There are lots of factors which are considered when deciding where to live. Crime levels, affordability, attractiveness and much, much more. But there is one thing which is often overlooked: happiness.
Is it true that the residents of some UK towns are happier than others? The simple answer is: yes! Studies are often released which demonstrate where people are the happiest to be living. As a cash house buyer with reliable sources on the UK property market, read our blog below to find out where the happiest places are to live in the UK.
What makes some towns happier than others?
The happiness of a UK town is generally a reflection of how the residents feel about their lives. If it is a prosperous location where people are not short of money, they enjoy the setting (both aesthetically and in terms of activities), and they are nearby to their family and friends, then this translates into a ‘happy town’.
It is common for towns in remote locations to be some of the happiest places to live. You will notice in the list below that many of these places are far away from major cities. Often this is because the residents live in a small community where they are relatively unbothered by global or national events.
Market towns also regularly appear on the highest rankings of happy places to live in the UK. However, there are also several urban areas in the UK which are very popular, and it is easy to find information (for example) with the best places to live in Manchester.
1. St Ives, Cornwall, England
St Ives is one of the most regularly visited towns in Cornwall – and there is a reason for this. Not only is it a beautiful setting with a thriving high street, but it has a thriving local fishing community who enjoy living alongside the town’s cobbled streets.
According to Rightmove’s survey at the end of 2022, St Ives is the happiest place to live in the UK. The organisation said that the town scored so highly because of ‘its sense of community spirit, the sense of belonging the residents have, and how comfortable residents feel to be themselves’.
Rightmove’s survey states that the average property price in St Ives is £523,731 and the average monthly rental costs is £1,152.
2. Galashiels, Scottish Borders, Scotland
Rightmove’s survey revealed that the second happiest place to live in the UK is Galashiels, Scotland. Approximately 35 miles south of Edinburgh, this small town has a population of barely over 10,000 people, but most of its residents are very happy to live there.
Galashiels is in the heart of the Scottish countryside and is also a commutable distance to the vibrant city of Edinburgh. This means that people living in the town get the ‘best of both worlds’ – a rural place to live, where everybody in the community knows each other, but within travelable distance of the capital city.
According to Rightmove’s figures, the average property price in Galashiels is £153,546 and the average monthly rental costs is £530.
3. Woodbridge, Suffolk, England
In third place on Rightmove’s list of the happiest places to live is Woodbridge, in the East of England. This small market town, set on the River Deben, is only 10 miles from Ipswich yet is still surrounded by the gorgeous hills, valleys and fields of rural Suffolk.
This is the second year in a row that Woodbridge has appeared in the top 15 happiest UK places to live, this time climbing 10 places since the year before. According to Rightmove, the average property price in Woodbridge is £481,978 and the average monthly rental cost is £1,196.
4. Hexham, Northumberland, England
Another English town appears in the top 5 happiest places to live – but this time, from the north east region. Hexham in Northumberland is a small town with approximately 13,000 people living there and is surrounded by lots of beautiful countryside and wildlife.
Hexham Abbey is a commonly visited attraction in the small town, and the residents also have useful transport links to Newcastle and Carlisle. Rightmove’s figures state that the average property price is £262,265 and the average monthly rental cost is £810.
Where is the happiest place to live in Wales
Rightmove’s survey found that the happiest place to live in Wales is Anglesey, which ranked 7th in the overall UK standings. This island in north-west Wales is located nearby to Snowdonia, and so residents can easily use their car to travel to see some of the most incredible mountains and wildlife in the UK.
Anglesey’s placement on an island also helps contribute to the feeling of remote living which many residents enjoy. The average property price in Anglesey is £324,048 and the average monthly rental cost is £766. These numbers are both noticeably higher than the country’s average, due to it being a very attractive area.