WEST Dorset and Purbeck have been ranked in the top 20 best places to live in the UK, according to a new survey.

The 2016 Halifax Quality of Life Survey, which ranked the top 50 local authority districts, saw Purbeck ranked seventh and west Dorset fifteenth.

Factors considers in the survey included employment, health, environment, education, personal well-being and leisure.

The local authority district of Winchester scooped the top spot based on residents' health and life expectancy, employment and earnings, and high scores in personal well-being surveys.

People who live in Winchester also have access to a good number of leisure facilities for socialising and downtime.

The Orkney Islands have taken second place, followed by Wychavon in Worcestershire, Derbyshire Dales and Hambleton in North Yorkshire.

And nearly two-thirds of the top 50 best places to live in the UK are in southern England, with 18 in the South East, a further six areas in the East of England, five in the South West and three in London.

Martin Ellis, economist at Halifax, 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.

"On the other hand, there is a cost associated with a high quality of life with house prices in Winchester 9.7 times the average annual local income – significantly higher than the UK average of 7.2.

“With more and more emphasis being placed on achieving a good work-life balance, the 2016 Halifax Quality of Life Survey includes a leisure category for the first time. This has had an impact on the rankings, especially at the top.”