ANDOVER isn't as bad as some people like to say it is.

The town was recently nominated as 'one of the UK's 'most depressing' places to live, but I think it gets given a bad rep.

Just look around you for a start, we have a LOT of countryside, and isn't it beautiful?

A lot of towns these days have a habit of selling off their land to the highest bidder, with stunning countryside locations being transformed into concrete jungles filled with those God-awful, ugly, poor-quality new builds.

Andover residents can proudly say this isn't the case.

We can happily take a stroll through places like the Clatfords, ramble alongside the River Anton and pop into a lovely local pub for a swift half.

No town does pubs like Andover. We're truly spoilt for choice. No matter where you go, you're bound to find a proper good local just around the corner - and there is nothing better than a Sunday lunch with a pint in a pub garden in the summer.

The town is full of history, it was mentioned in the Domesday Book, recorded with a population of 107 households in 1086, putting it in the largest 20 per cent of settlements recorded in Domesday.

We've got the Museum of the Iron Age which is full of ancient artefacts belonging to our ancestors, and we've also got the Army Flying Museum, in fact, the Ministry of Defence is the largest employer in the town - that is something to be proud of.

It's a town of tradition.

Things like the carnival just make Andover that little bit more special than other towns where the culture is dying out. This large annual celebration throughout the town, filled with music and vibrant colours makes us unique.

Yes, it may seem silly to an outsider, but it's a good laugh and the kids love it.

On the subject of tradition, our local farms even hold ploughing matches - you won't see that in many other places.

We can't forget the Thruxton circuit - the fastest race track in the UK - is right on our doorstep. Imagine being able to witness drivers reach 190mph, and then hop into a single seater and have a go yourself, that's one heck of a day out.

There is so much for the kids to do. Are you even from Andover if you haven't visited Finkley Down Farm?

Growing up, this was always a fun day out for me, I have fond memories of visiting the adventure play area and interacting with the animals.

While there are many great things to do in Andover, for those who fancy a little trip out of town, we have excellent transport links to London, the South Coast and up North.

There are bound to be people reading this, thinking: "The best thing to do in Andover is leave", so I say to them: just be thankful for how easy it is to do so.

The cynical bunch will say that the town is not what it used to be, shops keep closing and the only things opening are barber shops and cafes. In a glass half full way, count yourself lucky that you'll never have to queue for a haircut or a sandwich.

Okay, I'm not saying Andover is the eighth wonder of the world, but it really isn't THAT bad.

It's a town full of history, tradition, natural beauty and character, and the people who call these things depressing must be incredibly hard to please.