THE residents of Bournemouth are a cheerful bunch.

People love living in Bournemouth so much they have voted it as one of the happiest places to live in the UK.

A new study has been launched offering a guide to the happiest places to live in the UK, based on local people’s judgement of the pros and cons of their hometowns and cites.

And Bournemouth has come up trumps.

More than 27,000 people were asked to rate their nearest town based on a number of categories including parks and outdoors, character and personality, healthcare, schools and safety.

The seaside town featured in the top five of all the categories and charted top in both the parks and outdoors section and schools.

Bournemouth finished third in the character and personality category, second in healthcare and fifth in safety, according to the survey by Rightmove.

David Palmer, a director of estate agent Frost & Co, believes that the town’s strong performance is all about the joys of living by the seaside.

“I was walking down the promenade after work last night. It’s the best thing in the world, and it’s free. We have seven miles of sandy beaches, and nowhere is more than five minutes from the beach,” he said.

Pam Donnellan, chief executive for Bournemouth Borough Council, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to see that Bournemouth features highly in this survey – most importantly because it’s the views of our local residents.

“In particular, I’m pleased to see that the town’s parks and schools come top of the list, a real achievement.

“This is recognition of the hard work and commitment that our staff continue to give, in helping to make Bournemouth a place we can all be proud of.”