According to Rightmove poll, St Ives is the happiest place to live in the UK

Picturesque St Ives, a popular seaside town and port in Cornwall, England

Picturesque St Ives, a popular coastal town and port in Cornwall (Photo: Getty)

The picturesque seaside town of St Ives has been crowned Britain’s most liveable place.

The Cornish seaside town overtook Hexham in Northumberland to take first place this year, having traded with the market town for first place since 2019.

This year, however, Galashiels came second in the Scottish Borders – ranking top for friendliness across the UK according to an annual survey by home selling website Rightmove.

More than 21,000 people responded to the Happy at Home Index, which asks residents how they feel about where they live.

Locations are judged on factors such as sense of belonging, proximity to green spaces, and sense of community.

St. Ives residents rated the area highly for its sense of community, residents’ sense of belonging and how comfortable residents feel about being themselves.

Councilor Philip Pope, Mayor of St Ives, said: ‘I’m often asked what makes St Ives so special and the only answer I can ever give is ‘the people’.’

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful riverside market town steeped in history with scenic views, but none of it really means anything without the incredible people who have chosen to live, work, volunteer and contribute here to visit.

“We are very fortunate to have the greatest people with the kindest hearts in this city.

The town of Galashiels in the Scottish Borders.

The town of Galashiels in the Scottish Borders. (Photo: Getty)

“I firmly believe that happiness, love and kindness are three of the most important things in life and here at St Ives we are fortunate to have all of these in abundance.”

At the other end of the UK, residents of the historic border town of Galashiels in Scotland scored particularly high for people’s friendliness and politeness – ranking top in the UK for it.

Alice Brown, appraiser at estate agents Rettie & Co Borders, said the location is a winner, as is the friendliness of the locals: “The countryside around Galashiels has so much to offer, especially for those who are into rural activities such as hiking, trail running , cycling, wild swimming”.

Anglesey has been found to be the happiest place to live in Wales.

Tim Bannister, Director of Property Science at Rightmove, said: “This year’s Happy at Home survey really shows that the things that make people happy to live in their area aren’t so much the physical aspects of that area, it’s more the personal aspects, such as our sense of belonging, community and people.’

Rising prices

However, living in one of the happiest cities in Britain comes at a price.

The average asking price for a house in St Ives is £523,731, which is 6% higher than last year when it was £492,870 and also higher than the average asking price across the UK of £366,999.

Other locations in the top ten include Woodbridge, Harrogate, Anglesey, Bury St Edmunds, Cirencester and Hexham.

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Justin Scacco

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