Sunday Times votes Harrogate best place to live in Yorkshire

If you're looking for a place to live the North or North East then Harrogate is officially your best bet.

Monday, 14th March 2016, 4:09 pm
Updated Monday, 14th March 2016, 4:16 pm
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After scooping the prize for the happiest place to live in August 2015 for the third year running, the town has received yet another accolade.

The Sunday Times has declared Harrogate the best place to live in the North or North East England in its Best Places to Live in Britain guide.

North Yorkshire featured heavily in the list with Helmsley, Leyburn, Richmond, Skipton and Thirsk also featuring highly on the list.

But it was the independent cafes and restaurants, the wealth of top-quality schools and the landmark Stray that clinched the title for Harrogate.

According to the supplement, locations were rated on date and statistics such as crime rates, house prices and school performance.

However, it also draws on the 'expert knowledge of Sunday Times writers' to consider the places that have the best quality of life in making its decision.

Sunday Times home editor Helen Davies, even threatened to leave Harrogate out because the town features so regularly in recommendation articles.

However, Ms Davies admitted that she couldn't overlook Harrogate 'because the town features in all these surveys for good reasons'.

She wrote: "The wealth brought to the area by affluent Victorians and Edwardians, visiting to take the waters at its spa, declined sharply in the early 20th century, and Harrogate could have subsided into down-at-heel gentility.

"Instead, it reinvented itself as a conference and cultural venue, hosting everything from the Simon Bolivar String Quartet to the annual Knitting & Stitching Show."

The Sunday Times concluded that it loved Harrogate because it was cosmpolitan and classy but still retained its 'old-fashioned Yorkshire charm'.

In August, Harrogate beat the likes of York and Shrewsbury, and, even, London to be named the happiest place to live in the entire country for a third consecutive year.

And, judging by what The Sunday Times has to say, it would take a brave person to rule Harrogate out for making it four on the spin in 2016.