Winchester has been named the best place to live in the UK, according to a survey conducted by Halifax.

Once dubbed "practically perfect" by the Sunday Times' annual best places to live guide, the city knocked rival Hampshire location Hart off the top spot.

Winchester, a small city with a population of just 45,000, scored highly on a number of indicators used by the survey to gauge quality of life in different places. The factors included life expectancy, health, employment, crime, education, broadband access, density of population and the weather.

Martin Ellis, a Halifax economist said: "Looking across a wide range of indicators considered by our research, residents of Winchester in Hampshire enjoy the best quality of life in the UK, benefiting from a combination of above average weekly earnings, low crime rate and good health."

The report found 96.6% of Winchester residents were found to be in good or fairly good health, compared to a national average of 94.6%.

This was also reflected in life expectancy rates with men living, on average, to 82-years-old compared to 79.4 as the national average.

Women fared slightly less well, expecting to live two years longer than the national average of 83.

Top 10 places to live in the UK

  1. Winchester, Hampshire
  2. Orkney Islands, Scotland
  3. Wychavon, Worcestershire
  4. Derbyshire Dales
  5. Hambleton, North Yorkshire
  6. South Cambridgeshire
  7. Purbeck, Dorset
  8. St Albans, Hertfordshire
  9. Wokingham, Berkshire
  10. Chiltern, Buckinghamshire

Perhaps the above-average standard of health could be attributed to diet, with Winchester also laying claim to the UK's largest farmer's market.

However, Ellis added that the high standard of living came at a price for Winchester residents, with average house prices 9.7 times the average annual local income.

Elsewhere in the UK, the average was "significantly" lower at 7.2. Fortunately for Winchester residents, their average weekly earnings of £824 are 27% higher than the UK average of £646. Not, however, as much as the UK's highest earners who lived in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea, who took home an average of £1,273 per week, the study found.

Nonetheless, the largest homes in the country could be found in Uttlesford, Essex. The smallest could be found in three London boroughs – the City of London, Tower Hamlets and Westminster.

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The Orkney Islands were second on the list. Nigel Roddis / Reuters