PENARTH has been named as one of the best places to live in Wales.

The list put together by the Sunday Times includes 12 Welsh places with Cowbridge coming out on top.

The Best Places to Live in Britain will be published on Sunday, March 12.

Penarth was named the best place to live in Wales in the 2016 edition of the guide.

It judges a range of factors including jobs, exam results, broadband speed, culture, community spirit and local shops.

It relies on data on crime and education and knowledge from The Sunday Times judging panel.

The judges combine the numbers with their own experience of the villages, towns and cities, such as local pubs, ease of transport and the range of attractive property.

The list to be published this weekend focuses on the north and north east of England, the midlands, Northern Ireland, the south east of England and Wales.

The Sunday Times home editor Helen Davies said: "This is the fifth year we have compiled the list, and this year’s is even bigger and better - the guide is more personal, more detailed and more comprehensive than ever before.

"The list weighs up everything from considering the likely impact of the local plan, to whether the post office is still open, the range of housing, and the quality of the coffee.

"Numbers on a spreadsheet can only tell us so much, so we carefully balance statistics with our writers’ decades of knowledge and expertise to create the definitive list of the best places to live in the UK."

South Wales Central AM Andrew RT Davies welcomed the news saying there is something for everyone in the town.

"Young families benefit from the excellent local schools, while retirees enjoy the fantastic community spirit and activities," he said.

"It is a vibrant yet peaceful town, with lots of top quality shops, cafes and restaurants.

"As someone who represents the area, it is obviously great to see Penarth named among the best places to live in Wales, but it’s important to consider the wider benefits this brings to the Vale.

"It really is excellent news, and we must congratulate the wonderful people of Penarth

"The economic benefits this accolade will bring will be significant, and praise must go to the shops, small businesses and wider community who have made it such a pleasant place to live."

Average property prices for sale and to rent have been provided by Countrywide plc, which is the UK’s leading residential estate agency and property services group.

Johnny Morris, research and analytics director at Countrywide plc, said: "Using extensive data from across our businesses, along with official statistics, we have been able to paint a detailed picture, not just of how much it costs to buy or rent in different places across the country, but what it is like to live there too.

"We’ve been able to do this for all types of people, from someone renting their first flat to a family buying their forever home."