Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Britain's happiest and most miserable places to live: where does your hometown rank?

rexfeatures_4908571a.jpg

The best place to live in Britain is a hotly-contested title, fraught with hometown loyalty and confusing information.

The virtues of Bristol have been previously extolled, and Harrogate's been smugly hogging its happiness awards for a few years now. St Ives is where we'd all go if money was no object, and those of us who live in London are so consistently told we're skint and miserable that we're all running off to Birmingham (if only so we don't have to listen to the rest of the UK telling us how skint and miserable we are).

Now a new survey has put together a top 10 of the best places to live in Britain by combining both happiness and affordability data, meaning a somewhat more realistic list for all us non-lottery winners.

The research, by Hamptons International estate agents, used the Life Satisfaction Index from the Office of National Statistics, and average house price-to-income ratios in different parts of the country to come up with three lists: affordable and happy, expensive and happy, and expensive and unhappy.

So where did your hometown come?

causeypike

A view of the Lake District from Causey Pike in Allerdale

The north of England and Scotland come out on top, with scenic, rural areas dominating.

Allerdale and Copeland in Cumbria come first and third, while second is Ribble Valley in Lancashire - one of the least densely populated areas in the country. Teesside and Eilean Siar, the Scottish Western Isles, also appear in the top 10 affordable and happy places to live. Fourth was Staffordshire Moorlands (pictured top).

Johnny Morris, head of research at Hamptons, said: “Overall it’s housing markets close to areas of outstanding natural beauty that top the list as happiest and affordable places to live. Life in the country, a good view and not too many neighbours seem to be some of the secrets to happiness.”

Allerdale’s mayor, Len Davies, said: “I was born and raised in Liverpool and now I live in paradise.

“Crime levels are remarkably low and the house prices would make people in the south faint. You can get a three-bed semi for £89,000 in a place that’s absolutely stunning. I’ve seen salmon spawning in crystal clear water and herons catching fish; I’ve been up close to a kingfisher.”

London

A bit of that terrible, terrible London

In news to surprise no-one, the most miserable place was named as Haringey in north London - just one of six entries from the capital in the top 10 most unhappy and least affordable areas, including Lewisham, Brent and Ealing.

View the full lists below, and click here to access the Telegraph's interactive map.

Words: Amy Swales / Images: Rex Features

staffordshire

Staffordshire Moorlands

AFFORDABLE & HAPPY TOP 10

Allerdale, Cumbria

Ribble Valley, Lancashire

Copeland, Cumbria

Staffordshire Moorlands, Staffordshire

Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham

North Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and the Humber

Darlington, County Durham

East Cambridgeshire, Cambridgeshire

Stafford, Staffordshire

Eilean Siar, Western Isles

EXPENSIVE & HAPPY TOP 10

Chichester, West Sussex

New Forest, Hampshire

Purbeck, Dorset

Winchester, Hampshire

Mid Sussex, West Sussex

Waverley, Surrey

Lewes, East Sussex

Uttlesford, Essex

Mole Valley, Surrey

Rochford, Essex

EXPENSIVE & UNHAPPY TOP 10

Haringey, London

Lewisham, London

Brentwood, Essex

Brent, London

East Hampshire, Hampshire

Oxford, Oxfordshire

Ealing, London

Hammersmith and Fulham, London

Enfield, London

Guildford, Surrey

Related

rutland-2.jpg

Want to escape to the country? Britain's top 50 rural places to live

rexfeatures_1676439a.jpg

This town is named the happiest place in Britain for a third year

rexfeatures_4262578a.jpg

Birmingham top choice for Londoners priced out of the capital

rexfeatures_1582253a.jpg

The most and least attractive accents in the British Isles revealed

station.jpg

'Why are we Londoners so angry?'

Eelbrook_Interiors-57.jpg

The al fresco bars, cafés and restaurants perfect for spring

Comments

More

11 craft beers to make you feel summery whatever the weather

Bottles and cans to lift your spirits (beers)

by Amy Swales
26 Apr 2017

If your name is on this list, you’re probably a Viking descendant

Does the blood of those fierce Scandinavian warriors course through your veins?

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Apr 2017

#hummuscrisis is happening and people don’t know how to feel

There’s a supermarket shortage of your favourite chickpea dip

by Amy Swales
26 Apr 2017

All the Disney live-action adaptations in the pipeline

A release date for the live-action remake of The Lion King has just been confirmed

26 Apr 2017

This woman's surprising message about sharing has gone viral

“Just say no. You don’t have to say anything else”

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Apr 2017

Here’s how to put your gin habit to good use

Mother’s ruin is charity’s gain

by Amy Swales
25 Apr 2017

This new WhatsApp update will finally let you “unsend” messages

*Monkey covering eyes emoji*

by Moya Crockett
25 Apr 2017

Watch: the trailer for the Dirty Dancing TV remake has landed

And *that* lift is in evidence...

by Amy Swales
25 Apr 2017

They’re back: viral BBC kids land their own animated TV show

Their dad has called it "super cute"

by Sarah Biddlecombe
25 Apr 2017

A rare Victorian sex toy is going up for auction

"It's not just a piece of erotica it's a work of art"

by Hayley Spencer
25 Apr 2017