By Tessa Nolan
Life in London can be stressful, with hectic jobs, booked-up social lives, and the need to travel around underground like mole people. However, living in the capital can also be pretty joyful thanks to its amazing cultural activities, endless places to get delicious grub, and abundance of green spaces. To that end, one London borough has just been named the UK’s happiest place to live. Take that, St Ives.
All those hipsters in east London might think they’ve got it figured out, with their natural wine bars and artisan coffee shops, but the borough in question is actually in west London. Drumroll, please… Richmond upon Thames has been crowned the happiest place to live in Great Britain in the Rightmove Happy at Home index.
Rightmove surveyed 26,000 people, asking them what makes them happy about their local area, with Winchester in Hampshire and Monmouth in Wales coming second and third, respectively.
The extremely affluent borough of Richmond, where the average house price is just under £1 million, is the first London neighborhood to top the list. Richmond has consistently ranked well in the survey, but no London area has been able to claim the top spot in the 12 years the index has been running, until now.
The leafy area was lauded for its number of green spaces including two Royal parks, its proximity to Kew Gardens, and its arty enclave Eel Pie Island.
‘I’m delighted for Richmond to win this award,’ Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan told Evening Standard. ‘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.’
Richmond is home to a number of celeb residents too, including David Attenborough, Brad Pitt, Mick Jagger and Holly Willoughby. But it’s also one of London’s least affordable areas to buy property.
Maybe we should all be moving to Richmond, but better get saving up first.
Despite the high cost of living, there’s no denying that Richmond upon Thames offers a truly unique and desirable living experience. The borough’s stunning natural surroundings, vibrant community spirit, and rich cultural offerings make it a place where residents can truly thrive and find happiness in their everyday lives.
The abundance of green spaces in Richmond is a major draw for residents, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities, picnics, and leisurely strolls. The presence of two Royal Parks, Richmond Park and Bushy Park, as well as the nearby Kew Gardens, allows residents to connect with nature and escape the hustle and bustle of city life, promoting a sense of well-being and contentment.
In addition to its natural beauty, Richmond also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with the arty enclave of Eel Pie Island adding to the borough’s charm. The island’s vibrant community of artists and musicians creates a creative atmosphere that fosters a sense of inspiration and creativity among residents.
The strong sense of community in Richmond is another key factor contributing to its status as the happiest place to live in the UK. The borough’s lively social scene, diverse dining options, and friendly atmosphere create a welcoming environment where people can form meaningful connections and feel a sense of belonging.
Furthermore, Richmond’s rich history and architectural heritage, including landmarks such as Hampton Court Palace, offer residents opportunities to explore the area’s cultural significance and heritage.
While the high cost of living in Richmond may pose a challenge for some, it’s clear that the quality of life and overall happiness experienced by residents make it a sought-after place to call home.
In conclusion, Richmond upon Thames has rightfully earned its title as the UK’s happiest place to live, thanks to its stunning natural surroundings, vibrant community spirit, and rich cultural offerings. The borough’s unique blend of urban amenities and green spaces creates an idyllic setting where residents can enjoy a high quality of life and find joy in their everyday experiences. As the first London neighborhood to top the Rightmove Happy at Home index, Richmond has set a high standard for what it means to live in a truly happy and fulfilling community.