THE High Weald, we're told, is a "dramatic patchwork of rolling hills and ancient woodland, with some of the darkest, starriest skies in southeast England" looking down over the village of Wadhurst.

How nice. And if you've got £630,000 then you can buy an average-priced property and live there too.

This picturesque spot near the Kent border was recently voted the UK's best place to live. Nice houses, nice high street, good transport links, good –shudder – schools.

I hate to moisten people's chips, but these "best place to live" lists are such mortifying highlights of middle-class back-slappery that it's almost unbearable.

They're not unlike the dreaded school league tables, which purport to show how successful schools are when, in fact, they more demonstrate how middle-class a school is and illuminate nothing about the institution beyond the superficial.

In Scotland, the best place to live was revealed to be Shawlands, in Glasgow's south side. And here I must pause.

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Shawlands, while middle class, is middle class of the hipster variety, rather than middle class of the douce variety. Shawlands wouldn't do boastful, it would just sip a flat white in a self-deprecating manner and then ride off up Kilmarnock Road on a fixie.

It's knocked me off my judgemental perch a little bit, having somewhere like Shawlands make the list. It's not the usual village idyll or suburban pleasuredome. And it's not Finnieston.

Pivoting back to schools for a second, the "best place" guide lists the "good schools" in the area. For Shawlands, it mentions Hutchesons’ Grammar.

Hutchie was on the television news last week, the head teacher making hay from the good publicity of it being the alma mater of new First Minister Humza Yousaf and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar. Certainly gives the fee-paying secondary a handy diversion from the news stories of management threatening its teaching staff with a "fire and rehire" policy should they continue to refuse to sign new contracts on worse terms and conditions.

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Anyway, Shawlands. Good for Shawlands. Its glut of coffee chops have finally come up trumps.

Back to Wadhurst and locals are being interviewed on their favourite things about the area. Hannah Risbridger, the principal of the local performing arts school, compliments the convenience of being able to walk to the high street.

She expands on how amply supplied are the local shops. "It’s unbelievable how many different cheeses you can buy," she tells a curious public.

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Listen, I'm right there with Ms Risbridger. I love cheese. Shawlands has a decent cheesemonger, in fact, and that reminds me to save up and visit it.

You'd think the people who live in these locations would want to downplay the desirability in case everyone pitches up. Every village, town and city has this in common: there are finite accommodations. Surely, if you feel so strongly about how glorious your own bit of Blighty is, it's gratitude you should be feeling towards everyone else.

To allow you to live here, most other people must live there. But might they all want to?

In 2019, the results of the Royal Mail’s first "happiness index" found East Renfrewshire the happiest place to live. Rest assured, my happiness would plummet through the floor if I had to live in Giffnock or Clarkston. No offence, it's just not for me.

In 2017 I was invited on to BBC Woman's Hour to talk about East Dunbartonshire being voted the best place for women to live in the UK. One of the biggest draws was the quality of the schools, the depressingly sexist assumption being that women would care more about this than men. Even those of us without children.

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Again, I have friends who adore living in Bearsden and Lenzie, but they have to drive to reach any of their nearest amenities so it's an immediate no thanks.

Glasgow's Govanhill, where I live, is just along the road – literally – from Shawlands and it's never going to make a "best place" list, at least not for a while. The area is at that weird tipping point where there's fretting about gentrification yet taxi drivers still spin wild rumours about it.

The majority of communities are in areas that will never make desirability lists but they're still places people choose to make home, more for intangible qualities that can't be easily explained or readily quantified in some table.