Abergavenny has been listed among the 'Best Places to Live in Wales', in the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live Guide. 

Seven locations in Wales are featured in the Comprehensive Guide, with Abergavenny recognised for its stunning scenery, active community and abundance of high quality restaurants.

However, Ruthin in Denbighshire ultimately reigned supreme. The Sunday Times judges praised the historic town for its medieval and Victorian buildings, atmospheric setting surrounded by the Clwydian hills, as well as its community hubs and excellent schools.  

The Guide includes 72 locations across the UK and will be officially released online at 6am Friday March 24. An abridged version will be published as a magazine supplement on Sunday.  

Helen Davies, the editor of Best Places to Live 2023, said: “When times are tough, where we live matters more than ever. Attractive surroundings, good neighbours and a comfortable home are the best defences when the stresses of modern life seem overwhelming. 

 “This Guide is a celebration of towns, cities and villages that are each a fantastic place to live in 2023 from Orkney to Felixstowe, the Chew Valley to Manchester city centre. Whether you’re downsizing, trading up or getting onto the property ladder, there will be somewhere to suit you.” 

The sponsor, Halifax, have also provided the average house price for each location. Kim Kinnaird, the director of Halifax Mortgages, commented: “At Halifax, we know it’s where you live that really makes somewhere feel like ‘home’. What people look for when choosing where to live is a very personal choice.

"We know that the housing market can sometimes feel daunting when there are so many locations and things to consider. But looking at these fantastic locations is a great start, with options for different budgets and family situations, alongside an exciting blend of urban and rural living.” 

Wadhurst in East Sussex was named the overall winner of Best Places to Live. Judges were enthused by its “good schools, convenient transport connections, an amazingly well-stocked high street and stunning scenery”, adding that it offers “pretty much everything needed for modern life in miniature”. 

The Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2022: Wales 

(Important note: apart from the regional winner, the other locations are not ranked, but listed in alphabetical order.)

Winner: Ruthin, Denbighshire: This beautiful, historic corner of the Vale of Clwyd provides the very best of small-town living. It may look sleepy from the outside, but scratch the surface and it’s a hive of activity. The market hall is the place for food and craft markets and pop-up restaurants, a disused bank has been converted into a repair cafe and the old courthouse is now a visitor hub and co-working space. There are all kinds of interesting independent businesses, producing everything from ice cream to roads.  

Abergavenny, Monmouthshire: From the scenery to the high street and a busy community eager to get involved in everything from choirs to litter picks, there’s something to admire everywhere you turn. This is a proper market town which along with the food festival and the many excellent restaurants, makes this a particularly good spot for anyone keen on eating well. 

Barmouth, Gwynedd: This beautiful resort, with its famous viaduct and stunning mountain backdrop, is rapidly turning from a kiss-me-quick holiday getaway to a sophisticated coastal retreat. It’s now a great place to enjoy the scenery all year round,  helped by an influx of interesting shops and restaurants, such as the beachfront Celtic Cabin, which serves the best street food in the country.

Cardiff, Pontcanna: Small, friendly and unpretentious, Cardiff is the UK’s most likeable capital city. Leafy Pontcanna is our favourite neighbourhood in the Welsh capital, thanks to its  combination of beautiful parks, elegant Victorian terraces and some exceptional independent shops, cafes and restaurants as well as easy access to the city centre. 

Gower Peninsula, Swansea: This 70 sq miles of prime scenic seaside is worth its place on beauty alone, but it has even more to offer than its beaches, cliffs and moorlands. It’s a busy hive of community projects - village shops, organic farms and much more. From the smart Swansea suburbs of Caswell Bay and Langland to village life at its best in Llanmadoc or Llangennith there’s something for everyone - especially families who can enjoy the outdoor lifestyle while keeping Swansea on the doorstep.  

Narberth, Pembrokeshire: An exciting new food hall and a new cafe that offers mental-health support are just the latest additions to a town centre that punches far above its weight. Easy access to Pembrokeshire’s spectacular beaches, a swimming pool, lively community centre and a strong cultural offering add to the appeal. 

Solva, Pembrokeshire: The location is beautiful, but it’s the community spirit that earns this village its spot. From Bayview Stores, the brilliant village shop that became a lifeline during lockdown, to the annual fireworks display or the Solva Edge festival, there’s a rare determination among the population to take care of each other and keep Solva buzzing all year round.