EXETER has been named as one of the best places in the country to retire in a national survey.

Consumer group Which? has named its 12 best retirement locations based on a survey of more than 1,000 of its members to determine what is most important to them when they retire.

Healthcare access topped the list of important factors for respondents (88 per cent), followed by green space (75 per cent) and proximity to local leisure activities (31 per cent).

Which? gave each local authority a score out of 10 for healthcare, happiness, green space - specifically parks and playing fields - and also considered house price affordability.

The top ranking location for each of the UK’s 12 regions was then selected for the list, with Exeter coming out top for the South West.

The top scores were awarded to:

Broxbourne, Elmbridge, Exeter, High Peak, Kirklees, Merton, Mid and East Antrim, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Outer Hebrides, South Tyneside, Stockport and Wrexham.

Exeter City Council Leader Phil Bialyk welcomed the report.

He said: “As someone who has recently retired from my working career, I fully agree with the findings of this report – why would I want to live anywhere else?

“Exeter is a great city. It is in a great location, with excellent transport links.

"It is close to the sea and the countryside, has great football and rugby teams, a thriving city centre and excellent services – it has everything anyone would want.”

The Council’s Chief Executive Bindu Arjoon also welcomed the findings of the Which? survey.

She said: “The Council and its partners work extremely hard to ensure that Exeter has an excellent quality of life, and it is great to see this recognised in a national survey.

“Exeter is a great place to be for people of all ages – a great place to study, to work, to raise a family and to retire.

"We regularly feature in lists of the best locations, and I think everyone in the city can take a sense of pride for the way in which we are so highly regarded by the rest of the UK.”

Jenny Ross, Which? Money Editor, said: “Whether you've always dreamed of escaping to the countryside or the seaside, the decision of where to retire can be just as important as the decision of when to retire - and our latest research has uncovered gems across the UK that would be great places for retirees to consider.”