Do you live in one of the 50 best places in the UK? A tranquil corner of Hampshire tops the list for an impressive fifth year in a row
- Hart in Hampshire has the best quality of life in the UK
- It scores highly on health, life expectancy, crime rates and weather
- The South East dominates the annual top 50 list by Halifax
- Nowhere in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland made it into the top 50
A tranquil corner of Hampshire has been named as having the best quality of life in the UK for an impressive fifth year in a row.
The district of Hart was given the accolade after scoring highly on a range of issues, including health and life expectancy, personal wellbeing, crime rates and weather.
The South East dominated the annual top 50 list by Halifax, securing seven of the top 10 places.
This graphic shows the top 10 places to live in Britain, according to the latest research conducted by Halifax
Top spot: A new housing development at St. Mary's Park in Hartley Wintney in the District of Hart, Hampshire which held onto its crown as having the best quality of life in the UK for the fifth year in a row
Hook is one of the towns in the Hart district of Hampshire, which has the the UK's best quality of life
South Oxfordshire climbed 19 places to take second place, while Mole Valley in Surrey moved up 12 spots to seventh place.
Guildford also rose up the table by 15 spots to eighth position. However, nowhere in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland made it onto the list.
Despite Scotland enjoying some of the lowest crime and traffic rates, it fell short in areas including average earnings and weather. Its top region, the Orkney Islands, only came 83rd out of 250. Wales’s best region, Monmouthshire, took 61st place.
People living in Kensington & Chelsea have the highest average weekly earnings in the study, at £1,238 per week, followed by the City of London at £1,023 per week and Richmond upon Thames at £970 a week.
That compares to a UK average of £630 a week.
The highest level of employment is in Winchester in Hampshire at 87.4 per cent, followed by the Orkney Isles at 86.3 per cent and Eastleigh in Hampshire at 85.3 per cent. The UK average is 72.9 per cent.
Thame High Street in South Oxfordshire which climbed 19 places to take second place
Rural charms: View from the Chiltern Hills near Hambleden, towards Henley-on-Thames, the area was voted third best in the country for quality of life up from fifth in 2015
Down: The historical city of Winchester, famous for its stunning cathedral, dropped one place to fourth
The Harringworth or Welland Viaduct, across the valley of the River Welland, at Seaton Meadows Nature Reserve, Rutland which fell one place from fourth to fifth in the Halifax list
Picturesque: The River Wey at Waverley Abbey which moved up the list four places from tenth to sixth
Residents in Hart also earn well above the average salary, with a gross weekly of £865 and it has a high employment rate of 84.5 per cent.
Hart, which is centred on the town of Fleet, boasts large open spaces of heathland and woodland as well as Hampshire's largest freshwater lake.
Its residents are the healthiest in the UK, with more than 97 per cent saying they are in good health.
Women can claim a high average life expectancy of 86.6 years, while for men it is 82.4 years - both among the longest.
They are also among the happiest, most satisfied, believe what they do is worthwhile and the least anxious in the country.
Superb suburb: Dorking from Box Hill, part of Surrey's Mole Valley which moved up 12 spots to seventh place
Climber: The High Street in Guildford, Surrey. The town rose up the table by 15 spots to eighth position
Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire. South Cambridgeshire moved up four places to ninth
Desirable The village of Kinoulton in Ruthcliffe which falls two places to tenth
The list revealed the top 50 places to live in Britain, with towns and villages placing 11 to 20 shown above. Pictured: 11. Wokingham, south east, 12. East Cambridgeshire, 13. St Albans, 14. South Northamptonshire, 15. Horsham, 16. Mid Sussex, 17. St Edmundsbury, 18. Eastleigh, 19. Epsom and Ewell, 20. Surrey Heath
The towns and villages pictured above show the areas placing at 21 to 30 in the list of the best places to live in the UK. Pictured from the top, left to right: 21. Stratford-on-Avon, West Midlands, 22. Richmond upon Thames, London, 23. Uttlesford, 24. Vale of White Horse, south east, 25. Chelmsford, 26. Sevenoaks, 27. Tunbridge Wells, 28. South Bucks, 29. Tonbridge and Malling, south east, 30 North Kesteven, east Midlands
Other factors keeping the district ahead of the pack include a low crime rate, with 9.5 burglaries per 10,000 people, considerably lower than the 29.6 national average.
MOST SEARCHED PLACES IN THE UK
Bristol was the most searched for place this year outside London, while Margate saw the biggest asking price hikes and homes in Welwyn Garden City took the quickest time to sell away from the capital, new data suggests.
