St Ives in Cornwall named happiest place to live in Great Britain

The Cornish seaside town of St Ives has been named the happiest place to live in Great Britain in a survey by Rightmove. Credit: PA

St Ives in Cornwall has been named the happiest place to live in Great Britain, according to a survey by property website Rightmove.

The coastal town headed Rightmove’s 2020 Happy at Home Index, which asks residents how they feel about where they live based on ten happiness factors.

The results show residents are happier than any other community with their local area’s nature and green spaces. They also rated their neighbours as the friendliest in the UK.

Tony Harris, Mayor of St Ives, said: “This news comes as no surprise to me, nor the local residents, as we all know St Ives is a great place to live. Our natural and built environments have always been held to be amongst the very best in the UK and it is of course a pleasure to live in such magnificent surroundings every day."

Porthmeor beach in St Ives is popular with swimmers and surfers alike. Credit: ITV West Country

Jessie Wright of Bradleys Estate Agents in St Ives said: “I think there are a number of reasons why people are so happy living down here but we’ve all definitely become more appreciative of our hometown over the lockdown period.

"The freedom to go for a swim in the sea or a run along the beach when we were only allowed one hour of outdoor exercise made lots of people realise that we have so much space to enjoy, coupled with wonderful countryside scenery and stunning beaches."

More than 21,000 people took part in the study, which found coastal areas in general are where people feel happiest where they live, with Falmouth, Weymouth and Plymouth also making the top 20. Barnstaple - which is only six miles from the nearest beach - is the fifth West Country location in the top 20.

The average asking price of a home in the picturesque seaside town is £413,414, which is five per cent up on 2019, and a fifth higher than five years ago.

Demand for property in St Ives has also more than doubled (up 120 per cent) in a year.

The Mayor of St Ives is not at all surprised at the news as he says they all know it is a great place to live. Credit: ITV West Country

The Rightmove study asks residents how they feel about where they live, as well as asking them to rank 10 happiness factors. These range from how friendly the neighbours are and how good the services are, to the sense of belonging and the quality of nature and green spaces in the area.

Tim Bannister from Rightmove says, “This year’s study shows a greater appreciation for green spaces and nature, and a strong correlation between people living in coastal and rural areas and how happy people are where they live.

"Since lockdown we’ve since a trend towards more people looking to live in smaller communities, and so it’s very fitting to see that the picturesque town of St Ives has taken the top spot in 2020.”