Leigh-on-Sea named the happiest place to live in the UK

Almost 25,000 people took part in the survey

Kate Nelson
Monday 22 August 2016 13:45 BST
10 happiest places to live in the UK

Essex's Leigh-on-Sea has topped the list of the happiest places to live in the UK.

Online estate agent Rightmove interviewed 24,000 people for its Happy at Home index, asking people to rate factors such as community spirit, safety and sense of belonging.

The average cost of a house in the estuary town, three miles from Southend-on-Sea, is £384,349.

Resident and local Leigh-on-Sea blogger Jo Harrison said: “It’s such a wonderful town to live in. It maintains a real village feel and everyone you bump into is just smiling and happy the whole time.

“It’s a town but it’s got a real village feel to it, it’s full of independent shops, bars and restaurants.

“It’s really buzzing and pretty much everyone that works there tends to live there, everyone knows everyone – it really is a great little place to visit."

Troon, another seaside town situated on the west coast of Scotland, in South Ayrshire took second place.

Abiola Oni, Rightmove research manager, said: "It seems the saying that we do like to be beside the seaside is true, whether you’re down in the South East or up in Scotland.

"Obviously what happy means to different people can vary greatly, but when you compare which factors score highest in the happiest areas, it shows just how important having friendly people in the local community area is alongside the services and amenities, which is something buyers often tell us when they are looking in new areas to live.

"Space is also one of the most important things when people are looking for a new home, so it’s not surprising that places with open spaces such as beautiful parks and beaches have featured in the top ten."

The spa town of Harrogate in north Yorkshire was placed third followed by Hertford in Hertfordshire and Lytham St Annes in Lancashire.

There have been many investigations into what makes us happy.

A paper in the Journal of Happiness Studies found good-looking people tended to be happiest.

A 77-year-long Harvard study also found social connections are vital to living a fulfilled life.

The study, started in 1938, involved 724 men who were interviewed biennially about their lives. Researchers explored their attitudes towards their work and home, and they underwent medical examinations every five years.

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