Winchester has been ranked the third best place to live in the UK, moving significantly up the ranks from 10th place last year.
The ninth annual study by Halifax bank has taken into account health, crime, weather, jobs, broadband access, education, employment levels and housing to decide quality of life. It includes data from the Office of National Statistics, the met offices and various government departments.
The average weekly earnings in Winchester is £780, 14.5% higher than the national average of £629. The survey also believes residents are healthier and better educated than most of the country. The city is surrounded by luscious forest and is also an ideal location for commuting.
Steve Brine, the MP for Winchester and Chandler’s Ford told the Daily Echo:
“I am not at all surprised at Winchester’s ranking but I am delighted. Yes, it’s a pretty place to live and it’s close to London and the coast as well as a really useful airport but the fundamentals are strong and improving and that’s what I think lies behind this.”
Another Hampshire town, Hart, located in the North East of the county has ranked first for the fourth year in a row. The Isle of Wight was given the title of sunniest place in the UK, celebrating an average of 36.9 hours of sunshine a week. Various other parts of Hampshire ranked in the top 100 – notably Eastleigh at 53, Farnham at 55, and the New Forest at 59. Test Valley which includes Romsey and Andover was ranked at 82.
Unsurprisingly the wealthiest part of the country, the South East, dominated the survey with 6 in the top 10 and 26 of the top 50 towns and cities located in this area. There were no representatives from Wales or Northern Ireland in the top 50, and only one from Scotland- the Orkney Islands – coming in at number 47.