Harrogate is happiest place

A woman walks her dog under the cherry blossom on the Stray,  Harrogate.18th April 2007.
A woman walks her dog under the cherry blossom on the Stray, Harrogate.18th April 2007.

It’s official - Harrogate is the happiest place to live in the whole of the UK.

The town has topped a survey measuring how the British public feel about where they live.

And while it did not excel in any one area, Harrogate scored highest overall.

“It’s very telling that Harrogate has scored highly on all of the criteria,” said Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones.

“There’s lots to celebrate. Good public services, low unemployment, an extremely good voluntary sector that adds so much.

“There’s a pride in the place. And people put so much in to make it what it is.”

The Happy at Home Index, by property website Rightmove, used 12 factors to measure how happy people were.

Harrogate scored particularly well on safety, neighbourliness, recreation, well-being and decor.

Its lowest score, although still relatively high, was in contentment.

“We need a healthy balance,” said Rightmove director Miles Shipside.

“Not only of confidence in the value of our homes and pride in where we live, but also all-round enjoyment of the things to do in our area and sense of well-being in the local community.”

House prices in Harrogate are up 5.6 per cent year on year, he said, outperforming the national average of 1.2 per cent and indicating that people want to live here.

Stockport was the second happiest place to live in the UK, the survey of 40,000 people found, while Halifax was third. Nine out of the 10 places at the bottom of the list are in London.