London borough named happiest place to live in the UK

ITV London's Rags Martel speaks to residents and visitors about why they consider Richmond-upon-Thames to be their "happy place".

It's home to two Royal parks, world-famous botanical gardens and the arty enclave of Eel Pie Island – so it's no surprise this borough would rank among the UK's happiest places to live.

Richmond-upon-Thames, in southwest London, has been voted the number one happiest place to live in the country in Rightmove's annual Happy at Home Index.

This is the 12th year the survey has been running, but this is the first time a London borough has taken the top spot.

The leafy and affluent borough, where average house prices are just over £1 million, has taken the crown from last year's winner, St. Ives in Cornwall.

Richmond Park is known for its freely roaming deer.

Home to the local areas of Twickenham, Hampton and Richmond itself, the borough has "got it all", says Dawn Platt, associate director of Chestertons’ Richmond branch, including "access to nature, schools, entertainment, good eateries, bars and shops".

"On top of access to nature, schools, entertainment, good eateries, bars and shops, the borough benefits from a riverside location and great transport links," she adds. “Thanks to its lifestyle offerings, it’s not difficult to see why Richmond has established itself as one of London’s most sought-after locations nor why residents are happy living here. 

"Due to its community feel, many see Richmond as an area to settle down in long-term.”

American sitcom Ted Lasso, based on the fictional football team AFC Richmond has really helped put the borough on the international stage.

Carly McCann, a guide for the Ted Lasso Walking Tour, told ITV London: "I think what makes Richmond so happy are the people.

"There's some lovely people here in Richmond, and it doesn't hurt that it's also stunningly gorgeous."

People soaking up the sunshine on the banks of the River Thames in Richmond. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, says: “I’m delighted for Richmond to win this award. It has so much of what makes London so special – its access to beautiful green spaces, its real sense of community, and an array of shops, cafes and local culture that makes it stand out.”

The only other part of the capital to make it into the top 10 was Kensington and Chelsea, in west London, ranking in eighth place.

Rightmove's Happy at Home Index asks residents how they feel about their area based on 13 happiness factors.

The top 10 happiest places to live in the UK, as voted by residents

1. Richmond upon Thames - Greater London

2. Winchester - South East

3. Monmouth - Wales

4. Wokingham - South East

5. Cirencester - South West

6. Skipton - Yorkshire and The Humber

7. Hemel Hempstead - East of England

8. Kensington and Chelsea - Greater London

9. St Ives - South West

10. Hexham - North East

These include things like the club-together community spirit of a local area, having green space on the doorstep, or the sense of belonging in a local community.

More than 26,000 people living in towns, cities and villages across Great Britain took part in this year's survey. The city of Winchester in Hampshire is in second place, and the town of Monmouth in Wales in third.

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