The Happiest Place to Live in the UK
Where you live can have a lot of impact on your happiness – after all it’s where you spend almost all of your time. Your surroundings can bring you stress and headaches, or they can bring you entertainment, peace and joy.
A recently study by Rightmove surveyed more than 25,000 Brits and asked them how happy their local community made them. London residents reported the lowest levels of happiness, with many complaints about the rising property prices and the unfriendly atmosphere. The ten least happy places to live were all located within London.
Residents of East London were the most miserable out of the 111 locations that were surveyed. Other London locations at the very bottom of the list were East Central London, Twickenham, Croydon and Ilford.
Participants in the survey were asked a number of questions about where they lived, including whether they felt they had enough space, whether they got a good deal for their property, whether they liked the decor of their home, whether their neighbours were friendly and whether there were enough interesting things to do in their area.
Cost was also a factor, as residents were asked whether they could easily afford basic living expenses in their town. Area upkeep was also part of the survey, as well as whether or not the residents of the town felt a sense of pride about where they lived. Safety was another important factor that the survey took into consideration, measuring the crime rates and other statistics of the location. The results were then displayed on a detailed interactive map.
The Happiest UK Town – Harrogate
The lovely North Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate topped the list as the happiest place to live in the UK. So why are Harrogate resident some of the happiest people in the country? There are a number of reasons why this town scores so highly on the happiness meter.
It was ranked highly for safety, recreation and its sense of welcoming friendliness. The surrounding Yorkshire countryside is some of the most scenic in the UK – perfect for hiking, biking and other outdoor sports.
A common complaint in many small, rural northern towns is that there is not a lot of decent shopping. However, Harrogate stands out in this regard as it offers countless designer shops and boutiques.
Although the town itself has an urban feel with plenty of modern and welcoming shops, bars, offices and restaurants – it also offers The Stray. This area of 200 acres of open grassland allows residents to relax in nature and greenery right in the town centre. This is one of the main benefits of living in rural North Yorkshire.
The town is also known for its many festivals. There is the Harrogate Flower Show that features demonstrations of landscaping skills and beautiful floral creations. Or, the Great Yorkshire Show which is a showcase of the very best of the region from gourmet food to animals to agriculture.
Also, Harrogate placed in the top 10 locations for neighbourliness, so if you choose to live here you will be surrounded by warm, friendly and welcoming people. It’s important to feel like part of a community and this factor contributes so much to happiness that it should not be ignored.
The town also has a very low crime rate compared to other towns of comparable size. You are not likely to encounter much more than the odd scuffle between drunk night club patrons.
Of course, the house prices in Harrogate are approximately £37,000 higher than the national average of £309,133 – so happiness does come at a bit of a price.
Other Happy Places to Live
What are some of the other happiest places to live in the UK? The top ten list included Inverness (Scotland), Taunton, Stockport, Falkirk, Norwich, Hull, Preston, Truro and Telford. These towns are listed at the top of the study because they offer a combination of a friendly atmosphere, beautiful surroundings, lots of activities and things to do, a safe environment and other elements that make living in them enjoyable.
How does your town measure up? Did it make the list? Does it make you happy to live there? If not… perhaps consider a move somewhere else in the UK with a higher happiness rating so that you can love where you live.