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It’s Nice up North – Harrogate is the Happiest Place to Live

Wed 21 May 2014

The general consensus has always been that it’s “grim up north”, but a recent survey has now proved that to be way off the mark, with the happiest place in the country named as the beautiful spa town of Harrogate for the second year running.

The survey asked around 50,000 homeowners how contented they were with the area they lived in and their home, along with a few other measurements, and the North Yorkshire spa town came out on top.

Harrogate is famous for its “healing” mineral waters and is surrounded by miles of glorious Yorkshire countryside. It also plays host to the famous Betty’s Tea Room and the Michelin-starred restaurant The Yorke Arms can be found in the nearby village of Ramsgill, making it somewhat of a culinary area.

With the Tour de France taking place in the summer, Harrogate will be recognised internationally, as the peloton will travel through the town twice during the Grand Departure Weekend.

Mayor of the Harrogate Borough, Michael Newby, said:

“Harrogate offers a wonderful environment for residents. There are restaurants, cafés and bars to cater for virtually every taste, and a retail sector second to none. The district has some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK, if not in Europe and beyond. There is also a great community feel which certainly make life a lot happier for many people.”

In a huge contrast to last year, the survey, which was carried out by property site Rightmove, found that more northern towns than ever had made it into the top ten list of happiest places, with Hull and Preston both making the cut

The data shows that the unhappiest places to live in the country included southern towns such as Twickenham, Harrow and East London with others like Ilford and Croyden making it onto the list for the second year running.

At the moment, the property market in London is inflating rapidly, with the average house price rising continually each month and currently standing at £459,000. But both this and the fact that ten of the unhappiest places to live recorded were found in the capital city, doesn’t seem to be putting people off moving there.

Out of all the areas surveyed, East London was named as the place that residents were most unhappy. It ranked lowest for happiness, home interior satisfaction and wasn’t far off being the place residents felt least safe living in.

There were 12 factors overall for homeowners to vote on, including their local community, safety in the area and overall neighbourliness. Kirkcaldy in Fife topped the list for place with the most amount of space, and West London came up as the worst place in terms of room to breathe.

An average house price in Harrogate comes out at £309,133 – around £37,000 more than the average, but due to it’s high levels of recreation and neighbourliness, it clearly has some very happy residents. The town was once made famous when novelist Agatha Christie disappeared from her home back in 1926, but was found a few days later living in a hotel in Harrogate.

With beautiful Turkish baths, low crime-rates and acres of beautiful green space, among many other things, it is no wonder that this stunning town has topped the list making it the happiest place to live.

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