Craven and Richmondshire among top places to live in UK

The River Aire between Skipton and Gargrave. The Craven area has been named one of the best places to live.
The River Aire between Skipton and Gargrave. The Craven area has been named one of the best places to live.
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Craven in North Yorkshire has been named one of the best places to live in an annual quality of life survey.

Hart in North East Hampshire topped the list of the best 50 areas.

The annual survey, from Halifax, took into account factors such as residents' health and life expectancy, wellbeing, earnings, employment, crime rates and weather.

Craven and Richmondshire are both within the top 10, ranking eighth and ninth, while Ryedale (12th), Selby (21st), Harrogate (26th), and Hambleton (27th), all feature.

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.

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.

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