The quaint Northumberland market town of Hexham, known as a tourist gateway to Hadrian’s Wall, has been crowned the happiest place to live in Great Britain.
Residents from across the UK were quizzed by Rightmove 2019 Happy at Home Index on how happy they are where they live.
And Hexham residents have spoken out about the reasons why their community is filled with such happiness.
The passionate owner of Petals, a lingerie store, is very proud of the town that she lives in.
Gail List, 68, who has lived in Hexham for 26 years, said: “I love Hexham! I think it’s a great place and the sense of community is good.
“We have the Abbey, we have hundreds of independent shops but we all work together. It has so much history and it is a great place for education.
Butcher at Robsons and Sons, Tim Graham, is born and bred in Hexham and has never wanted to leave.
The 52-year-old said: “I have lived here all my life and I’ve never felt the need to move so it’s definitely a great place to live”
The Rightmove study asked residents to rate how happy they are where they live, as well as asking them to rank 12 happiness factors.
The 12 factors range from how friendly the neighbours are and how good the local services are, to the level of community spirit and the quality of cultural activities in the area.
The results show that Hexham residents are happiest with the sense of community in the town, feeling a sense of belonging, earning enough to live comfortably, being able to be themselves and being happy with the quality of essential services.
Sheila Manouchehri, whose daughter owns Ralph and Mini children’s boutique, has felt a sense of belonging since the store has opened two years ago.
The mum, from Hamsley Hill, loves working in Hexham. The 64-year-old said: “There is a great sense of community spirit here, everyone is so pleasant.
“When we first opened and we were painting the shop we had locals knocking congratulating us and welcoming us to the town.
“I come into work every day, look around and really appreciate this beautiful town.”
Bob Hull, Mayor of Hexham, said: “We have a really strong sense of community up here, which I think is a major reason why residents feel so happy living in Hexham.
“We host lots of community activities – for example, there were 20,000 people in the town for Bonfire Night and only about 14,000 people live here.
“Hexham has a special and robust character that residents are very proud to call home.”