Figures taken from Rightmove claim London was the most searched for place in 2015, as well as being home to property hotspots where houses are the fastest to fly off the market and see the biggest asking price uplifts.
But stripping London completely out of the figures, Bristol was the most searched for place for homes to buy or rent in the UK, followed by Cambridge.
Rightmove also looked at asking price growth and the time it took to sell a property, this time looking just across England and Wales.
Outside London, the seaside town of Margate in Kent saw the price of property coming to market go up by 24.2 per cent to £204,631 between January and the end of November, followed by Altrincham in Cheshire up 21.9 per cent to £484,258. These were the biggest asking price hikes outside London.
The average time for a property to sell across England and Wales this year was 62 days.
Properties in Welwyn Garden City sold fastest outside London, spending an average of 25 days on the website before being sold, with nearby Hertford coming in second place with an average selling time of 26 days.
Even the weather is agreeable, with 32.5 hours of sunshine every week compared to 29.5 hours for the UK and an annual rainfall of 738mm compared to 879 for the UK.
All of the advantages of the district come at a cost, with the average house price eight times the average annual pre-tax local income, compared to the national average of 6.8.
Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said: 'A mixture of good health, high wealth and a generally happy life continues to cement Hart's place as the best place to live in the UK.
'Low crime rates, good weather, and a long life expectancy all play an important part in keeping this Hampshire district at the top of the pile.
'Many areas in south eastern England also perform well in terms of average earnings, employment rates, health and the weather.
'But the South doesn't have it all its own way, and there are areas in the North which score highly on school exam results, and physical environment characteristics such as low population densities and low traffic flows.'
The study found that only five areas in the top 250 in the country have an average house price to earnings ratio which is below the UK historical long-term average of four. There are Copeland at 3.7, Blaenau Gwent, West Dunbartonshire - both at 3.8, and Merthyr Tydfil and East Ayrshire - both at 3.9.
The highest ratios are all in London boroughs, including Hammersmith and Fulham at 13.5, Brent at 13.4 and Hackney and Ealing - both at 12.7. The national average is 6.8.
The biggest homes are in Uttlesford in Essex, Chiltern, South Buckinghamshire and Rutland, which all have an average of 6.4 habitable rooms.
The smallest homes are in the City of London, Tower Hamlets, and Westminster - all below four habitable rooms. The average number of habitable rooms in the UK is 5.5.
The areas which placed at 31 to 40 in the recent study are: 31. New Forest, 32. Chichester, 33. East Hampshire, 34. West Dorset, 35. Hambleton Yorkshire and The Humber, 36. West Oxfordshire, 37. East Dorset, South West, 38. North Dorset, South West, 39. Harborough, east Midlands. 40. Warwick, west Midlands
The areas which placed at 41 to 50 are: 41. West Berkshire, 42. Wychavon, west Midlands, 43. Windsor and Maidenhead, 44. Blaby, east Midlands, 45. Mid Suffolk, 46. South Norfolk, 47. Basingstoke and Deane, south east, 48. Wealden, south east, 49. Test Valley, south east, 50. East Hertfordshire in the east of England
People living in Kensington & Chelsea earn the highest weekly wage at £1,238 per week
|Local Authority||Region||2015 Rank||2014 Rank|
|South Oxfordshire||South East||2||21|
|Mole Valley||South East||7||19|
|South Cambridgeshire||East of England||9||13|
|East Cambridgeshire||East of England||12||39|
|St Albans||East of England||13||12|
|South Northamptonshire||East Midlands||14||7|
|Mid Sussex||South East||16||17|
|St Edmundsbury||East of England||17||68|
|Epsom and Ewell||South East||19||48|
|Surrey Heath||South East||20||20|
|Richmond upon Thames||London||22||15|
|Uttlesford||East of England||23||6|
|Vale of White Horse||South East||24||62|
|Chelmsford||East of England||25||25|
|Tunbridge Wells||South East||27||31|
|South Bucks||South East||28||76|
|Tonbridge and Malling||South East||29||42|
|North Kesteven||East Midlands||30||40|
|New Forest||South East||31||59|
|East Hampshire||South East||33||110|
|West Dorset||South West||34||134|
|Hambleton||Yorkshire and The Humber||35||50|
|West Oxfordshire||South East||36||30|
|East Dorset||South West||37||102|
|North Dorset||South West||38||95|
|West Berkshire||South East||41||85|
|Windsor and Maidenhead||South East||43||26|
|Mid Suffolk||East of England||45||45|
|South Norfolk||East of England||46||78|
|Basingstoke and Deane||South East||47||29|
|Test Valley||South East||49||82|
|East Hertfordshire||East of England||50||28|
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