FIVE Dorset towns have been branded among the country's favourite coastal locations.

Compare My Move has ranked more than 150 coastal locations to identify the best places to relocate by the sea on a number of factors including average house prices, beach ratings and median full-time salary.

The data also assessed average temperature and quality of beach water. 

Their research found that five Dorset towns made the list, including Bournemouth, Poole Southbourne, Swanage and Weymouth.

Swanage came out best among the Dorset towns, ranking third overall. The study found the town had the best-reviewed beach, with a 4.9 rating out-of-five. 

The town also beat not only a number of Dorset towns but also popular towns such as Camber, Herne Bay and Felixstowe. 

Poole came fifth overall with Southbourne in sixth and Weymouth and Bournemouth  behind in seventh and eighth respectively.

Their study revealed Weymouth had the lowest average house value of £266,335 but also the lowest medium full-time salary of £28,951. 

The list of top ten locations can be found below. Follow this link for the full list.

Dorset Echo: The table in full (CREDIT: Compare My Move)The table in full (CREDIT: Compare My Move)

Dave Sayce, managing director at Compare My Move comments: "Increasing numbers of people are looking to ditch their lives in the city and relocate, especially in light of the coronavirus pandemic, with many choosing to move closer to the coast in search of a more laidback way of life by the sea.

"It's easy to see why, with the UK being home to some stunning seaside towns and villages, but upping sticks and moving to the coast can be an expensive choice not forgetting the hidden costs such as solicitors fees for buying a house.

"It’s interesting to see the top coastal destinations being located so close to London, with the likes of Whitstable on the Kent coast, and Sleaford in East Sussex, offering popular places for stressed Londoners to escape to, while still having transport links into the big city."