The market town of Hexham has been named the happiest place to live in Britain.
Known as the gateway to Hadrian’s Wall, the Northumberland town topped a poll of the best places to live based on community spirit, safety, friendliness and income.
The town has independent shops, a thriving arts scene and historic buildings including Hexham Abbey and Hexham Old Gaol, with average property prices of £254,237 – £20,000 more than the national average.
Amenities such as sports facilities, arts and culture, shops, restaurants, doctors, schools and green spaces were also considered in the poll of 22,000 by property website Rightmove.
Mayor Bob Hull said: “We have a strong sense of community, a major reason why residents feel so happy living in Hexham.
"We have a community-owned cinema and a thriving theatre and arts centre. Our parks have won Green Flag awards and we’re just half an hour from Newcastle and a major airport.
"We also boast lots of cultural heritage.”
Northern England made up half the top 10, with Harrogate and Skipton in North Yorkshire, Altrincham, Gtr Manchester and Southport, Merseyside, also named.
On a broader level, the South West was found to be the happiest region.
Lydia Yao of Rightmove said: “People place enormous value on living somewhere they’re proud to call home.
"Our results also show that having friendly neighbours and being able to be yourself remain hugely important factors when measuring the happiest places to live in Great Britain."
England's happiest places to live
Top 10 Towns
1 Hexham, Northumberland £254K*
2 Harrogate, North Yorkshire £341K
3 Richmond-upon-Thames, London £815K
4 Skipton, North Yorkshire £233K
5 Llandrindod Wells, Powys £145K
6 Altrincham, Gtr Manchester £520K
7 Monmouth, Monmouthshire £310K
8 Dorchester, Dorset £295K
9 Sevenoaks, Kent £684K
10 Southport, Merseyside £209K
*Average asking price for a home
Top 10 regions
1 South West
2 South East
3 East of England
6 East Midlands
7 Yorkshire & the Humber
8 North East
10 West Midlands
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