St Ives is Britain's happiest place to live: Full list revealed

1 December 2022, 12:53 | Updated: 1 December 2022, 13:02

The Cornish seaside town of St Ives is named by Rightmove as the happiest place to live in Britain
The Cornish seaside town of St Ives is named by Rightmove as the happiest place to live in Britain. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

The happiest places to live in Britain have been revealed as part of Rightmove’s Happy at Home Index.

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More than 21,000 people responded to the annual survey, which asked residents how they felt about where they live.

Taking the crown was Cornish seaside town St Ives.

It overtook Hexham in Northumberland to take this year's top spot, having alternated with the market town for first place since 2019.

Hexham was placed fourth in this year's study.

The harbour at St Ives, Cornwall
The harbour at St Ives, Cornwall. Picture: Alamy

Locations are ranked based on factors such as whether people feel there is a sense of belonging, the proximity to green spaces, local amenities and whether there is a community spirit.

The residents of St Ives scored the area highly for its sense of community spirit, the sense of belonging the residents have, and how comfortable residents feel to be themselves, Rightmove said.

However, the typical house price in St Ives has increased significantly and inquiries to buy a home in Cornwall are 9% higher than 2019, Rightmove found.

The average asking price was £523,731- 6% higher than last year when it was £492,870.

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Galashiels in the Scottish Borders is second in this year's list
Galashiels in the Scottish Borders is second in this year's list. Picture: Alamy

Galashiels in the Scottish Borders is second in this year's list, and the market town of Woodbridge in Suffolk is third.

Alice Brown, a valuer at estate agent Rettie & Co Borders said: "Steeped in history, Galashiels has a wide variety of housing from classic period properties to new builds, offering something for every type of buyer.

"The countryside surrounding Galashiels also has much to offer, especially for those with an interest in rural pursuits such as walking, trail running, biking, wild swimming, et cetera.

"In terms of entertainment, a variety of amenities are on the doorstep, including a cinema, gyms, a swimming pool, supermarkets, independent shops, cafes, a retail park, restaurants and well-regarded schools.

"The recently-established Heartland Market brings together the town and local businesses."

Anglesey was found to be the happiest place to live in Wales.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove's director of property science said: "This year's Happy at Home survey really shows that the things that make people happy to live in their area are not so much the physical aspects of that area but more the personal aspects, such as our sense of belonging, the community and the people.

"The last few months have undoubtedly been difficult for many, and as we learned during another difficult period in 2020, this is often when we look to our local area and community for support and happiness."

Beach and seafront houses in Anglesey
Beach and seafront houses in Anglesey. Picture: Alamy

Britain's happiest places to live in 2022:

*including the average asking price for a home and the average asking monthly rental price

1. St Ives, South West, £523,731, £1,152

2. Galashiels, Scotland, £153,546, £530

3. Woodbridge, East of England, £481,978, £1,196

4. Hexham, North East, £262,265, £810

5. Perth, Scotland, £179,410, £812

6. Harrogate, Yorkshire and the Humber, £381,124, £1,327

7. Anglesey, Wales, £324,048, £766

8. Bury St Edmunds, East of England, £334,160, £1,368

9. Stirling, Scotland, £197,075, £990

10. Cirencester, South West, £382,065, £1,331

11. Richmond-upon-Thames, London, £1,153,347, £3,931

12. Falmouth, South West, £373,752, £1,289

13. Monmouth, Wales, £331,844, £1,104

14. Leamington Spa, West Midlands, £383,553, £1,274

15. Worcester, West Midlands, £286,250, £1,059

16. Northwich, North West, £246,995, £942

17. Altrincham, North West, £615,246, £2,297

18. Macclesfield, North West, £292,078, £1,146

19. Newbury, South East, £380,842, £1,364

20. Llandudno, Wales, £260,245, £760

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