22,000 people have spoken, and this is officially the happiest place to live in the UK.
Happiness is, of course, subjective. For some people, happiness is the hustle and bustle of a big city. For others, it’s living by the sea (which actually has been proven to have mental health benefits).
But there are some things, when it comes to daily life, that are generally viewed as being pretty indisputably lovely. Like having a strong sense of community in your area, for example, and living next to friendly neighbours. Or feeling like you can be yourself in an area that promotes inclusivity, as well as earning a comfortable wage to maintain a certain standard of living.
That all sounds quite nice, doesn’t it? In fact, at a time when many millennials fear they’ll never be able to own their own home and the uncertainness of Brexit is causing tension in a lot of communities, it sounds like a dream.
Well, apparently there is one town in the UK that prides itself on having all the above, and its inhabitants have been crowned the happiest in Britain.
The sleepy market town of Hexham in Northumberland has topped RightMove’s annual survey which seeks to determine the happiest place to live in the UK. The property website asked over 22,000 people all over the country to partake in the Happy at Home Index survey, quizzing them on how satisfied they were with their local area across 12 measures.
These measures, rather wholesomely, included: feeling safe, a sense of belonging, community spirit, reasonable wages, friendly neighbours, recreational activities, green spaces, inclusivity, essential services and opportunities to develop skills.
The Mayor of Hexham, Bob Hull, commented on why he thinks Hexham has got it so right: “We have a really strong sense of community up here, which I think is a major reason why residents feel so happy living in Hexham. We have a community-owned cinema and a thriving theatre and arts centre.
“Our parks have won various Green Flag awards and we’re just half an hour from Newcastle and a major airport. We also boast lots of cultural heritage; the town is a gateway to Hadrian’s Wall, and we have more than 200 listed buildings, which is one of the highest ratios per building of towns this size.”
If Hexham isn’t the place for you, however, there are lots of other towns and cities in the UK that would consider themselves very happy.
Such as Harrogate, which came second in the survey and is based in Yorkshire. It’s famous for cute tea spot Betty’s, as well as its gorgeous stone architecture. Following this is Richmond Upon Thames, which although is obviously a lot closer to London, still sits just outside the mayhem of the capital city with lots of greenery surrounding it.
If you’ve been inspired to make the move to pastures greener, check out the full list below of the places that, according to RightMove, really are the happiest in the UK:
- Richmond upon Thames
- Llandrindod Wells