Hart in Hampshire named as UK's most desirable place

The Hampshire district of Hart The rural area includes the towns of Fleet and Yateley

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The Hampshire district of Hart has been named as the UK's most desirable place to live for quality of life.

The annual study by the Halifax bank took into account factors such as jobs, housing, health and crime as well as weather, traffic and broadband access.

The survey found that 95% of people in the local authority area of Hart were in good health and they tended to have incomes 40% above the national average.

No places in northern England, Scotland or Wales were in the top 50 locations.

Listed buildings

Wokingham, East Cambridgeshire, Brentwood, St Albans, Maidstone, South Cambridgeshire and Epsom and Ewell were all among the top 10 in the 2011 Quality of Life Survey.

Of the top 50 places, 27 were southern England and 15 were in eastern England.

The district of Hart is in north-east Hampshire and includes the towns of Fleet and Yateley.

The River Hart flows through the rural area which has 1,000 buildings listed as being of special architectural or historical interest and more than 30 conservation areas.

House prices

Halifax economist Martin Ellis said: "Residents of Hart benefit from a combination of above-average weekly earnings, a low crime rate and good health amongst other factors.

"On the other hand, average house prices in the area are amongst the highest relative to local earnings, highlighting that a high standard of living often comes at a price."

Hart replaces Elmbridge in Surrey, which has been named as the top location for the past three years.

The only places outside the south and east of England in the top 50 were Wychavon in Worcestershire, Rushcliffe in Nottingham, Rutland, and North Kesteven in Lincolnshire.

In Scotland, the most desirable place to live was named in a Bank of Scotland survey as the Shetland Islands, ousting Aberdeenshire from top spot.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 345.

    I've lived in Hart for 18 years. It's not spectacularly beautiful but it does have a gentle prettiness. After I'd been living here for a few months I realised a lot of my day-to-day stress had disappeared. The people we've met here and in neighbouring districts are delightful. Typically people are NOT rich, but neither are they poor. It is lovely having countryside you can walk across at will.

  • rate this

    Comment number 247.

    How ridiculous, clearly they've never come further north than the Midlands.... I live in the beautiful Ribble Valley having relocated from the Rushcliffe borough in Nottinghamshire and I have to say life here is 100% better. At least the Ribble Valley will be kept as a secret to be enjoyed by the lucky ones who live here.

  • rate this

    Comment number 238.

    I was born/bred in Fleet, my brother still lives there. I go back twice a year to visit but it's not for me.
    The whole of the UK offers such a diverse range of desirable places to live, anyone can easily find their own haven in this green and pleasant land; the hardest part is choosing which from your own shortlist.
    For me, it's not the countryside, the amenities or the location, it's the people.

  • rate this

    Comment number 136.

    What total nonsense, my daughter lives in Hart district, my wife and I live in the Wokingham area only a few miles from the town centre, the concrete jungles of Basingstoke and Bracknell dominate and loom over both of us, both hell holes, cold and soul less. We have properties in rural Carmarthenshire and it is far better with ambience, peace and relaxation, I know where I would rather be.

  • rate this

    Comment number 131.

    The area is not far away from me and certainly would not like to live there. It is really quite bland and boring, lacking in any scenery or character.
    If you want a nice house surrounded by trees and a high security fence, that's fine, but that lifestyle is not for me.


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