A PICTURESQUE Hampshire town that’s “got it all” has been dubbed as one of the best places in the UK to live in.

Fareham town has been labelled as the second best place in the UK for quality of life in this year’s annual quality of life survey by Halifax.

With a population just shy of 120,000, Fareham is a place with “vibrant community life” and residents are not short on picturesque views with easy access to the beach and the river Hamble.

The high ranking comes as no surprise to the people living there and Fareham Borough Council leader, Sean Woodward, is happy that what he “already knows to be true” is being echoed by others.

He said: “I’m not at all surprised but it’s good to have the place and community recognised.

“We’ve got it all, we’re very well connected to London, we have access to the sea and the river Hamble.

Sean added: “It’s a great place to work, to live and to bring up a family.

“I like seeing what I already know to be true echoed by others.”

The survey by Halifax looks at how local authority areas compare and takes into consideration 26 different factors that home buyers may consider when choosing a place to live.

This includes employment, earnings, housing affordability, health and wellbeing, education, traffic and crime rates.

A spokesperson for One Community, who operate in Fareham, said: “It is a very well connected borough with a vibrant community life.”

Fareham grew from a population of just 3,000 people in 1801 to a much larger number of 14,000 residents by 1900.

The town was considered a desirable place for naval officers to live.

It was thought that it was away from the noise and busy town of Portsmouth, where the army base is, but was near enough for them to be within reasonable travelling distance.

Residents were able to take trains to Southampton and Gosport by 1841, as this was when the railway connecting the destinations came to Fareham.

Then, Fareham Shopping Centre opened to eager shoppers in 1976, costing £10m to build.

Attracting up to 284 million visitors, the shopping centre is now home to 84 shops, cafes and restaurants.

The council is now proposing to meet new national housing targets, identify a small number of new housing sites and policies, and look at potential areas for strategic growth.

The town was beaten by East Hertfordshire in the rankings of the best places to live, but came up top against places the likes of Hart, Horsham, Wokingham, Ryedale, and many others.