of each city is accounted for, both have the same photos per capita, at 17.  

The most picturesque counties in the UK  

The four most Instagram-worthy counties are Cambridgeshire, Cornwall, Kent and North Yorkshire, as they all feature twice in the top 20 list.  

In Cambridgeshire, prestigious Cambridge is in seventh place and quaint Ely takes 16th. In Cornwall, surfer haven Newquay just misses out on the top spot and comes in second place, and Falmouth, with its popular university and beautiful beaches, takes eighth position.  

In Kent, the cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Canterbury, comes in 17th place and close behind in 19th position, is the timeless English seaside holiday town, Margate. 

Further up the country, in North Yorkshire, Britain’s ‘original seaside resort’ Scarborough takes fourth spot and the ancient Roman city of York lands ninth place.  

Adrienne Minster, CEO of Rated People, commented: 

“Over the last year or so, our houses have become so much more to us than simply the walls in which we live. Lots of us have invested in home improvements and reinvented our spaces to be better suited for working from home or to give us more room for family life and spending time with our loved ones. Plenty of others have decided to move and get to work on making a new house feel like home.  

“With flexible and fully remote working becoming more popular, it has opened up new possibilities for where we choose to live. For a helpful piece of inspiration, we wanted to showcase the places around the country where residents and visitors wanted to photograph the most, as this provided an indicator of their beauty. But rather than just looking at the places with the most Instagram photos, we accounted for the size of each place to paint a more accurate picture. 

“We know when people are looking for their next home, there are so many factors to take into account. Kerb appeal and the surrounding area are often key, so we hope our list of picturesque places will help anyone who’s currently on the lookout for their next home.” 


To see the full list of the top 100 most picturesque places in the UK, visit


Kindly shared by Rated People

Main photo courtesy of Pixabay