Hart in Hampshire is crowned UK's best place to live

Hart in North East Hampshire has been crowned the UK's best place to live in an annual quality of life survey.

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

Hart, which contains the town of Fleet, has come out on top five times in the past six years in the Halifax Quality of Life Survey, which took into account factors such as residents' health and life expectancy, wellbeing, earnings, employment, crime rates and weather.

But living in an area with such a good quality of life comes at a price, with the average house price in Hart, at £419,231 standing at 8.8 times the average annual pre-tax local income.

Orkney Islands
The Orkney Islands in Scotland came in second place in Halifax's 2017 Quality of Life Survey (PA).

Hart rocketed back up to first place from 26th position last year 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.

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."

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

And here are the areas with the best quality of life regionally, according to Halifax:

South East, Hart
East Midlands, Rutland
East of England, Uttlesford
West Midlands, Wychavon
London, Westminster
South West, Purbeck
Yorkshire and the Humber, Craven
Wales, Monmouthshire
Scotland, Orkneys
North West, Eden
Northern Ireland, North Down and Ards
North East, Northumberland

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