Watford's mayor has defended the area's nightlife after a research firm did not include it in the UK's top 50 spots.

The town was ranked 63rd out of 112 major towns and cities - though its index score of 10.2 was 0.1 higher than 10 years ago, when it came 70th.

The ranking by Public First was based on the number of licensed restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs per 10,000 people living in each town.

Watford mayor Peter Taylor pointed to Watford's 'Purple Flag' status - an accreditation given for excellence in managing the night-time economy. 

“I’m proud of Watford’s vibrant night-time economy, this is recognised through our Purple Flag accreditation," he said.

"It is really good to see Watford rated higher than we were 10 years ago in the Public First ranking."

Mr Taylor added: “It is particularly impressive to be receiving this score given the size of our borough compared to others on the list.

"We are a town that keeps punching above our weight."

Brighton was voted as the best town for a night out, with an index score of 24.6, while Slough was the worst with 4.4.