Aberdeenshire is the best place to live in Scotland; indeed the north of Scotland in general trounces the south and the central belt in a new survey of quality of life for the Bank of Scotland, with five of the best places to live in the top ten.

*Search premium property for sale in Scotland

The top four places to live north of the border have been identified as Aberdeenshire, East Dumbartonshire, the Orkey islands and the Shetland Islands, with East Lothian and East Renfrewshire coming in fifth and sixth in the table.

The survey studied a range of indicators including employment, earnings, housing quality, weather, carbon emissions crime, education performance and health. Aberdeenshire was found to have a high employment rate (84%) and average earnings are above the Scottish average. Crime is low, as are traffic levels, and residents are, on the whole, healthy.

The survey also identified the fact that house prices tend to be higher where quality of life is also high: in six of the ten local authorities with the best quality of life in Scotland, house prices trade at a premium to the average Scottish house price. But the Shetlands was found to offer fantastic value for money, where the average house price is almost £40,000 below the average price for a house in Scotland.

Tim Crawford Group economist at the Bank of Scotland, said: ‘A strong economy, along with good schools and a low crime rate has helped Aberdeenshire to become the area with the best quality of life; but it does come at a price with house prices 21% above the Scottish average.’