Where is the happiest place to live?

FLAGS EYE VIEW: View of Clitheroe from the top of Clitheroe Castle.'Photo Ben Parsons
FLAGS EYE VIEW: View of Clitheroe from the top of Clitheroe Castle.'Photo Ben Parsons

Clitheroe is one of the happiest places to live in the country.

In a survey released this week by the Office for National Statistaics, the Ribble Valley was named as the second happiest place to live in the UK. Top of the survey was Fermanagh and Omagh.

Mayor of Clitheroe Coun. Susan Knox.

Mayor of Clitheroe Coun. Susan Knox.

At the other end of the scale, Pendle was named in the same survey as being the “most anxious” place to live.

And, in yet another survey this week, Clitheroe has been beaten by Longridge in a list of the 20 best places to live in the UK.

The town was placed 13th, six places higher than last year, while Longridge was sixth, in the annual “Hotspots” report from OneFamily, the financial advisers and assurance group, released yesterday.

The report, coming just weeks after Ribble Valley was placed second in a Hamptons UK estate agents’ survey, was based on post code, house prices, average income, crime rates and educational performance. Number one was Wokingham in Berkshire, with Winscombe, Somerset, runner-up and Faringdon, Oxfordshire, third.

Apart from our countryside, Clitheroe has a wonderful community spirit. There are lots of organisations that do so much for the town, where people in charities and voluntary groups give something back

Clitheroe Town Mayor Coun. Sue Knox

Clitheroe’s Town Mayor, Coun. Sue Knox, used to live not far from Wokingham, and knows where she’d rather be.

“Wokingham is quite posh, but there are planes from Heathrow flying over the town and it’s expensive to live there,” she said. “Apart from our countryside, Clitheroe has a wonderful community spirit. There are lots of organisations that do so much for the town, where people in charities and voluntary groups give something back.”

The OneFamily report is based on an analysis of more than 2,000 postcodes against 70 different sets of criteria.

A spokesperson said: “Clitheroe appeared in 19th place last year, so has improved its standing in 2015 thanks to excellent educational results and low average house prices.”

The average two-bedroom house in Clitheroe is £146,718, compared to £167,327 in Longridge and a whopping £281,495 in Wokingham.

With Clitheroe’s median income of £23,670, houses are easier to buy than in Longridge (income £19,193) or Wokingham, where the median income of £27,362 would not even cover one-tenth of the cost of a two-bed house.

Clitheroe was tops out of the 20 for primary school education, with 33.8 points for the average Key Stage 2 score, and was in the top 10 for secondary education, with 65.7% gaining four or more GCSEs at A* to C. Longridge’s figures were similar at 32.8 points and 67.3% respectively.

Crime figures in both towns were low; Longridge (PR3) suffering just 0.1 crime per head and Clitheroe (BB7) on 0.18.

Karl Elliott, spokesperson at OneFamily, said: “Life’s milestone moments are often exciting but they can also be stressful, and moving house is right up there with the most difficult.

“We have created an easy way to help them find the best place to live. This includes our report and the Family Hotspots calculator.

Anyone visiting www.onefamily.com/hotspots/check-your-postcode can simply enter a postcode and see how different areas fare.”