YORKSHIRE and Northum-berland are among the best places to live - according to Country Life magazine.

A survey found that the quality of life in the counties surpassed that in most other areas of England.

Yorkshire may not be the best but, in seventh position, it is still ahead of most of the opposition in the league of the best counties.

Yorkshire scored 59 points out of a possible 100 when it was judged in a variety of categories.

For sports and the arts it came away with a maximum ten out of ten, while its landscapes were given nine.

Hours of sunshine scored only two points - but that was better than education, housing projection figures and burglary statistics, which scored one.

But house prices, wildlife diversity, National Trust sites and outstanding pubs all scored near maximum figures.

County Durham took 15th position out of 34, with a total of 52 points out of 100.

The top 15 were: 1, Devon; 2, Gloucestershire; 3, Cornwall; 4, Dorset; 5, Cumbria; 6, Northumberland; 7, Yorkshire; 8, Suffolk; 9, Hampshire, Lancashire and West Sussex; 12, Norfolk, Warwickshire and Wiltshire; 15 County Durham.