Health

The beautiful market town next to a national park and named one of happiest places to live


A number of factors play an important role in our overall wellbeing and happiness, including our health, jobs and social lives. However, the impact of our surroundings should not be underestimated.

A survey conducted by online real estate company Rightmove, showed that people living in certain parts of the country are happier than those in others.

Published in December 2023, its 12th annual Happy at Home Index, revealed exactly which areas of the nation have the happiest residents.

More than 26,000 people took part in the survey, which considered 13 happiness factors.

These included things like the club-together community spirit of a local area, having green space on the doorstep, or the sense of belonging in a local community.

As a result, Rightmove was able to compile a list of the 10 happiest places in the UK.

“Each year, we ask people to tell us what makes them happy about where they live, and what makes it special,” Rightmove says.

“Our annual Happy at Home Index, now in its 12th year, helps us understand what really makes the residents of some areas happier than others, as well as the things that make a place feel like home.”

Taking the sixth spot on the list was a beautiful market town that is no stranger to accolades.

Known as the “gateway” to the Yorkshire Dales, Skipton in North Yorkshire was judged to be among the happiest spots in the UK in 2023.

This is the second time it has appeared on the Rightmove index.

It was also ranked the best place to live in 2014 by The Sunday Times, and the best place to live in northern England in 2018 by the same newspaper.

In 2017, a study of the nation’s happiness and wellbeing by the Office for National Statistics found Craven – which includes the town of Skipton – had the highest levels of happiness and life satisfaction and the lowest levels of anxiety among residents.

But what makes Skipton so special? As mentioned it sits right on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales – one of the UK’s stunning national parks, making it the ideal spot for keen hikers, nature lovers and adventurers.

Further to this, Skipton has plenty to offer those with a keen interest in history.

It is home to a Medieval castle built in 1090, which now serves as a popular tourist attraction.

Skipton is also notable as having one of the oldest mills in North Yorkshire, and being the site of prisoner of war camps during the First and Second World Wars.

Helping it stand out among other English towns is its positioning along the Leeds and Liverpool canal, which provides a pretty backdrop to many homes and walkways.

Website Welcome to Skipton says: “What’s not to love about Skipton? Immense history, a rich culture, independent shops, food and drink places galore, a famous market, an iconic castle, stunning countryside and, perhaps most of all, friendly, fiercely proud and passionate Yorkshire people.”

Welcome to Yorkshire adds: “As the gateway to the magnificent Yorkshire Dales, people travel the length and breadth of the country to visit this charming market town.

With its famous 900 year old castle and historic cobbled High Street, Skipton is endlessly rich both in history and outstanding natural beauty.”

According to Rightmove, properties in Skipton had an overall average price of £262,134 over the last year.

The majority of sales in Skipton during the last year were terraced properties, selling for an average price of £204,331. Semi-detached properties sold for an average of £281,985, with flats fetching £172,326.

Taking the top spot on the Rightmove index for the first time was Richmond-Upon-Thames in London, followed by Winchester in Hampshire.



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