HARROGATE has been named as the nation's favourite place to call home.

The genteel spa town has been crowned the happiest place to live in Britain in a survey of nearly 50,000 people. In the North-East, Durham was voted top followed by Middlesbrough and Darlington.

People were asked to rate towns on how contented they were with their home and local community. Four of the top ten happiest places to live were in the North and two in Scotland while all ten areas in the unhappy slot at the bottom of the list were in London, despite the city's huge price tags for houses.

Rightmove, who carried out the survey, said Harrogate scored top for the second year running with safety, sense of neighbourliness and recreation high on the agenda.

Councillor Michael Newby, Mayor of Harrogate, said: "The district has some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK, if not in Europe and beyond. There is also a great community feel, which certainly makes life a lot happier for many people."

The average house price in Harrogate is £309,133 - £37,000 higher than the national average.