The 20 happiest places to live in the UK in 2021 revealed

·2-min read
Photo credit: daverhead - Getty Images
Photo credit: daverhead - Getty Images

The Northumberland market town of Hexham has been crowned the Happiest Place to Live in the UK for 2021, according to Rightmove's annual Happy at Home Index.

Regaining the top spot which it last held back in 2019, research found that residents of the market town were happier than any other area. With access to nature and an overall feeling of belonging in the area, we're not surprised it has topped the list once again.

The Index also takes into account house prices, which calculated the average home in Hexham to be worth £297,088 — an increase of 6% compared to last year (£280,128) and an increase of 20% compared to five years ago (£246,919).

Elsewhere in the study, Rightmove found that those living in a coastal village were the happiest of all. Meanwhile, those living in a coastal town or city were more likely to be happy in their area than someone living in a similar home inland. This is no surprise following a year when people have put access to outdoor spaces top of their priority during the pandemic.

"It's been an incredibly busy year in the housing market, with a lot of people deciding that now is the right time to move," says Tim Bannister, Rightmove's Director of Property Data. "It is fascinating to see that people who moved in the last 12 months were more likely to be happy in their areas than those who did not.

Photo credit: Marco Antonio Monteiro - Getty Images
Photo credit: Marco Antonio Monteiro - Getty Images

"Whether it may be a couple looking for a small change in the same area, tenants looking for more space, or a family completely changing their lifestyle and moving from the city to the coast, this has been the year that people have really seized the opportunity to move, and turned ideas into action."

When it comes to moving house, the most important factors were found to be friendliness of locals, a sense of belonging, and being able to be yourself. A third of the year's 20 happiest towns were market towns, with a focus of bringing the local community together.

Photo credit: Chris Griffiths - Getty Images
Photo credit: Chris Griffiths - Getty Images

More than two-thirds of people who moved in the last year relocated to a brand new area, with 64% saying they are happier in the area they now live compare with where they moved from.

Planning a move next year? Take a look at the places which made the top 10...

20 happiest places to live in the UK

  1. Hexham, North East

  2. Richmond upon Thames, Greater London

  3. Harrogate, Yorkshire and the Humber

  4. Hove, South East

  5. Llandrindod Wells, Wales

  6. Stirling, Scotland

  7. Monmouth, Wales

  8. St Ives, South West

  9. Anglesey, Wales

  10. Leamington Spa, West Midlands

  11. Perth, Scotland

  12. Hitchin, East of England

  13. Woodbridge, East of England

  14. Kendal, North West

  15. Macclesfield, North West

  16. Exeter, South West

  17. Salisbury, South West

  18. Horsham, South East

  19. St. Albans, East of England

  20. Guildford, South East

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