When you were a child, did you read the Mr Men books? Were you envious of Mr Happy, walking around with a huge grin on his face, passing the smiling flowers, beaming dogs and laughing worms? Did you muse, “Wouldn’t it be brilliant to live in Happyland?” Sadly, now you’re all grown up and sensible, you know such a place doesn’t exist. Or does it?
Last year, Rightmove conducted a survey to ascertain the happiest places to live in the UK. They asked more than 17,000 people how happy they felt where they lived, considering factors such as: friendliness of locals, community spirit, local services and amenities, feeling safe, and earning potential. House Network updated the results for 2018, and here are some of the places that made the list. Note: no worms were interviewed.
York, North Yorkshire
This beautiful, historic city has been recognised as the happiest place to live in the UK. A mini-metropolis, it’s got trendy cafes, amazing restaurants, 30 world-class museums, the best racecourse in the country, an iconic Minster and cutting-edge media and tech companies. Oh, and a festival on every month of the year. Indeed, York is a corker.
Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
This town gives Ramsay Street a run for its money, and got the thumbs up for friendly neighbours and a strong sense of belonging. Along with the Regency architecture of many of the old buildings, the independent shops and restaurants give this spa town a unique edge. Spa towns in general are often considered ‘happy’ places to live due to their natural springs containing water thought to bring health benefits.
With a gorgeous National Park, a heated open-air swimming pool, a medieval castle, a large arts centre, a top foodie scene, the blooming Helmsley Walled Garden and low levels of crime and pollution, this Yorkshire market town is utterly charming.
Tunbridge Wells, Kent
This delightful historic town is just 45 minutes from London via train. More than 70% of the Borough of Tunbridge Wells sits within the High Weald, which is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The town itself is dotted with independent shops, restaurants, bars, cafes, galleries, ancient churches and beautiful homes. Not to mention the Pantiles, which hosts jazz concerts on the bandstand throughout the summer.
Melrose, Scottish Borders
This small, pretty town is on the River Tweed and is home to a stunning abbey and some seriously cool medieval ruins. The world-famous Rugby Sevens tournament originated here and the town still hosts the Melrose Sevens competition every year. Surrounded by picturesque villages, with a plethora of small shops and restaurants, the area is also packed with a number of cycling routes and parks.
Richmond upon Thames, London
Richmond upon Thames has been described as “a jewel in London’s crown”. With everything it’s got going for it – Royal Parks, historic houses, museums, galleries, theatres and a bustling town centre – it’s little wonder that it’s long been a popular destination for the rich and famous.
We can testify that Poole is a top place to live seeing as the Platinum Property Partners (PPP) head office is located here! With its award-winning sandy beaches (no pebbles stuck between your toes), historic Poole Quay, natural harbour (windsurfing, kitesurfing or jetpacking, anyone?), masses of restaurants, bars, pubs and shops, residents are never bored. And if they fancy some culture, they can watch something at the Lighthouse, the largest arts centre complex in the UK outside of London.