MALVERN is among the coolest places in Britain to live, according to a national newspaper article published this week.

The town was considered trendy enough by judges from the Times to rank an impressive 13th in its list of the 30 coolest places to live.

Meanwhile, Hanley Swan and Hanley Castle were in the top 30 best villages in Britain.

Regarding Malvern, the article said: “The spa town deep in the Malvern Hills has an affluent feel – its fine Regency buildings are a reminder of when fashionable ladies would take the waters.”

It adds: “Sir Edward Elgar lived here and a festival of music, poetry and film is held here each autumn.”

Malvern Hills District Council leader David Hughes said Malvern’s inclusion on the lists was “fantastic news”. “It confirms what we have known for a long time – thatit’s a great place to live, work and play,” he said.

“The district, which is steeped in history, has a vibrant character with a fantastic range of cultural facilities and events taking place all year round which certainly adds to that‘cool’factor.”

West Yorkshire market town Hebden Bridge is rated the coolest place to live in Great Britain, followed by Bethnal Green, in East London, and Stockbridge, in Edinburgh.

Meanwhile, for Hanley residents its accolade came as no surprise.

“I think it’s lovely news,” said Pauline Phipps, owner of RA Phipps butchers in the centre of Hanley Swan.

“Hanley Swan is well deserving ofit.It’s a lovely village.

“It hasn’t seen a lot of change in the last few years. It’s a character village with a traditional green and pond.

“We do live in one of the best areas in Britain.We are lucky.”

Mrs Phipps’ shop was mentioned by newspaper as one of the reasons the area is “great”, along with the fishmonger’s and “two well-regarded pubs”.

The paper points out that The Hanleys are “often spoken of together for their picturesque streets and tight-knit community”.

Top of the list was West Meon in Hampshire, while Castle Combe in Wiltshire and Chew Magna in Somerset completed the top three.