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‘Happiest place to live’ in Britain revealed

The affluent borough of Richmond upon Thames in southwest London has been named the happiest place to live in Great Britain.

The borough, home to London's largest royal park and top tourist attractions such as Hampton Court Palace, recently received an injection of global recognition from the hit Apple TV show Ted Lasso.

An annual survey conducted by property website Rightmove, which polled over 26,000 people, found that the most important contributors to happiness were feelings of "pride, belonging and community".

For residents, access to a lush green space and nature such as a national park or an "area of outstanding natural beauty" was equally important to feeling happy with the place where they lived, according to the real estate website.

This is the first time a London location has been voted in top spot in Rightmove’s ‘Happy at Home Index’ in the 12 years that the website has been conducting the survey.

Winchester in Hampshire was ranked second this year and the town of Monmouth in Wales was placed in third position.

Shoppers in Richmond upon Thames, south west London (PA)
Shoppers in Richmond upon Thames, south west London (PA)

Housing in the borough, which is popular among the rich and famous, comes with a current average asking price of nearly £1m – almost three times the average £362,000 for Great Britain, according to Rightmove.

Celebrities such as Mick Jagger, Brad Pitt, David Attenborough and Holly Willoughby have all had their homes in Richmond.

Apart from the greenery of its sprawling parks, the borough also has a 6.6-mile walking route along the River Thames through Twickenham to Kingston.

A runner taking his exercise in Richmond upon Thames (PA)
A runner taking his exercise in Richmond upon Thames (PA)

Tim Bannister, a property expert at Rightmove, said the results of this year’s study “highlight that residents continue to value living near green spaces and natural beauty – features that became all the more important during the pandemic”.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said he was "delighted for Richmond to win this award".

People walk past a public house in Richmond upon Thames (PA)
People walk past a public house in Richmond upon Thames (PA)

“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," he told the Evening Standard.

The Cornish seaside town of St Ives was crowned winner in 2022 and Hexham in Northumberland took the top spot in 2021.