The town was praised for its top schools, interesting shops, spectacular scenery and convenient rail links.
The judges were also impressed by its sports clubs and the opportunities they offer for young people, and by the energetic community spirit: volunteering is a big part of life, and the town’s cinema and thriving market were all launched by locals.
The guide has also named Slaithwaite as the best place to live in the North and Northeast of England.
Judges said the combination of countryside, connectivity and a community full of independence and imagination make this canalside mill village the perfect place to pursue post-pandemic happiness.
Trains to Leeds and Manchester offer an easy escape route, there is magical moorland scenery on the doorstep, and businesses such as the co-operative Handmade Bakery or the “children’s concept store” Acorn and Pip are an inspiring change from the usual chains.
Harrogate and Leeds are also included in the guide, as well as mentions for Hovingham and Great Ayton in North Yorkshire.
The Sunday Times’ expert judges behind the guide assess a wide range of factors, from schools, transport and broadband to culture, green spaces and the health of the high street.
They look to celebrate improving towns, villages or city centres; attractive, well-designed homes and locations bursting with community spirit – which the pandemic has shown to be the most vital quality of all.
An average house price for each location has been supplied by Halifax, the sponsor of the guide, and up-to-date information on broadband speeds has been provided by Thinkbroadband.com.
Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times property editor, said: “The Sunday Times Best Places to Live list is necessarily subjective.
"Leave it just to statistics and you will never capture the spirit of a place. For that, you need to visit to take into account that ‘you have to be here’ feeling.
"Is the pub dog-friendly, for example? Can you live car-free? What are the schools and houses like? Is it multicultural and multigenerational, and can it offer a good way of life to lots of different sorts of people?
“Ten years ago, when we launched the inaugural list, London’s gravitational pull was strong, the WFH revolution had not yet reached our doorstep and high streets were
stacked with chains. How times have changed — and how welcome that change is.
“This year we have discovered new best places to live, from resurgent city centres in the North, rejuvenated suburbs across the country, hidden villages in the Southwest,
and a commutable Scottish island.
“We hope there is something to suit everyone.”
The comprehensive guide has been released online and an edited version will be available in The Sunday Times tomorrow (April 10).
For more information, visit https://www.thetimes.co.uk/best-places-to-live