The United Kingdom, with its diverse landscapes and vibrant cities, offers a range of options for residents seeking an affordable place to call home. In 2023, these cities and regions stand out as havens for budget-conscious individuals and families.UK is famous for its tourist centers, academic institutions like Oxford and Cambridge, football culture (The English Premier League), and its capital London, which is a globally influential and recognized Commercial, financial, and cultural center.
Consequently, the United Kingdom is popularly known as one of the perfect countries to live or study in, however, the high cost of living in UK is a mitigating factor. This article therefore considers the cheapest places you may live in the UK.
Most Affordable and Cheapest Cities In the United Kingdom
1. Cardiff: Cardiff, the capital city of Wales is the United Kingdom’s 11th largest city and one of the most affordable cities in UK. The estimated cost of living in Cardiff is £655 per month without rent, while rent for example 1 bedroom, hall, and kitchen (HBK) apartment cost around £662 in the city and £504 outside the city.
The basic utility bill costs around £202, and the entertainment, sports, and education are relatively cheap. According to NatWest Student Living Index 2019; Cardiff is U.K’s cheapest student city.
2. Belfast: Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland is one of the cheapest cities in United Kingdom. As a matter of fact, the cost of living in Belfast is cheaper than in 65% of cities in Western Europe.
The cost of living in Belfast is £577 without rent, and rent is estimated £400 for one HBK apartment in the city and £280 for a HBK outside the city. There are also a variety of affordable grocery stores, shopping malls, restaurants, bus and metro services across the city.
3. Newcastle: The city of Newcastle lies on the river tyne in the North Eastern region of England, and is a hub for business, sciences, arts, and a major center for shipbuilding and manufacturing.
Newcastle is yet another affordable city in U.K well known for its friendly atmosphere and relatively cheap cost of living estimated at £590 per month without rent.
4. Aberdeen: Aberdeen, a port city in Northeast Scotland is the third most populous city in Scotland, yet one of the most affordable.
Since the discovery of North Sea oil in 1969, Aberdeen has been known as the off-shore oil capital of Europe, and was the center of Europe’s petroleum industry. The soaring cost of Oil and property prices in Aberdeen then made it one of the most expensive places to live and work in U.K.
However, with its downturn and fall in valuation in Oil and gas, Aberdeen is considered as one of the most affordable city in United Kingdom as the cost of living in Aberdeen is £636 per month. Residents of this city also benefit greatly from their disposable income as research shows that workers in Aberdeen take home an average salary of £2,400 per month, and with expenses of £636 and rent of £538, you will still definitely have a lot of profit to keep.
Additionally, Aberdeen is one of the cheapest cities for students in U.K. According to the official report of, Aberdeen is the only U.K city ranked in top 50 for affordability for students.
5. Norwich: Norwich a city in England’s Norfolk country is one of the safest places to live in UK according to (Country living 2008) and one of the cheapest too
According to (Expatism, Jan 2020) the cost of living in Norwich is 31% cheaper than London. The estimated monthly cost of Living in Norwich is £672.
6. Coventry: Coventry, a city in the West Midlands England is one of the cheapest places to live in U.K, especially for students. According to a report by Studying in UK, Coventry is one of the most affordable city for students as the average rent in Coventry is much affordable than other big cities in the United Kingdom.
7. Edinburgh: Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland has the strongest economy of any UK city save London. According to Research, Edinburgh is the safest city in UK, and its beautiful nature, top educational centers, stunning countryside, and great social environment makes it one of the most desirable cities to live in United Kingdom.
While housing costs in Edinburgh is quite expensive, but relatively cheaper than London, the cost of living is quite affordable. According to recent findings, the monthly cost of living in Edinburgh is £687.
8. Birmingham: Birmingham, a city in West Midlands, England is one of the largest cities in U.K. Birmingham is regarded as the second city of U.K as it is the second most important city in U.K behind London, because of its population size, economic importance, and cultural contribution.
While Living in London maybe quite expensive to afford, Birmingham offers you the next better option as it is a very beautiful and relatively affordable to live, with an estimated monthly cost of living of £640 without rent.
9. Lincoln: Lincoln, a city in the Eastern east midlands is rated as one of the best places to live in U.K and particularly in the Midlands. The cost of living in Lincoln is relatively cheap as it boasts of affordable housing, historic centers, retail hotspots, utility cost, and transportation.
