WEYMOUTH is the UK's happiest town and has one of the best communities in the UK according to a new study.

Analysis by Parkdean Resorts reveals the top 50 UK towns and cities with the greatest sense of community, taking into account factors that denote an open and friendly community that anyone would want to be a part of.

To compile the top 50 list, the UK's towns and cities were ranked against a range of criteria - researchers considered how happy the residents are; how safe the town or city is to live in; the number of local businesses in the area; the number of community activities residents can get involved in, and the number of Facebook groups and pages dedicated to the area.

Dorset Echo:

Weymouth's overall score ranked the town at a respectable number 13 on the list - however, the town's 'happiness index' came in at 8.1 - the highest score of all towns and cities.

The second-'happiest' towns are Horsham and Warwick, each with a score of 7.9.

Parkdean Resorts commented that Weymouth has one of the best communities in the UK.

A spokesman for the holiday company said: "Not only is Weymouth home to idyllic beaches and stunning harbour views, this small town boasts an array of local businesses, offers a selection of activities suitable for all the family and online Facebook groups which solidify its place as one of the friendliest cities in the UK."

Further up the Dorset coast, Bournemouth came in at number five on the list, while Dorchester also features at number 27.

According to its creators, the survey took its 'happiness rates' from the Office of National Statistics (ONS;) safety stats from ADT (provider of online crime mapping;) number of local businesses from the UK Small Business Directory, and number of community activities from TripAdvisor.

The locations were then put in order based on a final index score which decided the areas with the strongest sense of community, compiled of their results for each metric. If an area didn’t have data for a particular metric it was removed from the final results.

Dorset Echo:

"Moving to a new place can be a daunting task," Parkdean's spokesman added. "Not only are new movers met with making new friends and assimilating into a new community, but they also don’t know all the secrets of living in that area such as where the best pub is for a cheap pint or where the locals like to hang out at the weekend.

"A friendly community can make moving just that much easier."

To see the full list visit www.parkdeanresorts.co.uk/caravans-for-sale/top-uk-community-cities/