Rutland, Dorset and Melton: Why I love where I live - even if others might not

Charlie and her partner Tom Image copyright Charle Pallett
Image caption Charlie (right) spoke to us in defence of her home county of Rutland

Right now Radio 1 Newsbeat is asking a big question: do you know your place?

We've been able to find out what your local area is like for young people, looking at things like mental health waiting times, rent prices and places to go out.

You can find out how your own area performs by entering your postcode.

The best places to live for young people are Bristol, Oxford and Glasgow.

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Click here if you cannot see the interactive map.

But, of course, this isn't about saying places are good or bad. You might love where you live even if the 4G coverage isn't all that.

We've been talking to three people who live in areas that didn't score too highly - asking them what's great about the place they call home.

Know Your Place: The top 5

  1. Islington
  2. Camden
  3. Westminster
  4. Bristol
  5. Cardiff

Know Your Place: The bottom 5

  1. Melton (bottom)
  2. Tewkesbury
  3. Allerdale
  4. West Dorset
  5. Western Isles (5th from bottom)
  • If you want to know more about where the data comes from and how your area was ranked, click here.


One of our measures is internal migration - looking at how many 16 to 25-year-olds are leaving. And the place losing young people the fastest is Rutland, in the East Midlands.

That's where 24-year-old Charlie lives - but she loves it.

"I love the fact that it's super unique, and kind of feels like a separate place to the rest of the country," she tells Newsbeat.

"Everyone's just super friendly, and everyone knows everyone.

"It's kind of a thing that everyone from Rutland laughs about - you'll meet someone and they'll know your brother or sister or auntie or uncle."

What's so good about it?

"It's just a really cool unique place," says Charlie.

"It's like going back in time, but it's got so much going for it: the scenery, the houses, the market towns."

Charlie - who also goes by the name the Rutland Blogger - lives in the town of Uppingham with her partner Tom and their pugs Arla and Otis.

"I love the independent coffee shops," she says.

"You get service like you get nowhere else. Everyone you see in there you meet all the time."

Charlie admits you have to be a certain type of person to enjoy living there - basically you have to love the countryside and walking your dog.

"Going-out-wise, there is one bar. There's mainly just country pubs - and that's kind of your offering for going 'out out'.

"But I just love the country pub atmosphere after a dog walk."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Normanton Church is one of the most well-known landmarks in Rutland

"It's a small county that you can see in a day, basically," says Charlie.

Right in the centre is Rutland Water, a man-made lake which Charlie says is "really beautiful".

Plus, Charlie is quick to point out that Hugh Jackman taught PE at Uppingham School during his gap year.

And if it's good enough for Hugh, it's good enough for you.

West Dorset

Like Rutland, West Dorset has a relatively high number of young people moving out of the area. And that's where we chatted to 18-year-old carer Esme.

"I have three best friends - one of them stayed in Dorset, one of them moved to Bath and one to Manchester," she told us. "My sister and all her friends have left and my sister has been telling me to leave as soon as I can."

Image caption Esme says the beach is her "favourite thing" about living in West Dorset

But she says it would be a wrench: "I love the beach. If I moved away that's the one thing I'd miss.

"I like being able to just walk places and not have to worry, and the dog can walk alongside me."

And she feels safe, away from the big city: "There is no crime and if there is then it's very, very petty."

Melton Mowbray

Image caption You had me at cheese

Back in the Midlands, 22-year-old Ellie and her baby daughter Cecilia live in Melton Mowbray.

"When I was younger I didn't really like it," she confesses, "but now I'm older it's fine."

Image caption Ellie Hadley lives in Melton with her four-month-old daughter Cecilia

Melton scores highly on our scale for rent prices and 4G, but rates zero for going out, mental health care and sports facilities.

Ellie thinks her social life's OK though, with baby in tow: "There's a lot of child friendly cafes, if you want to meet up with friends they always accommodate that."

But she would prefer a bit more variety in places to eat. "Italian's quite popular, we've got, like, ten Italians," she tells us. "I would much rather see some cocktail bars and different places to eat."

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