The UK’s Happiest Place To Live Is 300 Miles From London

Photographed by Meg O'Donnell
St Ives, a super-cute seaside town in Cornwall, has been named the happiest place to live in the UK.
The town, which has a population of around 11,000, also finished top of Rightmove's happiest places to live list in 2020. Located around 300 miles from London, it's known for its historic harbour, large sandy beach and vibrant community of artists. The Tate St Ives gallery is a popular local attraction, so it's definitely a place where you can live out your cool coastal grandma fantasy.
Advertisement
"All year round we are able to visit the amazing restaurants and cafés, most of which are highly rated in the national press, and the coastal walks are second to none," said local estate agent Paul Le Bas. "As the seasons change, so does the town. It becomes a winter wonderland of festive lights for Christmas. Even Father Christmas arrives on the lifeboat!" 
Rightmove's happiest places to live list is based on numerous factors including each town's community spirit, sense of belonging and the quality of its artistic and cultural activities. 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 of 21,000 people.
Other places that finished high on this year's list include Galashiels in Scotland, Woodbridge in Suffolk and Hexham in Northumberland, which was named the happiest place overall in 2021.
“Our 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," said Rightmove's Tim Bannister.  
"The last few months have undoubtedly been difficult for many," he added, referring to the cost-of-living crisis, "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." 
You can check out the top 10 below, complete with average rental costs in each place.

More from Living

R29 Original Series

Advertisement