There’s no place like Worthing...

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BALI, Australia, Borneo – apparently none of them can beat living in Worthing.

And according to Gavin and Erin Mallory, the only place that can is one that is inhabited by elves, dragons and wizards.

Having travelled the globe in a bid to find somewhere better to live than Worthing, it was only the combination of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter within the Islands of Adventure theme park and Walt Disney World, both in Orlando, Florida, that could beat our humble seaside town.

But despite vowing to move to the highest-rated place, the couple have decided to stay living in Worthing.

Gavin, 33, of St Elmo Road, said: “There was a tie at the top for a long time, and we were wondering if we would ever find a winner, but then we went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida, and the combo of that and Disney World was too awesome for Worthing to beat.

“There were many reasons why, but the big some of them were the massive portions of junk food, lovely people (well, lovely staff) and the Butterbeer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter which was truly amazing!

“I said at the time that I preferred it to Harveys, but now I’m home I’ve had a rethink. Nothing is nicer than Harvey’s, but Harry Potter’s Butterbeer is a close second.”

Before embarking on their year-long adventure, the couple rated Worthing out of 10 in five different categories. It received a score of 41, which was the number other countries would have to beat if they were to become the pair’s new home.

The categories were: Is the weather better than Brighton?; Proximity and quality of the seaside (a pier must be present for full points here); Local delicacies and quality of food; Friendliness and attractiveness of the locals and the Availability and quality of real ale.

In each country they stopped off in, Gavin wrote a blog revealing the scores it had received. Eventually, four other countries – Japan, Singapore, Cambodia and New Zealand’s south island – ended up with a score of 41, putting them tied with Worthing.

But it was not until the couple’s last stop before they arrived back home that they found a winner, with Orlando’s theme parks scoring 44 out of 50. Unfortunately, as it is too hard to move to a theme park, the couple have decided to stay in Worthing, but say they hope to visit there again soon.

Erin, 30, said of the experience: “It was an amazing year and we had the best time. It is surreal to think that a few months ago we were bumping along a dusty road in a rickety tuk tuk driven by a toothless man, and now we’re back home, in our house.

“Travelling makes you appreciate what you have, as well as broaden your horizons and experience something incredible.”

Gavin and Erin returned to Worthing in May, and gave their friends and family another reason to celebrate as they revealed Erin is pregnant.

“It’s been great to get back and tell our friends and family the happy news,” Gavin said.

Gavin added: “The trip is one of the best things we’ve ever done. There were lots of reasons not to go on a round-the-world trip, but we did it, anyway and have no regrets whatsoever. It was worth every penny. As well as that, we know officially that we live in the joint-second best place in the entire world, so that’s nice.”