INVERNESS has been named as one of the happiest places in Scotland – but has fallen from its perch at the top of the list.
The city came third in property website Rightmove’s 2017 Happy at Home Index, which saw 17,000 people questioned about how happy they are with aspects of where they live.
When the same poll was carried out in 2014, the Highland capital came in at number one.
This time round Dumfries was named the happiest place in Scotland, with Edinburgh in second spot.
Across the UK as a whole Inverness was rated 48th best, down from second overall last time out.
Survey participants were asked about their feelings in terms of community spirit, feeling safe, the friendliness of locals and amenities and earnings.
Rightmove’s research manager, Abiola Oni, said: "We’ve looked at the connection between each of the factors and what contributes to how happy people say they are overall, and it’s the people in an area and how someone feels about living there that makes the biggest difference.
"So the strength of community spirit, people feeling like they belong and that they can be themselves are all more important than the services and money that they have, though these do still contribute to overall happiness."
Despite its apparent step backwards since 2014, Inverness South councillor Ken Gowans insisted the city is still a "fantastic place to live."
He said: "We have a lot of great attractions and brilliant scenery all around us, but above all I think what makes Inverness a happy place to live is the people.
"They have time for you in a way that maybe others in bigger cities don’t that makes you feel less lonely and maybe more secure than you might elsewhere.
"They also have a very dry sense of humour and a sense of not letting people get above themselves which makes it a very ‘equal’ place to be in a lot of ways."