WANT the best out of life? You should move to the islands, a study claims.

According to a Bank of Scotland survey, Orkney, the Shetland Islands and the Western Isles are the best places to be, with quality of life there outstripping that offered anywhere else in the country.

The offshore communities were top three in the bank’s lifestyle list thanks to their high employment, low populations and low crime rates.

The burglary rate in first-placed Orkney is just 3.7 per 10,000 people, compared to the Scottish average of 24.2.

Residents recorded a satisfaction rating of 8.3 out of ten, with 96.6 per cent in good or fairly good health.

Children there benefit from the highest level of spending per pupil in the UK, at £9,662 compared with £5,928 for the Scottish average and £4,645 for the UK.

Meanwhile, the employment rate tops the UK scale at 87 per cent and population density is at a low 22 residents per square kilometre, with only 147 cars per km sq on the roads against the UK figure of 9,519.

But despite all its plus points, Orkney – which also led Scottish results last year – still lost out to leafy Hart in Hampshire for the UK top spot.

The wealthy district has high wages and house prices to match.

Graham Blair, mortgage director at Bank of Scotland, said: “It’s great to see Orkney retain its title of best place to live in Scotland and the second best place to live in the whole of the UK, losing out narrowly to Hart in the South East of England.

“With high employment, low population and traffic levels, as well as having lots to do and see, it’s no wonder that Orcadians also have the highest life satisfaction ratings.”

The highest weekly average earnings in Scotland are in Stirling, at £845 per week, followed by East Renfrewshire at £789 and East Dunbartonshire at £739 against an average of £630.

At 4.9 habitable rooms, East Renfrewshire and the Western Isles boast the country’s biggest homes, with the smallest homes (4.2 habitable rooms) in West Dunbartonshire.

Aberdeen was found to be the sunniest place in Scotland, with 27.9 hours of sunshine a week, while Dundee experiences the lowest annual rainfall.

Argyll and Bute was the wettest region, with 2165mm of rain against the Scottish average of 1311mm.

Those in biggest city Glasgow were found to have the worst quality of life.

Blair added: “Looking at the differences between the 2016 and 2017 results, it’s good to see East Renfrewshire, with its great education results and high weekly earnings average climb from 15th place to 11th.

“Aberdeen City has seen a drop from 11th to 17th in the rankings despite retaining the title of sunniest place in Scotland.”