HALE has been listed among the best places to live in the north west, according to a new guide.

The village has been named alongside the likes of Chester and Lytham St Annes as one of the most desirable locations in the regions as part of The Sunday Times Best Places to Live.

The two-part guide takes into account factors such as transport links, quality of schools and natural beauty.

It also looks at crime rates, property prices, cultural life and unemployment figures while each area is also assessed on its unique characteristics such as proximity to an airport or local festivals.

The guide names the 10 most desirable locations in the north west as: Kendal, Cumbria; Crosby, Merseyside; Lytham St Annes, Lancashire; Heswall, Wirral; Chester, Cheshire; Clitheroe, Lancashire; Northwich, Cheshire; Hale, Cheshire; Didsbury, Manchester and Ramsbottom, Lancashire. Eleanor Mills, who edits the guide, said: "Scampering around Britain for my column I find there are particular bits of our crowded island which always retain a particular attraction for people.

"We have built on this basic information to create a definitive guide. "The Sunday Times Best Places to Live will prove invaluable for anyone starting a family, retiring, or simply considering a move."

The Sunday Times Best Places to Live will run across two weekends on March 17 and 24 in The Sunday Times Home. As well as an overall national winner, the guide will announce the top 10 places in nine regions around the country.