Rightmove has revealed its happiest places to live in Britain, with Hexham taking the number one spot for 2021.

With cobbled streets, an ancient abbey and a thriving arts scene, the Northumberland town has been crowned the happiest place to live in Britain again after winning the award in 2019.

Rightmove’s Happy at Home index revealed that residents of Hexham are happiest based on factors including the friendliness of neighbours, a sense of belonging and the quality of the town’s local amenities.

Rightmove property expert Tim Bannister said: “Last year redefined the importance and role of our home and local community in our lives, and this has carried on into this year, even as wider society has started to open up again.”

Ailsa Mather, director at Andrew Coulson estate agents, said Hexham has always been popular for its great transport links to Newcastle and Carlisle, open space, and thriving café culture, but had become even more so during the pandemic.

“The last 12 months in the market have been phenomenal. People have re-evaluated what they want out of their lives, moving closer to family, and moving from the city to the countryside. Over 38% of our sales in the last 12 months have been from people south of Birmingham, as more people now have the opportunity to work from home, and don’t need to be in the city five days a week,” she said.

Rightmove's top 20 happiest places to live 2021

Second place on Rightmove’s list is the London borough of Richmond upon Thames. This is the seventh consecutive year it has taken the top spot as the happiest place to live in London.

Third spot has been taken by Harrogate in North Yorkshire, while Hove in East Sussex, Brighton’s quieter, calmer seaside neighbour, takes fourth position. Llandrindod Wells in Powys, Wales, was named fifth place in the study.

Full list of Rightmove’s happiest places to live in the UK

  • Hexham, North East
  • Richmond upon Thames, Greater London
  • Harrogate, Yorks & Humber
  • Hove, South East
  • Llandrindod Wells, Wales
  • Stirling, Scotland
  • Monmouth, Wales        
  • St. Ives, South West       
  • Anglesey, Wales
  • Leamington Spa, West Midlands
  • Perth, Scotland
  • Hitchin, East of England
  • Woodbridge, East of England    
  • Kendal, North West
  • Macclesfield, North West           
  • Exeter, South West        
  • Salisbury, South West   
  • Horsham, South East     
  • St. Albans, East of England         
  • Guildford, South East    


View Rightmove’s full study here.