Where is the happiest place to live?

Happy at Home

  • Essex seaside town Leigh-on-Sea crowned happiest place to live due to a strong community spirit and sense of belonging, good access to sports and arts activities and opportunities to develop skills

  • Troon in Scotland is second place, and Harrogate, winner for the past three years, ranks high in third

  • Swansea takes the Welsh top spot and Richmond wins for London for the second year in a row 

  • Rightmove’s annual Happy at Home Index asks residents to rate where they live based on 12 happiness factors, across 206 areas in Great Britain

The residents of civil parish Leigh-on-Sea in Essex have had their say, and they’re a very happy bunch indeed.

Almost 24,000 people across Great Britain took part in Rightmove’s Happy at Home Index, with the results showing that living by the sea seems to do wonders for happiness, as second place is another seaside town – Troon in Scotland – where locals feel they can be themselves and feel safe.

The study asks residents to rank twelve factors about their local area, ranging from how friendly the neighbours are and how much people feel that they can be themselves, to how good the local services are.

Leigh-on-Sea scored high for community spirit and a strong sense of belonging, and locals say there’s plenty to do as well as the town tops the list for good access to sports and arts activities and opportunities to develop skills. The ripple effect of rising house prices out from London to the commuter belt has led to a 15% increase in asking prices in Leigh-on-Sea over the past year, to £384,439.

The picturesque spa town of Harrogate has come top for the past three years, and although it’s been knocked off the top this year by the lure of the seaside, it has still made it into third place, with its beautiful green spaces helping its happiness ranking.

Rightmove’s Research Manager Abiola Oni said:

“Well it seems the saying that we do like to ‘be beside the seaside’ is true, whether you’re down in the South East or up in Scotland!  Obviously what ‘happy’ means to different people can vary greatly, but when you compare which factors score highest in the happiest areas, it shows just how important having friendly people in the local community area is alongside the services and amenities, which is something buyers often tell us when they are looking in new areas to live.  Space is also one of the most important things when people are looking for a new home, so it’s not surprising that places with open spaces such as beautiful parks and beaches have featured in the top ten.”

Top 10


Twelve Factors




  • Jonathan Stringer says:

    Great content!

  • Bellamy lafontaine says:

    As one of seven who live in my apartment in Estuary Court in Grand Parade, with its extensive panoramic views over the windswept estuary, I concur and agree wholeheartedly with Leigh on Sea being voted the happiest location in the UK.
    Every morning the seven of us are up singing away merrily looking out at the ships from our balcony before we all trundle out on our way to work, humming away to ourselves, even the grumpy one joins in, we even skip holding hands together in a line down Leigh Hill laughing, giggling and waving to the scarecrows in the fields all the way to the hill to the happy railway station. It is a lovely station, Thomas the Tank Engine would just love it here. At the end of the day we trundle our way back up the hill, Doc sometimes gives Dozy a piggy back, whilst Grumpy goes over and pulls the top hats of the scarecrows over their eyes.
    I could go on and on about Leigh on Sea but I’m a little Bashful.

  • Jonathan From Best SEO in Essex says:

    I live nearby in Southend and I have to say that Leigh on Sea is the most desirable place to live in Essex. The close proximity to the sea, a nearby Woods and golf course, short travel into the heart of London on a reliable train line, as well boutique shops and bars in the Broadway.

    Only downside I’ve found – Parking!

  • Bear Estate Agents says:

    We were thinking about having a physical office on the Broadway in Leigh on Sea but realised that was a rather expensive option and didn’t allow for anyone to park nearby when visiting.

    We are seeing a lot of properties go through our books in Leigh on Sea at the moment, it really is a popular area.

    Bear Estate Agents

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