TEST Valley has been named the best place to live in England and Wales, with a new study commending the borough for its river, countryside and “quintessentially English-sounding” town names.

More than 7,000 areas across England and Wales were ranked on official data including average household income, crime rates, health, home ownership and economic activity.

Cllr Ian Carr, leader of Test Valley Borough Council, said: “This is a great result for Test Valley and naturally we are pleased that our area has been recognised for some of the important factors that enhance quality of life. We are very proud of the borough.”

Two Hampshire boroughs made the top 10, with Basingstoke and Deane coming ninth in the rankings.