Revealed: The 10 Best Cities for Distance Learning

17 January 2022

Robert Duke



With many employees settling into remote working for the long-run, the concept of ‘The Great Resignation’ has taken hold of the business world. Essentially, many workers who sat tight during the uncertainty of the pandemic are now looking to change jobs. This has led many to seek further education so that they can gain skills for new employment opportunities. With many new jobs being based remotely, many experts have called on those either made redundant or just looking for a change to retrain for the good of their future careers. 

Google searches around online learning has seen a surge in interest during the pandemic, and it’s reasonable to assume this trend will continue into 2022. Here at Protect Your Bubble, we wanted to analyse the latest data available to reveal which cities and towns across the UK provide the best set up for these distance learners.

To find this out, we compared the latest data available for nine deciding categories. These were:

• Percentage of premises with ultra-fast broadband

• Library reviews

• Cafes with free Wi-Fi

• Number of nature and parks

• Rent prices

• Utility prices

• Internet price

• Weekly earnings

• Median overtime hours worked

We scored 50 cities using the above data points, and then normalised each category to give a score out of 10. Adding this all together gave us which cities are best suited for distance learning.

The top 10 was the following:

1. Slough (6.68)

2. Norwich (6.67)

3. Bolton (6.54)

4. Ipswich (6.43)

5. Portsmouth (6.29)

6. Belfast (6.22)

7. Southampton (6.19)

8. Dundee (6.09)

9. Cambridge (6.09)

10. Plymouth (6.01)

The top 10 was extremely close overall, however, just tipping Norwich to the top spot was Slough. Slough scored highly in five of the nine categories, including the availability of green space, the least overtime worked, percentage of homes with ultra-fast broadband, average library reviews, and weekly earnings.

At the other end of the scale, Sunderland was ranked the least favourable area for distant learners. The city ranked poorly in categories such as the number of cafes with free Wi-Fi, availability of green space, weekly earnings, and access to ultra-fast broadband.

The prominence of learning online will continue to rise amongst those seeking new employment, new areas of academic interest, and those looking to build additional skill sets in their life. (And we’re here to help if you’d like to insure the gadgets you use to learn!*)

Although we hope our study helps you to see where might be best suited for distance learning, if you are looking to learn remotely, we encourage everyone not to fuss over these data points... Everyone will want something different from their virtual campus, and it's important to find the right place for you.

You can view the full interactive table.

list of the best cities for distance learning


*Underwriter Assurant General Insurance Limited. Gadget age restrictions, T&Cs & excesses apply. Customer UK