According to a recent study from comparethemarket.com, 75% of UK citizens would not make the effort to speak to their neighbours when relocating to a new area. Surely we’re not all that reserved?
News Shopper suggests that three quarters of us that do make small talk claim a simple conversation with a neighbour makes them feel more in touch with the rest of their community. So maybe this high percentage of UK citizens just aren’t living in the right places to engage with their community.
The main attributes of a friendly community consist of various overlooked aspects, such as local pubs, schools, community centres, gala days and even fish and chip shops. So where can we find somewhere to live within the UK that will offer a friendly community where you won’t have to look down when passing your neighbour?
Below I have listed 5 of the friendliest places to live in the UK:
Keswick in Cumbria is a decent sized market town located just north of Derwent Water, with a population of just over 4,984. Having being awarded the “Open for Dogs” prize, this popular Lake District destination is perfect for dog lovers. With vast amounts of open fields and beautiful forestry, long hikes or walks with the whole family are regular occurrences within the local community - known for being open and welcoming.
Its heavy reliance on tourism means the locals are always happy to welcome new people and make them feel right at home. Properties are largely made up of solid, double fronted, Victorian style houses, priced reasonably at around £200,000-£300,000 for a 2-3 bed property.
Well known for its beloved county cricket ground, Taunton, in Somerset, is easily one of the most relaxed and well-humoured towns in the UK. Even though Taunton seems to revel in its Saxon past, it is still home to some of the best, and biggest, retail facilities, and was actually named the retail capital of the county.
An abundance of small homely shops, cafés and businesses reveal the open and friendly community, and offers great places for residents to socialise. In terms of property, there are a great deal of Victorian style terraces, as well as an array of attractive cottages on the outskirts. Similar to Keswick, the property prices generally range between £200,000-£350,000 for a good sized detached property.
Located 190 miles from southwest London, Plymouth is home to around 250,000 people, making it the 27th most populous city in the UK. If you are a big fan of cycling, Plymouth is the place to be. According to a survey by Virgin Money, Plymouth has been voted as the most cyclist friendly city in the UK.
Don’t worry though, you don’t have to be on wheels to enjoy this beautiful town. The ease of the city itself makes it a wonderful walking or hiking destination. As well as this, the vast amount of student property hugely increases the opportunity for investment to make yourself a few extra pennies.
Out of the 8 best towns to live in in Yorkshire, Harrogate places second. According to a survey from Rightmove, the people in Harrogate displayed the highest amount of content with the location they live in, due to the neighbourliness, beautiful surroundings and stunning countryside.
Harrogate mainly consists of elegant town houses; giving off a very clean and fresh look to the city as a whole. It is also home to a great town centre including many little novelty shops, restaurants and cafés - namely Betty’s. The open communal parks provide a great attraction for socialising within the community, and there is regular events held where the community gets together and takes part.
Given its posh demeanour and elegant surroundings, the property prices are slightly higher, but still affordable for what you are getting with living in this town. The average price of a 2 bedroom detached house in Harrogate ranges from £350,000-£450,000, however semi-detached and terraces are much cheaper at around £200,000-£275,000.
Finally on the list of friendly towns is North Dorset. Situated in a local government district, North Dorset is largely rural and includes towns such as Gillingham, Stalbridge and Shaftesbury. A recent government survey found that 93.74% of North Dorset residents felt like they lived in an area where “neighbours look out for each other”, consequently making it a very friendly and welcoming place to live.
North Dorset is home to a vast amount of beautiful countryside. Points of interest include Hambledon Hill, Hod Hill, and Cranbone Chase, providing the local community with amazing hiking and walking destinations, as well as gorgeous scenery. For those interested in the history of the town, Shaftesbury Abbey is a local museum providing vast amounts of historic monuments.
Similar to Harrogate pricing, the average property price for terraced or semi-detached houses is around £200,000-2£50,000, and detached houses average at around £350,000.