The picturesque seaside town of St Ives has been crowned Britain’s happiest place to live.
The Cornish seaside town overtook Hexham in Northumberland to take this year’s top spot, having alternated with the market town for first place since 2019.
However this year Galashiels in the Scottish Borders came second – scoring top for friendliness across the whole of the UK, according to an annual survey by house sale website Rightmove.
More than 21,000 people responded to the ‘Happy at Home Index’, which asks residents how they feel about where they live.
Locations are ranked based on factors such as whether people feel there is a sense of belonging, the proximity to green spaces and whether there is a community spirit.
The residents of St Ives scored the area highly for its sense of community spirit, the sense of belonging the residents have, and how comfortable residents feel to be themselves.
Councillor Philip Pope, mayor of St Ives, said: ‘I’m often asked what makes St Ives so special and the only answer that I can ever give is “the people”.’
‘Don’t get me wrong, it is a beautiful riverside market town with picturesque views that is steeped in history, but none of that really means anything without the incredible people that choose to live, work, volunteer and visit here.
‘We are so fortunate in this town to have the most amazing people with the kindest hearts.
‘I am a firm believer that happiness, love and kindness are three of the most important things in life and here in St Ives we are fortunate enough to have these all in abundance.’
Meanwhile at the other end of the UK, residents of the historic borders town of Galashiels in Scotland scored it particularly highly on the friendliness and politeness of the people – scoring top for this across Britain.
Alice Brown, a valuer at estate agent Rettie & Co Borders, said the location is a winner as well as the friendliness of the locals: ‘The countryside surrounding Galashiels has so much to offer, especially for those with an interest in rural pursuits such as walking, trail running, biking, wild swimming’.
Anglesey was found to be the happiest place to live in Wales.
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property science, said: ‘This year’s Happy at Home survey really shows that the things that make people happy to live in their area are not so much the physical aspects of that area but more the personal aspects, such as our sense of belonging, the community and the people.’
Living in one of the happiest towns in the UK comes at a price, however.
The average asking price for a home in St Ives is £523,731, which is 6% higher than last year when it was £492,870 and is also higher than the average asking price across Britain of £366,999.
Other locations in the top ten including Woodbridge, Harrogate, Anglesey, Bury St Edmunds, Cirencester, and Hexham.
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