Friendly, full of character and with some of the best-value new homes in the White Rose county, it is well worth launching a house-hunting expedition to South Yorkshire. Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster are the main hubs but they are surrounded by some stunning, historic villages all served by the M1, M18 and A1.
If you're a country lover, you'll be spoilt for choice. This area is bordered by the Peak District, the Pennines, North Yorkshire's flatlands and artist David Hockney's much-loved Wolds. Culturally, it offers the Crucible and Lyceum theatres, the Arena in Sheffield, plus galleries, museums, country houses and, of course, the home of the St Leger - Doncaster racecourse.
Sheffield is now attracting big service providers and boasts some of the best retail in Britain at the famous Meadowhall Shopping Centre and the city is a magnet for top-flight business people, young professionals and families. Housebuilders have also spotted its desirability, so property-wise there is something for everyone.
Bovis Homes, which recently won a What House? Award, has superbly located properties at The Hawthorns in the High Green area, close to open countryside. They start at £76,995 for a stylish one-bedroom apartment and rise to £149,995 for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house.
Keepmoat Homes is offering a shared equity deal on two-bedroom properties at its Amaranthus site in the northern suburbs, close to Parson Cross Park and Longley Park. They cost £89,995 and with the equity loan, you pay just £67,496.
City centre living has taken off in Sheffield and new apartments offer an excellent investment. There is a large student population and many of them stay on after leaving university. Urban Splash is working on the mammoth Park Hill flats project, which shows great promise.
Sanctuary Group is catering for the older generation. It has 20 apartments for sale at Roman Ridge aimed at giving elderly people independent living with care and support. Prices start from £120,000 and there are part-buy/part-rent options available.
Over in Doncaster, which has its own airport and has a fast rail link to London, you'll find another What House? Award winner, Redrow, showcasing its elegant New Heritage Collection of homes. The Danum St Giles development in Scawthorpe, close to countryside, is incredible value with prices starting at £156,999 for a three-bedroom detached to £189,999 for a four-bedroom detached house.
In Barnsley you'll see why Michael Parkinson is proud of his native town. It has its own personality and some upmarket shops. Buy into Barnsley through Bovis Homes' Woolley Grange Park development, where prices start at £204,995 for an impressive three-bedroom, two-bathroom detached home with gardens and garage. The properties have views across the Dearne Valley.
Barratt Homes' Bretton Park site in Barnsley has properties ranging from £116, 995 for a two-bedroom house to £194,995 for a four-bedroom home. Barratt also has a range of offers including Armed Forces discounts, part exchange and its Head Start shared equity scheme for key workers and first time buyers.
There are more offers from Barratt at Oasis in the heart of Kimberworth Park, Rotherham. The site is surrounded by woodland and has three-bedroom homes for £144,495.
This three-bedroom, two-bathroom home costs £204,995 at Bovis Homes' Woolley Grange Park development in Barnsley