Hitchin has been named one of the best places to live in the country.

Readers of Muddy Stilettos - a blog which describes itself as the "urban guide to the countryside" - named the Hertfordshire town the second-best place to live in the country.

Voters in the annual poll chose Godalming in Surrey as their favourite town, while Sevenoaks in Kent came third.

The Comet: HitchinHitchin (Image: Danny Loo Photography)

"I'm just going to come out and and say it - I am in love with Hitchin," editor Hero Brown wrote.

"This super convenient commuter town has everything you could possibly want, and more."

The blog reads: "Hip Hitchin is a beautiful market town in North Herts, built on the banks of the River Hiz.

"It’s historic – with narrow winding streets, gorgeous architecture and a traditional market square – but also oh-so-trendy.

"There’s also plenty of green space in which to sit with your high-end coffee and watch the world go by.

"Oh, and the commute to London or Cambridge is a cinch."

Muddy Stilettos' description of Hitchin praises "great comprehensive schools" such as Hitchin Boys and Hitchin Girls.

It also name-drops some of readers' favourite independent shops and restaurants, including Hitchin Coffee Lab, The Snug, Los Reyes and The Haberdashery.

Treat yo' Self, Quotidian Bakery have previously claimed retail awards with Muddy Stilettos, while family-owned Kite at The Red Hart was named as having one of the best Sunday roast dinners by the blog.

The Comet: The award-winning roast dinner at Kite at The Red Hart, Hitchin.The award-winning roast dinner at Kite at The Red Hart, Hitchin. (Image: Kite at The Red Hart, Hitchin)

The blog chooses a total of 200 best places to live, with a selection from each county with a Muddy Stilettos website.

In Hertfordshire, St Albans came second in the list, followed by Tring, Harpenden, Hertingfordbury, Much Hadham, Rickmansworth and Radlett.

Nearby Ampthill was named the best place to live in Bedfordshire.

"After a gorgeous market town, where you can't move for independent shops and restaurants? Ampthill may well be the one for you," the judges said.

"This pretty riverside town has oodles of character, and great independents.

"And as they say, it's very much 'on the up' right now."

Marlow in Buckinghamshire, Ely in Cambridgeshire and Saffron Walden in Essex topped the tables in neighbouring counties.