House hunting checklist: within a 10 minute walk of a station? Check. Is there a supermarket nearby? Check. Parking?
We all know our various personal requirements when it comes to flat hunting – the amenities we know will improve our quality of life, and the ones we could do without.
But it turns out, living near a pub has a huge impact on personal happiness.
For the booze-hounds amongst us, this won’t come as news, but for those who prefer a night of Netflix and chill, it might be a little more of a surprise.
A study by researchers at Oxford University found that people with a ‘local’ they frequent are “significantly” happier than those who don’t, and tend to have more friends and better life satisfaction.
Those who live near a pub are also more likely to drink in moderation than those who don’t.
The study, which was conducted in pubs in Oxfordshire on behalf of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), found that pubs played a pivotal role in forming and establishing bonds between people and that the quality of conversation was better in small local establishments, compared with bigger bars.
They also found – although this won’t come as news to any of us – that social skills improved after a few drinks.
“Friendship and community are probably the two most important factors influencing our health and wellbeing,” says Professor Robin Dunbar of Oxford University.
“Making and maintaining friendships, however, is something that has to be done face-to face. The digital world is simply no substitute,” he continues.
The study also described the importance of pubs to communities, saying that in the 16th century:
“Pubs came to represent the heart and soul of a community, providing both a place of entertainment and an engine for community bonding.
“In a world before the arrival of the motorcar, the clientele was largely local and the pub provided a venue in which friendships and a sense of community were sustained.”
Tim Page, chief executive of Camra says:
“The role of community pubs in ensuring wellbeing cannot be overstated. For that reason, we all need to do what we can to ensure that everyone has a 'local' near to where they live or work.”
A convenient outcome for the Campaign for Real Ale…