1. ITV Report

Hart in Hampshire named best place to live in UK

Hart in Hampshire has come out on top five times in the past six years. Credit: PA

Hart in North East Hampshire has been crowned the UK's best place to live for the fifth time as rural areas triumphed in quality of life survey.

Halifax named the quiet area as the top spot for 2017 in the latest annual results.

Its Halifax Quality of Life Survey takes into account factors such as residents' health and life expectancy, wellbeing, earnings, employment, crime rates and weather.

The Orkney Islands in Scotland took second place, followed by Rutland in the East Midlands, Wychavon in Worcestershire while last year's winner Winchester took fifth place.

Runner up: The Orkney island Mainland city Stromness. Credit: PA

Hart climbed back up to the top spot from last year's position of 26 having scored strongly in the Office for National Statistics (ONS) personal wellbeing survey, Halifax said.

More than nine in 10 (97%) residents there report good or fairly good health and it has the longest average female life expectancy in the UK of 86.7 years, and the third longest for males (82.5 years), the report found.

Hart residents enjoy 32.5 hours per week of sunshine, against the national average of 29.7 hours.

But the benefits of living in the UK's best place come at a price, with the average house price in Hart standing at £419,231, 8.8 times the average annual pre-tax local income.

Highly rated: Winchester was in fifth place. Credit: PA

Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax, said: "Hart seems to have been offering residents an unrivalled mix of living standards for five of the last six years, seeing employment rates, average earnings and ONS personal wellbeing rankings bounce back after falling from the top spot last year.

"Along with Hart, many areas in southern England score strongly in categories including the labour markets and health.

"Northern areas tend to perform well on education and benefit from more affordable properties with lower house prices to earnings."

Urban hotspot: Central London squeezed into the top 20. Credit: PA

Here are the top 50 places with the best quality of life in the UK in 2017, as ranked by Halifax

  • 1. Hart, South East
  • 2. Orkney Islands, Scotland
  • 3. Rutland, East Midlands
  • 4. Wychavon, West Midlands
  • 5. Winchester, South East
  • 6. Wokingham, South East
  • 7. Waverley, South East
  • 8. Craven, Yorkshire and the Humber
  • 9. Richmondshire, Yorkshire and the Humber
  • 10. Stratford-on-Avon, West Midlands
  • 11. Uttlesford, East of England
  • 12. Ryedale, Yorkshire and the Humber
  • 13. Westminster, London
  • 14. South Oxfordshire, South East
  • 15. St Albans, East of England
  • 16. Tonbridge and Malling, South East
  • 17. East Hertfordshire, East of England
  • 18. City of London, London
  • 19. Chiltern, South East
  • 20. Rugby, West Midlands
  • 21. Selby, Yorkshire and the Humber
  • 22. St Edmundsbury, East of England
  • 23. Mole Valley, South East
  • 24. Suffolk Coastal, East of England
  • 25. Purbeck, South West
  • 26. Harrogate, Yorkshire and the Humber
  • 27. Hambleton, Yorkshire and the Humber
  • 28. West Oxfordshire, South East
  • 29. Lichfield, West Midlands
  • 30. Harborough, East Midlands
  • 31. Monmouthshire, Wales
  • 32. Eden, North West
  • 33. Mid Sussex, South East
  • 34. South Cambridgeshire, East of England
  • 35. Richmond upon Thames, London
  • 36. Tewkesbury, South West
  • 37. Windsor and Maidenhead, South East
  • 38. Chelmsford, East of England
  • 39. Chichester, South East
  • 40. Babergh, East of England
  • 41. Kensington and Chelsea, London
  • 42. Woking, South East
  • 43. Maldon, East of England
  • 44. Wycombe, South East
  • 45. Cotswold, South West
  • 46. Aylesbury Vale, South East
  • 47. Wiltshire, South West
  • 48. Stroud, South West
  • 49. Test Valley, South East
  • 50. Lewes, South East