THREE towns in Dorset have been named among the happiest places to live in Britain.

Rightmove carried out their annual Happy at Home Index survey, which asks residents to tell us how they feel about where they live, as well as asking them to rank ten happiness factors including the friendliness of neighbours, quality of local services, and sense of belonging to nature and green spaces in the area.

The 2020 study, with over 21,000 respondents, found that coastal areas in general are where people feel happiest where they live in comparison to those who live in cities and urban areas.

St Ives in Cornwall came top due to residents’ praise of its nature and green spaces and also rated their neighbours as among the friendliest in the country.

Three towns in Dorset, Dorchester, Weymouth and Poole, were among the top 20 happiest places in Britain. Dorchester came eighth, Weymouth sits at 13th while Poole came 17th.

Dorset Echo: Weymouth was found to have among the friendliest neighbours in Britain Weymouth was found to have among the friendliest neighbours in Britain

Within the South West, Dorchester came second, Weymouth came fourth and Poole came sixth.

The study found that Dorchester has one of the best community spirits in Great Britain, Weymouth has some of the friendliest neighbours in the country while Poole is one of the best places in Great Britain to develop skills.

Rightmove also discovered that people living in rural and coastal locations were more likely to have developed a greater affinity with their local area during the initial lockdown period, with our study suggesting that access to green spaces made people more appreciative of where they live.

The full list can be seen below:

Area – Region – Average house price 

  1. St Ives - South West - £413,414
  2. Skipton - Yorkshire & The Humber – £226,130
  3. Leamington Spa - West Midlands - £335,008
  4. Llandrindod Wells – Wales - £150,963
  5. Perth – Scotland - £163,303
  6. Kendal - North West - £231,597
  7. Stratford-upon-Avon - West Midlands - £354,337
  8. Dorchester - South West - £325,903
  9. Harrogate - Yorkshire & The Humber - £336,968
  10. Richmond upon Thames – London - £869,864
  11. Falmouth - South West - £310,540
  12. Hexham - North East - £276,246
  13. Weymouth - South West - £279,484
  14. Shrewsbury - West Midlands - £255,843
  15. Tonbridge - South East - £453,687
  16. Plymouth- South West - £209,311
  17. Poole - South West - £406,774
  18. Northwich - North West - £215,808
  19. Barnstaple - South West - £232,323
  20. Guildford - South East - £549,479

Richmond upon Thames finished tenth in this year’s national table, whilst also being named London’s happiest place to live for the sixth consecutive year.

Llandrindod Wells was named the happiest place to live in Wales and also returned the highest score across Great Britain for residents feeling able to be themselves.

Perth tops the Scottish list and boasts one of the strongest community spirits, according to the study.

Rightmove’s Director of Property Data Tim Bannister said: “Our latest research shows that despite all the challenges that this year has brought, many people have been able to reconnect with their local area and community which has had a positive effect on how they feel about where they live.

“Overall, I think lockdown has enabled people to rediscover what’s on their doorstep, and spending more time in their local areas has made people value their surroundings and communities so much more.

“This year’s study shows a greater appreciation for green spaces and nature, and a strong correlation between people living in coastal and rural areas and how happy people are where they live.

“Since lockdown, we’ve since a trend towards more people looking to live in smaller communities, and so it’s very fitting to see that the picturesque town of St Ives has taken the top spot in 2020.”