ITS cobbled roads, Georgian high street and luxury marinas have long made it a draw for tourists and househunters alike.

Now the upmarket Hampshire town of Lymington has been named as one of the 15 locations in the south east among the best places to live in Britain.

Three other parts of Hampshire – Midhurst, Petersfield and Stockbridge – also appear in guide.

The full list of Britain’s best towns and cities will be published in The Sunday Times at the weekend.

A Sunday Times Best Places to Live spokesman said: “Lymington has a large tourist industry due to its harbour and proximity to the New Forest.

“It’s a popular place to live, with predominantly Georgian buildings and sloping cobbled streets leading to the old town quay, where the fishing boats still unload their catch.”

But anyone thinking of moving to the yachting mecca will need deep pockets.

The spokesman added: “Average house prices range from £194,820 for a one-bedroom starter house to £830,270 for a five-bedroom family home.”

Hundreds of luxury homes overlooking the Lymington River are being built on the former Webbs chicken factory site.

The town boasts a regular car ferry service to the Isle of Wight.

It is also home to the award-winning St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery and the organisation that runs the New Forest National Park.

Several celebrities have made Lymington their home over the years.

Former residents include Olympic sailing hero Sir Ben Ainslie and the late Leslie Thomas, author of The Virgin Soldiers and other best-sellers.

Vicar of Dibley actress Emma Chambers, who died last month aged 53, also had a house in the town.

A restaurant in Quay Street was formerly owned by Gina Campbell, daughter of speed king Donald Campbell, who was killed on Coniston Water in the Lake District in 1967.

One of the famous Bluebird vehicles used by the Campbell dynasty is on show at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu.

People compiling the Best Places to Live list took a raft of factors into account, including jobs, schools and broadband speed – plus culture, community spirit and shops.

Helen Davies, The Sunday Times home editor, said: “Britain is scattered with thriving towns and villages, cool cities and suburbs.”