Harrogate lost out to its deadly rival Ilkley in the newspaper's list of 70 locations which represent the best of the UK - but it has at least returned to the top ten Best Places To Live in the UK for its region, which is a major achievement for the town.
Ilkley was praised for its top schools, interesting shops, spectacular scenery and convenient rail links.
The Sunday Times judges were also impressed by its sports clubs and the opportunities they offer for young people, and by the energetic community spirit: volunteering is a big part of life, and the town’s lovely cinema and thriving market were all launched by locals.
The Sunday Times guide has named Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire, as the best place to live in the North and Northeast of England in the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide.
Harrogate was last judged to be the best place to live in North East England and Yorkshire by the Sunday Times in 2016.
The same year also saw Harrogate losing its title of being the '˜happiest place to in Britain to live' after dropping to third in the rankings compiled by property website Rightmove after it was beaten by Leigh-on-Sea, a seaside resort in Essex, and Troon, another seaside resort on the west coast of Scotland.
The Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2022: North and Northeast
· Winner: Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire
· Cawthorne, South Yorkshire
· Great Ayton, Cleveland Hills, North Yorkshire
· Harrogate, North Yorkshire
· Hovingham, North Yorkshire
· Ilkley, West Yorkshire
· Leeds city centre
· Morpeth, Northumberland
· Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear
The Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2022: Judges comments on Harrogate
"Harrogate has all the fun and fresh air of Yorkshire without any of the gritty bits keep the once-stuffy spa town in high demand among young families, drawn by the lovely parks, excellent schools and the town centre’s shops, cafés and restaurants."
Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times Property Editor said: "“Ten years ago, when we launched the inaugural list, London’s gravitational pull was strong, the WFH revolution had not yet reached our doorstep and high streets were stacked with chains.
"How times have changed — and how welcome that change is.
"This year we have discovered new best places to live, from resurgent city centres in the North to rejuvenated suburbs across the country."
The expert judging panel comprises of contributors and writers with local expertise and the following Sunday Times editorial team who are available for interview:
Helen Davies, editor of The Times and The Sunday Times Home section and Best Places to Live
Tim Palmer, key Best Places to Live judge and writer
Jayne Dowle, Best Places to Live judge and writer
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