Watch the video below to see if you guessed our mystery attraction in Richmond!
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The affluent Richmond has been crowned as this year’s happiest place to live in London! Throughout the years, this beautiful borough has been a favourite retreat of the royal, the rich, and the famous, including Catherine Tate and Brad and Angelina. So, it’s the perfect place to head to for a bit of celebrity spotting!
Richmond itself is situated about 15 miles southwest of central London, but jump on a fast train from Waterloo and you can get there in 15 minutes – perfect if you want to live in London but without the hustle and bustle of the crazy city lifestyle. With a current population of 21,469, it is clearly a buzzing borough, especially with the prevalence of its commercial and retail centre, meaning that it has a highly developed day-time and night-time economy.
The borough is located by the River Thames, which runs for 21 miles through it. You will also find many historic houses, theatres, museums and parks, with one of the most well-known of these being the beautiful Richmond Park. It was founded during Henry VII’s building of Richmond Palace in the 16th century, and the town derives its name from Henry’s earldom of Richmond in North Yorkshire. Due to the royal presence here, many beautiful buildings were built there, particularly in the 18th century. So, if you were to move here, chances are that you could settle down in your own slice of Georgian history.
Founded in 1840, Kew Gardens holds the world’s largest collection of living plants, having an incredible 30,000 different types. Its beautiful parklands offer panoramic views of stunning nature – hard to believe that it’s all in London!
Plus, Kew has one of the largest herbariums in the world, with over 7 million preserved plant specimens inside it. And you’ll be kept safe for your whole visit to the gardens by Kew’s very own police force, the Kew Constabulary!
As well as this, Kew is a beautiful place to visit with friends and family, or even by yourself – there are plenty of different areas to explore including the famous treetop walkway, the arboretum, and the Nash Conservatory, originally designed for Buckingham Palace but moved to Kew by King William IV in 1836.
Next up is Kingston, the second happiest place to live in London. Just a 25 minute train ride away from central London, the picturesque town is an ideal place to escape to, as it is packed full of history, art, shopping, and great restaurants. Plus, it is not far away from Chessington World of Adventures, a perfect place to release your inner child!
Kingston itself was particularly famous during the Saxon age, as it was the market town where Kings were crowned. Back then, it was called ‘Cyninges tun’, meaning ‘the king’s manor or estate’ in Old English. Plus, there used to be a ducking stool on Kingston Bridge (a chair that offenders were strapped to, which was then dipped in the water), which was used to punish nagging wives until 1738!
Nowadays, Kingston is famed for its culture, for example the Rose Theatre, its park and riverside walks, and its festivals – it is a vibrant festival town, with the 2014 debut Create Kingston festival showcasing the best of the borough.
Kingston is also a great place for education; it is home to both Kingston University and Kingston College, and has 34 primary schools, 10 secondary schools, and 14 private schools. Plus, famous author Jacqueline Wilson went to one of these schools, and still lives in Kingston today, suggesting that the area is one where people are happy to spend their whole lives.
For over 800 years Kingston has played host to bustling and lively markets, which sell everything from champagne to watermelons! The historic Market Place has been in use since around 1170, and has not only been a place for people to showcase their produce, but was the ideal location for Kingston’s criminals to be put in the stocks in front of a watching crowd.
In more modern times, it is also a venue for concerts, carnivals, car displays, bowling, birds of prey displays, cookery – the list goes on! There is definitely something for everyone here.
Plus, the Market Place itself is particularly beautiful – the surrounding buildings are architecturally stunning, whilst there are also several beautiful statues in the vicinity. Our favourite is the golden Queen Anne which stands up high overlooking the market. And, after exploring the many and varied stalls, you can relax on a Kingston Market deckchair and watch the world go by – lovely!
The third happiest London borough is the sought after town of Bromley. The largest of the 32 boroughs which make up Greater London, it occupies approximately 59 square miles of land, enough space to line up about 38,940 London buses in!
Bromley itself has been a market town since 1158, and it was an ancient parish in the county of Kent. Since then, its development was greatly supported by its location on a coach route, and the fact that a train station was opened there in 1858. Nowadays, Bromley is a significant retail district packed full of shops and businesses.
Due to this, Bromley attracts many visitors to its famed 135 store shopping centre, The Glades. Aside from this, if you were to visit Bromley, you could take a trip to the Churchill Theatre to catch a performance, go to a country park for a stroll, visit a spa, play some mini-golf, or if you feel particularly adventurous, enter into an action packed battle at the Quasar Laser fight centre! This wide range of activities makes Bromley a particularly busy and eclectic place to live, perfect for anyone!
Plus, the famous author H G Wells was born here, whilst David Bowie moved to Bromley from Brixton when he was 6; living here you’d be amongst good company! However, over 33% of the adult population of Bromley are single (according to the 2011 census), so it may not be the best place to live if you’re looking for love! But, if your love is the countryside, Kent Downs lies within Bromley, making it the only London borough to include an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Nestled in the heart of Bromley, 30 meters beneath the ground, nearly 22 miles of caves run through the Borough. These caves were originally dug to gather chalk to use for lime burning and brick making during the building of London, and during the early 1900s they became a popular tourist attraction. Then, during WWII, they became an air raid shelter, quickly becoming an underground city for about 15,000 people, complete with electric lighting, a chapel, and a hospital!
After the war, in the 60s and 70s, the caves were a sought after music venue, hosting acts such as David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, and The Rolling Stones. Plus, in 1974 Led Zeppelin chose the caves as the location for their record label’s party, selecting the location over many other possible above ground venues.
Nowadays, the caves offer tours to members of the public, and are a popular choice for local schools to visit on trips, and they even offer children’s birthday party packages!
Terms and Conditions for the Happy at Home Competition
1) The Happy at Home Index “win an iPad” promotion consists of three standalone competitions, taking place Monday 17th August 2015, Wednesday 19th August 2015 and Friday 21st August 2015. Each competition runs from 8am-8pm on their allotted day. All entries submitted before or after this time will not be counted. Rightmove reserves the right to amend these at any time, with no advanced warning.
2) Only one entry per person. All other entries will be made void.
3) For a chance to win, all entrants must send our official Twitter channel @Rightmove a tweet with the answer to the day’s question, as outlined in the video provided, and the hashtag #FindOurDoodle. We are not responsible for incorrect detail input.
4) The prize draw is open to all residents of the UK (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) aged 16 years or above, except the employees of Rightmove Group and its subsidiary companies (“Rightmove”) and their close family members.
5) All winners will be drawn at random and announced via Twitter by 8:30pm of the same day as that competition. Winners will also be confirmed on a video hosted on www.rightmove.co.uk/viz/happy-at-home/ . The judges decisions will be final
1) Prize consists of one iPad Mini [with Retina display, Wi-Fi, 16GB, Silver, value of £239] per competition, totalling three overall. There will only be one winner per competition.
2) All winners will be tweeted directly informing them of their win and will have 7 days to claim their prize. We will endeavour to dispatch all prizes within 7 working days of claiming, but we cannot be held accountable for delays in the postage of these items. If any prizes are not claimed, a new winner will be drawn and the previous winner will lose all claim to the prize.
3) By participating in the prize draw, you agree to fully indemnify Rightmove against all claims by any third parties arising from any breach of these terms including but not limited to any breach of third party intellectual property rights.
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5) Any attempt to deliberately damage any website or undermine the legitimate operation of this competition is a violation of criminal and civil laws, and should such an attempt be made, Rightmove reserve the right to seek remedies and damages to the fullest extent permitted by law, including criminal prosecution.
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