Just weeks after being voted the most depressing place to live in the UK, Falmouth has been chosen as the one of the best places to live in the UK.

Sherborne, Dorset has been named the best place to live in the southwest in the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide thetimes.co.uk/bestplacestolive .

But Falmouth is also placed in the top eight, which is not ranked but we prefer to think that Falmouth came second.

The Sunday Times judges said about Falmouth: “Cornwall’s liveliest town offers something for people of every age.

Falmouth Packet: The guide said culture is provided by the Poly and the Cornish BankThe guide said culture is provided by the Poly and the Cornish Bank (Image: Supplied)

“Gyllyngvase Beach is probably the best town beach in the country, culture is provided by the Poly and the Cornish Bank, the coffee scene is one of the best in the country and there’s an ever-improving choice of excellent places to eat and drink.”

Falmouth Packet: The guide said culture is provided by the Poly and the Cornish BankThe guide said culture is provided by the Poly and the Cornish Bank (Image: Newsquest)

Falmouth BID’s executive director Richard Wilcox said: “We’re always delighted to see a deeply researched, thoughtful and correct editorial representation of what it really feels like to live and work in Falmouth such as this.

"Falmouth has previously been cited as a Sunday Times ‘perennial favourite’ – and this year’s editorial concentration on including true communities, and places where people simply love living, makes it no surprise that Falmouth hits the right notes again.”

“What is especially pleasing is to see so many of our excellent local businesses and cultural venues included, and what they continually bring to the quality of life here, namechecked alongside the creativity that comes from the Falmouth University graduates who decide to settle here and set up brilliant initiatives. It’s also great to see Gylly Beach recognised as ‘probably the best town beach in the country’."

He went on to add: "In this tough economic climate, all of our businesses are working harder than ever to maintain their crucial trade, to keep local people in jobs and to continue to add to our characterful high street. So, we’ll happily take this collective national spotlight, and The Sunday Times’ assertion of us being the ‘coast with the most’, plus their recognition that we’re a year-round ‘proper working town.’

"And unlike the ‘other recent poll’, these guys have actually visited, experienced and deeply interrogated Falmouth for what it really is, and for what it delivers every day for those of us who choose to live here."

Seven other locations in the Southwest are featured in the comprehensive guide.

Published by The Sunday Times, the guide includes 72 locations across the UK.

• Sherborne, Dorset.

• Cirencester, Gloucestershire.

• Clevedon, Somerset.

• Dartmouth, Devon.

• Exmouth, Devon.

• Isle of Purbeck, Dorset.

• Tisbury, Wiltshire.

For the first time in the guide’s 12-year history, there is no place for Bristol. The 2017 winner misses out this time because of its ruthless property market and gruelling public transport system.

Helen Davies, editorial projects director and Best Places to Live editor, says: “This guide is a celebration of towns, cities and villages that are each a fantastic place to live in 2024, from Dunkeld to Knutsford, Falmouth to Leeds. Wherever you are on the property ladder, there will be somewhere to suit you.

“These are all places where you can feel grounded as well as upwardly mobile: they have a mature sense of community, lively, supportive high streets and an eye to the future, whether that is eco-friendly measures, transport and regeneration, or imaginative inclusion of new housing.”

Falmouth Packet: Gyllyngvase Beach was described as probably the best town beach in the countryGyllyngvase Beach was described as probably the best town beach in the country

The Sunday Times’s expert judges have visited all the locations and assessed factors from schools to transport, broadband speeds to culture, as well as access to green spaces and the health of the high street.

The chosen locations come in all shapes and sizes, from the tiny Scottish island of Kerrera and the remote Welsh village of Presteigne to big, lively cities such as Belfast, Liverpool and London.

There are more new entries than ever before in this year’s guide.

“What makes our guide unique is that we actually visit all the places we choose and talk to locals to find out what life is really like there,” Helen Davies, the guide’s editor, says.

“That means we can see what people really love about the places they live. That might be fast commutes and high-achieving schools but also clean water to swim in, lively town centres with useful shops, the possibility of earning a living and being part of a friendly community. “We do consider affordability, though high house prices are no barrier to inclusion- as long as they provide value for money. Different people may be looking for different things, but what all our best places have in common is that people love living in them and are proud to call them home.”

The guide has again been sponsored by the mortgage lender Halifax, which has provided an average house price for each location. “Where you want to live is a very personal decision. We know it can be daunting whether it’s deciding where to buy your first home or making a move as your circumstances change.

“There can be lots to think about around what is right for you and your family. With a great range of locations suited for different budgets and family situations, alongside a great mix of both rural and urban locations, this is a great place to start,” says Kim Kinnaird, Halifax’s homes and protection director. Broadband speeds were provided by Thinkbroadband.com, the UK’s leading independent guide to broadband.

Previous winners of the Best Places to Live in Britain title are: Stamford, Lincolnshire (2013); Skipton, North Yorkshire (2014); Newnham, Cambridge (2015); Winchester, Hampshire (2016); Bristol (2017), York (2018), Salisbury, Wiltshire (2019), Altrincham, Cheshire (2020) Stroud, Gloucestershire (2021), Ilkley, West Yorkshire (2022) and Wadhurst, East Sussex (2023).