23rd August 2016 jonbailey

The Top Ten Happiest Places to Live in the UK

We can all agree that where you live can make a huge difference to your state of happiness. Recently online estate agent Rightmove surveyed 24,000 people and asked them to rate their home town based on factors such as community spirit, safety and sense of belonging. Read below to find out about the somewhat interesting results.

10. Woodbridge, Suffolk

Woodbridge kicks off our whistle stop tour of the happiest places in the UK. Situated near the mouth of the River Deben and with a population of around 11,000, Woodbridge dates back to Neolithic times as a place of habituation. Its chuffed locals can boast of numerous sports clubs, it’s own theatre and interestingly, a Tide Mill. Why anyone would want to mill the tide remains unclear but whatever the reason it’s generally smiles all around in the picturesque town.

9. Hitchin, Hertfordshire

Number nine brings us to another historic town, that of Hitchin. Hitchin is home to none other than the annual Rhythms of the World Festival, now in its twentieth year. The festival itself is only a part of a the wider extravaganza that is the Hitchin Festival. Throw in the local attraction of the Lavender Gardens and there seems to be very little reason not to visit.

8. Shrewsbury, Shropshire

So why are the populous of Shrewsbury so chuffed? Perhaps it’s because Shrewsbury is home to the World’s oldest ongoing flower show? More likely it’s the quaint olde style streets with marvellous names such as Wyle Cop, Shoplatch, Dog Pole and the not to be forgotten Grope Lane. What is certain is that the inhabitants are very touched.

7. Stanford Le Hope, Essex

Fittingly situated astride the River Hope, Stanford is placed firmly within the commuter belt. Jasper Conrad loved the place so much he ended up living there, although to be fair that didn’t turn out too well. Perhaps Stanford Le Hope’s particular charm is that it’s rather laid back (TripAdvisor lists just 3 things to do, one of which is to walk around the local park).

6. Shepperton, Middlesex

If you are familiar with Cinema, then Shepperton needs no introduction, being the home of the famous studios, boasting titles such as Gladiator, Batman Begins and Star Wars, Revenge of the Sith. Apart from trying to spot Hollywood types, you can also enjoy the local motor museum, Victoria Park Lake and oddly, the ‘Moooving Art’ street installations of wild and wacky cow statues. Seems that the inhabitants are trying to milk it somewhat.

5. Lytham St Anne’s, Lancashire

Lytham St Annes is actually two places, at least according to the locals. ‘Leafy Lytham’ boasts an annual 1940’s wartime festival in which people dress up and get dewy eyed about the most violent conflict in human history and the Lytham Festival itself, which in recent years has boasted headliners such as Faithless. St Anne’s is more of your traditional seaside affair, and it’s yearly kite festival is a riot of colour, which is distinct from the usual riots that occur after closing time on a Friday night.

4. Hertford, Hertfordshire

According to the Discover Herford website, Hertford can boast of a population of 27,000 , 3 secondary schools, 2 railway stations, 18 restaurants as well as low crime, high employment and above average educational achievement. We are sure there is more to living in the fourth happiest place in the U.K, we just aren’t sure what it is.

3. Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Harrogate rose to fame in the 17th and 18th centuries thanks to is believed regenerative spa. Harrogate has consistently featured high in ‘Happiest Places To Live” polls, so perhaps there really is something in the water. Alumni include needy 90’s sensation Utah Saints, who repeatedly posed the question “What can you do for me?”. Perhaps the most famous of Harrogate’s cultural landmarks is Betty’s Tea Room, in which you can choose from 300 types of cake and over 50 types of tea or coffee.

2. Troon, Ayrshire

People aren’t doon in Troon, in fact they are as happy as a balloon. As to the reason why, it might be the sky, the sea or the sand dune. One thing that might give you pause is that the beach looks like Amity, which is the one from Jaws.

1. Leigh on Sea, Essex

It would see that the only way really is Essex, at least as far as happy places to live are concerned. LOS offers up traditional seaside fare in spades. Apart from that, LOS isn’t much different from the other places that feature in this list. If one takes a look at the pictures, they could all be taken from the same place. It would appear that people are happiest living in ‘middle England’. This is backed up by the fact that you would be hard pressed to find a list of safer Tory seats in the land (with the exception of Troon obvs). So perhaps, it isn’t the places themselves that are happy per se, but more an indication of socio-economic factors. To put it another way, we don’t expect Rotherham to feature anytime soon.