Hexham has been crowned the happiest place to live in Britain.
Northern England made up half of the top 10 list compiled by Rightmove, with Harrogate, Skipton, Altrincham and Southport also appearing. Richmond-upon-Thames, Dorchester and Sevenoaks were also in the top 10 as were Llandrindod Wells and Monmouth, both in Wales.
More than 22,000 people responded to Rightmove’s happy at home index survey. They were asked questions such as the extent to which they feel a sense of community spirit, feel safe, earn enough to live comfortably and whether locals are friendly and polite. They were also asked about local amenities such as sports facilities, arts and culture, shops, restaurants, doctors’ surgeries, schools and green spaces.
Historic Hexham is host to a farmers’ market as well as Viking-themed events, an array of independent shops and Hexham Old Gaol – reputed to be England’s earliest purpose-built prison. The town is a tourist gateway to Hadrian’s Wall and Hexham Abbey, with its 1,300-year-old history, stands at its heart.
Bob Hull, Mayor of Hexham, said: “We have a really strong sense of community up here, which I think is a major reason why residents feel so happy living in Hexham. We have a community-owned cinema and a thriving theatre and arts centre. Our parks have won various Green Flag awards and we’re just half an hour from Newcastle and a major airport. We also boast lots of cultural heritage; the town is a gateway to Hadrian’s Wall, and we have more than 200 listed buildings, which is one of the highest ratios per building of towns this size.”
Some links for local and national coverage on this accolade are below: