RESIDENTS have reacted with pride to the news their village has been named one of the best places to live in Britain.

Hawarden is among just 101 towns and villages across England, Scotland and Wales named in The Sunday Times’ annual Best Places To Live list.

Low crime rates, competitive house prices and good schools were among the criteria for making the list, while positive community spirit, good local shops and services and attractive outdoor spaces were also considered.

Of the 11 Welsh places which made the coveted list, Hawarden is among six newcomers.

Resident Rita Elliott, 44, who runs a writing course at the the village’s Gladstone Library, said Hawarden fully deserved the recognition.

“We’re a sleepy leafy Welsh border village,” she said.

“We’ve got loads of open spaces for youngsters to play in and when they’re older, there’s plenty of places for them to cycle.”

She highlighted the Gladstone Estate’s Hawarden Park as one of the area’s top attractions.

“When you step through those red gates you wouldn’t know you were near a village,” she said.

“You can’t hear the traffic. You’ve just got the sheep and the woodpeckers and the loveliness.”

Mrs Elliott and husband Phil chose where to live carefully, within walking distance to schools for their sons and with road and rail links.

“We’ve got families who’ve lived in the area for generations and then lots of people who are new to the area, so it’s a really good mix,” she added.

Neil Bellis, who is from Hawarden and writes for the Chester Leader, agreed.

“Hawarden really deserves to be on the list,” he said.

“There aren’t many places which have had a former Prime Minister live there as well as one of Lord Nelson’s mistresses which gives the place a really interesting history.

“It’s a very pretty village with six wonderful pubs.

“It also has great links to the rest of North Wales and the North West and we even have an airport. Not many villages can say that.”

Flintshire councillor for Hawarden Clive Carver said he was absolutely delighted Hawarden had made it in to the top 101.

“It’s got great travel links – you’ve got the A55 and M53 and you can get to London in a couple of hours – and it’s also a beautiful area,” he said.

“We’ve got green spaces, interesting churches, the fabulous Gladstone Library, great pubs and restaurants – the list goes on.”