A Guide To Choosing Boarding Schools Based On Location

Welcome to our in-depth guide on choosing a boarding school based on location. Location is one of the most important considerations during school selection. Do you choose a school in the countryside or in the city?  We’ll explore the pros and cons of each to help you make a decision that is best suited to your needs.

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how to choose a boarding school based on location


Depending on where you decide to study, the experience can be very different. Do you prefer the vibrant, cultural immersion of London or bask in the beautiful landscapes of Lancashire? While there are no right or wrong answers as to where you should study, it’s important to consider the strengths and weaknesses of both ends as well as your personal preferences before making your decision.

Why Study In The British Countryside?

Let’s begin with boarding schools in the more rural areas. The British countryside provides a tranquil, focused environment for students to focus on their studies. You’re essentially away from the hustle and bustle of the city and the distractions that come along with living in the city. Furthermore, schools in the countryside tend to have expansive grounds for outdoor activities. Imagine  massive fields and sports arenas for you to engage in your favourite extracurricular activities. Living out on the campus as also means you are surrounded by a close-knit community of boarders everyday, allowing you to foster camaraderie and lifelong friendships which transcend study life.

epsom college uk

Why Study In The City?

Boarding schools in the city come with their fair share of benefits too! Being in the city means you are in close proximity to cultural attractions, museums, and theatres, greatly enriching your overseas education experience. It’s not to say you can’t visit while you are in the countryside, as schools often organise weekend excursions, just not as often.

Immersing yourself in the urban lifestyle means you get to meet people from all walks of life and have more exposure to a multicultural environment. You’re not just confined to the school grounds and fellow boarders.

Being in the city means you also have convenient access to major public transportation routes. You can hop on a bus, train, or airplane anytime and explore the rest of the United Kingdom or beyond.

city life in the uk

The Drawbacks

The downsides are essentially the opposites of each option. For example, being in the countryside means you have limited access to the rest of the region. Travelling might become more of a hassle. Conversely, being located in the city means you might have fewer opportunities to bond with your fellow boarding students and have more distractions. Ultimately you have to consider your interests and whether your choice of school aligns with them.

How To Choose A School Based On Location?

A good place to start is to list down what your preferences are. For example, do you prefer the city life? Sightseeing on the weekends? Do you plan to travel much while studying? If so, the city might be a better option. Conversely, if you prefer the peace and tranquility of the countryside, you can opt for schools that are further away. Some schools are even located at suburban areas which are not too far away from the main cities. This gives you the best of both worlds. Remember, even if a school is distant, most schools will organise trips for students to visit cities or towns for leisure, cultural exchanges and also sporting events.

City or Rural - Which Is More Expensive?

School fees typically depend on several factors besides location, such as prestige, school academic performance, facilities and amenities, living expenses, specialised programmes, market demand and more. Hence, all because a school is located in a rural area doesn’t mean it is cheaper than a school in London. It’s important to factor in school fees during school selection to ensure it doesn’t exceed your budget.

Other Considerations When Choosing A School

Location is one of the many aspects of choosing the right school for your education needs. In our article, How To Choose A Good Boarding School, we dive deeper on how to select a school based on other factors, such as academic standards, cost, entry requirements, and more.

Best Boarding Schools In The UK City Areas

In our list below you can find the top-ranked boarding schools according to the A Levels League Table that are located in the city areas.

Best Boarding Schools In The UK Suburban Areas

In our list below you can find the top-ranked boarding schools according to the A Levels League Table that are located in the suburban areas.


In short, both countryside and city boarding schools offer unique advantages and drawbacks, so it’s important to weigh them and decide on the type of education journey you want. Regardless of your choice, both environments will offer you an experience of a lifetime— fostering independence, lifelong friendships, and essential life skills, all while providing outstanding learning opportunities, equipping you for future academic pursuits and career endeavours. 

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