Lincoln is also student friendly, and according Lincoln is one of the cheapest cities for students to study in United Kingdom.
10. Lancaster: Lancaster, a city in Northwest England appears to be the last on my list of cheapest cities in United Kingdom. Lancaster is a fabulous place to live due to its culture, high quality of schools, and affordable cost of living of £649 per month.
11. Nottingham: Situated in the Midland region of Central England. The elevation of Nottingham City is 51 meters. Here, the climate is moderate. The summer season lasts from May till October. The constant range of the temperature is 12°C to 17°C. In November, the weather turns cool. The constant range is 2 to 4 degrees Celsius.
The “Queen of the Midlands” in Nottingham. In this city, living expenses are cheap. In the city, a 1 bedroom, kitchen and hall apartment costs about £610, whereas, outside the city, it costs about £472. The average monthly utility bill is roughly £156. Sports leagues, movies, childcare, and fitness centers are all within budget.
Lenton has affordable housing for students. In Nottingham, stairlifts are available in many homes. In Nottingham, transportation is inexpensive. The monthly pass for city transport runs roughly £56. Currently, Nottingham has four restaurants with Michelin stars.
12. Durham: Durham is a desirable and reasonably priced location in England. Northeastern England is home to Durham. Durham is situated 32 meters above sea level. It is a comfortable temperature. Durham experiences winter from December to February. The daily average temperature is between 6 and 7 C, rising to 19 C in July. The summertime maximum temperature is 15C on average. The city in England with the most affordable rent for students in Durham.
There are many colleges and law schools in Durham. The cost of residing, eating, and enjoying yourself is acceptable here. One-bedroom, hall, and kitchen apartments typically rent for £650 a month in the City and £360 outside the City. The average monthly price for necessities is around £235. The monthly travel pass is £55 in price (plus tax).
13. Stirling: Stirling is sometimes considered as one of the more affordable places to live in the United Kingdom. Here are a few reasons why:
Lower cost of housing: Compared to some major cities like Edinburgh or Glasgow, the cost of housing in Stirling tends to be relatively lower. Property prices and rental costs are generally more affordable, making it an attractive option for people looking for affordable accommodation.
Lower living expenses: Stirling generally has lower living expenses compared to larger cities. Daily necessities, groceries, transportation, and entertainment options often come at more affordable prices, which can contribute to a lower overall cost of living.
Competitive job market: Stirling is home to a number of businesses, organizations, and institutions, including the University of Stirling. The presence of these institutions can provide a range of employment opportunities. A competitive job market can positively impact the local economy and contribute to a more affordable cost of living.
Access to amenities: Despite its lower cost of living, Stirling still offers a range of amenities and services. The city has a vibrant cultural scene, recreational facilities, shopping centers, and restaurants, ensuring residents have access to a variety of activities and conveniences.
14. Bristol: Bristol is often considered as one of the cheaper places to live in the United Kingdom for several reasons:
Lower Cost of Living: Compared to cities like London, Bristol generally has a lower cost of living. Housing, transportation, and everyday expenses tend to be more affordable in Bristol than in larger metropolitan areas.
Affordable Housing: Although Bristol has experienced significant growth in recent years, it still offers relatively affordable housing options compared to other major cities in the UK. There is a range of housing choices available, including apartments, terraced houses, and semi-detached houses, catering to different budgets.
Diverse Rental Market: Bristol has a diverse rental market with a wide range of options available for individuals or families looking to rent. The variety of rental properties helps provide more affordable choices for those seeking accommodation.
Student Population: Bristol is home to several universities, including the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England. The presence of a large student population creates demand for affordable housing and amenities, leading to a more competitive and cost-effective rental market.
Thriving Job Market: Bristol has a strong job market, with opportunities in various sectors, including aerospace, creative industries, engineering, and technology. Despite its growing economy, the wages in Bristol tend to be lower than in cities like London, which can contribute to the perception of affordability.
So far, we have mentioned and discussed the cheapest places to live in the United Kingdom highlighting why they are the cheapest. It is apparent that the places mentioned in this article are not just the best for students. Anyone can live in any of the cities including families and working class individuals. If this article was helpful kindly let us know by dropping a comment in the comment section.