As a teacher, when you think of moving to the UK for work and where is best to live, naturally you’re more than likely drawn to cities like London, Manchester, Edinburgh or Cardiff. But have you ever considered counties like Hertfordshire, Suffolk or Essex? From rural villages to seaside towns and busy commuter belt locations, these three counties have something for everyone. We’ve provided a quick guide to living in the UK for teachers and break down some of the best places to live.


According to uSwitch Hertfordshire has one of the best employment rates across the UK and in 2015 ranked third for its quality of life.

With a combination of vibrant towns and countryside protected by the Green Belt, Hertfordshire is only a short train journey away from central London and close to key motorway links and has two airports within easy reach.

St Albans

The cathedral city of St Albans has an excellent street market to visit and plenty of fantastic restaurants and bars to keep you busy in your free time. The schools across St Albans are often rated as outstanding by Ofsted, with a choice of both excellent state and independent schools available.


Renowned for its vast, diverse bars, restaurants, shops, parks and local attractions, Cheshunt is becoming increasingly popular with young families who are drawn to the area for the abundance of outstanding schools right on their doorsteps. Each school has a reputation for providing high standard learning and offers a varied choice of schooling for all ages.


Set in the Hertfordshire countryside, Broxbourne is a key commuter town with three primary schools that feeds into one large secondary school, all rated good or outstanding by Ofsted. Close enough to the capital to be convenient for work and entertainment, Broxbourne is also far enough away for you to take a break from city life.

Average monthly living costs in Hertfordshire:

Utilities – £160.62 | 1 bedroom apartment – from £875 | Transport – £75 | Food – £160


Essex has plenty of variety with urban developments, sleepy towns, rural bliss and plenty of traditional seaside towns (Essex actually has more coastline than any other county in the UK). Nowadays, with the increasing popularity of reality TV show ‘The Only Way Is Essex’, this is what springs to mind for a lot of people, but in reality, Essex has a lot more to offer than that.

With over 90 secondary schools and 450 primary schools, there is plenty of opportunity to match your requirements for your next job in a school in Essex.


Brentwood is classed as one of the best top ten commuter towns, along with the lowest unemployment rate and highest standard of living. The boutique-town has many independent shops and nightlife to keep you entertained, but is also close enough to the countryside to escape the busy town. With the impending introduction of Crossrail, residents of Brentwood will also soon have their journey time cut in half to reach central London.

Did you know Brentwood is also home to Athona’s head office? So we’re always within easy reach should you ever need to contact us or meet with the team.


The UK’s newest city, there’s been plenty of investment and regeneration in and around the city centre. With a busy high street and two indoor shopping centres close by and plenty of entertainment with a wide range of cafes, pubs and cinemas, you’re sure to find something for everyone. Chelmsford also boasts over 20 parks to walk, cycle and enjoy.


Although close to the hustle and bustle of Southend-on-Sea, Rochford is a small town with a long standing commitment to green conservation. If you’re looking for a new home within a small, traditional community, but with plenty of activity just 10 minutes from your front door, the well-connected town of Rochford is the best choice for you.


With a strong community spirit, clean beaches, fresh air and unspoiled nature and wildlife, Clacton has had many people relocating from London (which is only an hour away) and across the UK to this seaside town for years now. With an array of local attractions and entertainment facilities, you can keep busy with the pleasure pier, arcades, water sports, beach walks, a golf course and theatres.

Average monthly living costs in Essex:

Utilities – £114.89 | 1 bedroom apartment – £675 | Transport – £80 | Food – Between £120 & £200


If you’re looking for a slower pace of life with unspoilt countryside and plenty of coastal air, then Suffolk is the county for you. Far enough away from the hustle and bustle of busy city life, but with direct transport links right into the central of London, you’re able to get the best of both worlds.

Throughout Suffolk there are hundreds of primary and secondary schools, with many of the secondary schools now forming as academies.


Ranked as one of the best up-and-coming places to live in England, Ipswich is known for the fantastic cultural offer available to its residents. The town centre is consistently improving and includes an array of fantastic shops and restaurants for you to enjoy, not forgetting the excellent waterfront.

Bury St Edmunds

The town of Bury St Edmunds is surrounded by underrated, beautiful countryside and is littered with plenty of cobbled streets leading around this historic market town. Bury St Edmunds is a culinary hotspot allowing you plenty of opportunity to eat and drink at award-winning restaurants, gastropubs and cafés, right before heading out to enjoy the wealth of leisure activities available to you.

Average monthly living costs in Suffolk:

Utilities – £111.95 | 1 bedroom apartment – £575 | Transport – £50 | Food – Between £120 & £180


But if you believe city life is more for you, then where better to live than the capital city of London. From its richly diverse culture and vibrant attractions, London really does have something for everyone. With the fantastic array of cuisines, west end shows, large sporting events, museums and famous landmarks, you’ll have plenty to explore and to keep you entertained each week. Better still, with direct links to almost all European cities you can take weekend breaks throughout the year.

In 2018 we successfully placed a teacher moving to the UK from Sydney and within weeks they were telling us “London really has the ability of amazing you each and every day.” Sound good to you? Well when working through Athona Education, you’re guaranteed to have access to the very best schools across London.

Average monthly living costs in London:

Utilities – £160.35 | House share – £650 | Transport – £150 | Food – Between £150 & £200

Do any of these places sound of interest to you? Would you like to find out about our current teaching positions based in and around these areas? Get in touch with the team today.