The picturesque Ribble Valley is the happiest place to live in the UK - and that's official!
According to the Office of National Statistics on a scale of 0 to 10, Ribble Valley residents scored an average of 8.30 when asked by government surveyors about how happy they felt.
This compared with an average of 7.56 for the rest of the country.
Set in breathtaking countryside with the town of Clitheroe at its heart, the Ribble Valley has become a desirable place to live and has also become a destination for 'foodies' keen to sample what is on offer on the menus at the variety of award winning pubs and eateries.
A staggering 4.4M visitors flock to the Ribble Valley every year which last year contributed £260.8M to the local economy.
Delighted to hear the news Ribble Valley MP Mr Nigel Evans described his constituency as a ' truly remarkable place' thatwas set apart from everywhere else thanks to it's 'true sense of community spirit.'
He said: "I am proud to call the Ribble Valley my home.
"We boast fantastic schools, great restaurants, pubs and amazing independent shops that people travel for
miles to visit.
"People here possess charming northern grit and say it as it is, meaning you are never in doubt as to where
you stand – I think this is beneficial for building a sense of community.
"No more is this evident as when I visit Remembrance Day parades each year and the whole community comes out in force to pay their respects.
"In Whalley they literally have thousands of villagers taking part in the procession.
“With the Ribble Valley booming and more shops, bars and restaurants opening we must brace
ourselves for more tourists!”
Earnings in the Ribble Valley are above average, and people are more likely to be homeowners.
It is also among the top rates of owner occupation in Lancashire, ranking well ahead of towns such as Blackburn, Burnley and Preston.
On the negative side, young people can find it hard to get on the housing ladder in the Ribble Valley while cuts to public bus services have made life harder for those without transport, particular those living in the outlying villages.
Out of 61 schools in the Ribble Valley 57 scored ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ in their most recent Ofsted inspections,
enticing more young families move into the area. The abundance of well-kept parks, countryside trails and a relatively low crime rate also bolsters their desire to settle in the Valley.
Coming in as the second happiest place to live was the Orkney islands with Chichester third, Hambleton fourth and Lancashire's own Fylde Coast fifth.