North Yorkshire's Harrogate tops happiness league for third year in a row
Harrogate has been crowned as the happiest place to live in Britain for the third year in a row by a report which asks people how content they are with their home and local community.
The North Yorkshire spa town, with its grand hotels and bustling tea rooms, came out top again in an annual survey by property website Rightmove, which asks people how they feel about where they live.
The historic northern cities of York and Chester also made it onto the top five list, with Shrewsbury coming in second place and Ipswich ranked third.
Inverness was named by the survey as the happiest place to live within Scotland, while Llandrindod Wells came first in Wales. In London, Richmond took the happiness crown.
Rightmove's survey of more than 24,000 people asked questions such as how proud they are of their home, whether they are satisfied with how it is decorated, how safe they feel in their community, whether they have enough living space, how friendly the neighbours are and whether they worry about the value of their property.
Harrogate was ranked first overall after coming out top for people feeling pride in where they live, as well as residents being happy with their area's upkeep and safe in their community.
Michael Newby, director of Visit Harrogate said of the findings: "This is fantastic news - to come top two years running was great, but to be named the happiest place for a third time is just amazing."
Councillor Richard Cooper, leader of Harrogate Borough Council said: "Harrogate is a fantastic part of the world in which to live. We are surrounded by some of the UK's most beautiful scenery, have fantastic shopping, a wide variety of restaurants and cafes, and great entertainment and leisure opportunities - including some unique experiences such as the elegant Turkish Baths.
"As a floral town, we are also extremely lucky to have a significant number of parks and gardens in the immediate vicinity - which are a joy to discover."
Simon Myring, director of Myrings Estate Agents in Harrogate said the area "really does have it all" - from Bettys tea rooms - famed for serving afternoon teas and Yorkshire Fat Rascal scones - to superb schools, good transport links and the chance to walk in the footsteps of figures such as Agatha Christie.
Harrogate found itself at the centre of a mystery when novelist Christie disappeared after leaving her Surrey home in 1926 and turned up several days later living in a Harrogate hotel.
Rightmove also found that Dundee residents are happiest with how their home is decorated, while Blackpool residents are the most likely say they have plenty of space, and people living in Hemel Hempstead feel most "at home" in their property.
The seaside town of Torquay came top for people saying they are never stuck for recreational activities, compared with Paisley in Scotland which came bottom in this category.
House hunters on the lookout for friendly neighbours might want to search for a home in Llandrindod Wells - as the residents say that is where the most polite people live.
Residents in Falkirk say they find the costs of running their home most manageable, while those in Hounslow in London find it hardest to cope.
When it comes to the price of property, Newport residents worry least about their home's value, whereas those in Luton worry the most. This is despite the fact that over the past year property asking prices have increased by 8.6% in Luton and by 1.8% in Newport, Rightmove said.
Rightmove's Housing Expert Miles Shipside said: "To come top of our Happy at Home Index three years in a row is no mean feat, and we'll be expecting a spike in people having a look on Rightmove to see what they might be able to afford to buy or rent in the Harrogate area."
:: People can find out how happy residents are in their local area by visiting www.rightmove.co.uk/viz/happy-at-home.