A small market town in Northumberland has been named the happiest place to live in the UK.
Hexham, which has a population of 12,000 and lies close to Hadrian’s Wall, around 20 miles from Newcastle, finishes top of Rightmove’s Happy at Home Index for the second time in three years.
The index is based on numerous factors including each town’s friendliness, sense of belonging and the quality of its amenities. Access to nature and open space – so vital for our mental health – is also folded into the rankings, which are based on a nationwide survey that 21,000 people answered.
Also factored in is the opportunity to develop new skills and the ability to really be yourself in each town. “Last year redefined the importance and role of our home and local community in our lives, and this has carried on into this year, even as wider society has started to open up again,” said Rightmove’s Tim Bannister.
Local mayor Derek Kennedy described Hexham as a “small town with great history” and said sustainable development is a priority there. “There is a wonderful community spirit, people are very supportive of one another. There are lots of community interest groups which gets people working for the greater good,” he added.
The average house price in Hexham is £297,000, which is £47,000 more than the current nationwide average of £250,000. The average rental property in Hexham is listed for £842 a month.
Richmond in southwest London – home of cult sitcom Ted Lasso – finishes second on the list. It’s incredibly expensive, though, with the average rent coming in at an eye-watering £3,235 a month – well above London’s cheapest postcodes in the east and southeast of the city.
Harrogate in Yorkshire, Hove on England’s south coast and Llandrindod Wells in Wales also place high in the top ten, which you can check out below.
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