Every year, a Rightmove poll surveys 24,000 people about their home town. It asks them about basic values like community, friendliness, contentment, pride and upkeep to name a few. For three years running, Harrogate has topped the polls and become Britain’s number 1 happiest place to live. Its bigger sibling, York, has also landed in the top 5. Yorkshire Day this year (1st August) marks the announcement of an expansion to our Dales and Lake District National Parks. Is this linked? Is happiness an inherent parts of Yorkshire’s landscape? We think so.
Lush, Open Public Spaces in Harrogate
An identifying feature of Yorkshire living is the access to lush, open spaces. Harrogate - our ambassador for contentment - boasts a range of parks and gardens throughout the town. From Valley Gardens to The Stray, residents are a stone’s throw from bowling greens, tended flowerbeds, ice cream parlours, paddling pools and good honest greenery.
Why is this conducive to happiness? Parks are the best antidote to a stuffy office, and if your walk to work takes you through these places, then it stands to reason that your spirits will be lifted. Compare the humdrum underground commute to walking through RHS Harlow Carr Gardens, and you’ll see what we mean.
Greener Pastures In Yorkshire
Harrogate is a small-scale example of what Yorkshire has to offer. No matter where you live, you are a short drive away from landmark sights and beautiful landscapes. Even the cities are famed for their green initiatives; the Winter Gardens in Sheffield is one of the country’s largest temperate glasshouses, while York’s Museum Gardens are brimming with activities and tourist attractions. As much as we urbanise, we cannot forget the inherent greenness and serenity that makes up Yorkshire’s DNA.
Got 5 minutes? Take the BBC’s Where In Britain Would You Be Happiest? quiz. How did you score?