MANNINGTREE has made it to the Sunday Times’ Best Places to Live list...and the town’s mayor could not be happier.

Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk might be number one in the east but Manningtree, England’s smallest town, is in the top ten.

Robust statistics, including exclusive up-to-date house price data, and expert knowledge on the ground from the Sunday Times’ judging panel helped create the annual list.

Although the top ten is not listed in rank order, Manningtree is highlighted alongside Chelmsford and Saffron Walden, the only other Essex areas, Aylsham and Blakeney in Norfolk, Woodbridge in Suffolk, and more.

Manningtree mayor Ruth Stocks sung the town’s praises and was pleased for the town to receive such a prestigious accolade.

She said: “Manningtree is just a lovely place to live with friendly people.

“It has good schools and rail links to Norwich and London, nice restaurants, bars and pubs - it really is a pleasant place to live.

“Plus it’s great for people of all ages, including children, as there’s lots for them to do in the school holidays.

“We have a great library too, and even have our own little beach.”

Buying a starter home in Manningtree would set someone back on average £174,000 but the top-of-the-range house price tips over £423,000.

Chelmsford buyers can expect to pay on average anything between £227,000 to more than £630,000.

Daniel Hegarty, founder of the mortgage broker firm Habito, which helped compile the figures with life event data company TwentyCi, called the list “essential reading for anyone looking to buy, move or renovate their home”.

“We know there are many reasons, beyond house prices, why people live where they live in the East of England.

“But, regardless of location, getting a mortgage can be the most hellish part of buying.”

This year, the Sunday Times has championed 101 locations across the UK.

The supplement assesses a wide range of factors, from employment, schools and broadband speed to culture, community spirit and shops, in order to compile the definitive top locations to live.

“We were looking for community spirit along with convenience and culture,” explained Helen Davies, one of the judges and the Times’ homes editor.

“There’s so much going on around the country and so many great places that the choice was a hard one.

“Finding our very own best place to live now feels more important than ever, for our wellbeing and wealth, happiness and health.”

Read more online here.