Happiness is having the Yorkshire Dales on the doorstep... but Essex has last laugh

It has a castle and a pretty canal basin and it's on the very doorstep of the Dales, so there is little, it appears, not to like about Skipton.

Its residents were said last year to be the happiest in Britain, using a formula worked out for a “wellbeing” index devised for David Cameron.

Today, another set of statistics confers upon the town the title of Yorkshire’s happiest place in which to live. The property service Rightmove made the calculation by asking residents about such considerations as community spirit, earning enough money and closeness to green spaces.

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However, the self-styled Gateway to the Dales is placed only 15th on the national list, which rates the Essex coastal resort of Leigh-on-Sea as Britain’s happiest town.

The centre of Skipton. Picture: Tony Johnson

It had been at number one in 2016, following two years of Yorkshire dominance, by Harrogate.

Farnham in Surrey was placed second this year and Monmouth in Wales, third.

“This year, sense of belonging has become an even bigger driver of happiness, said housing market expert, Miles Shipside.

In Rightmove’s regional list, Skipton is followed by Harrogate, York and Halifax.

At the foot of the Yorkshire table are Bradford, Rotherham and Grimsby, which are placed 195th, 201st and 214th respectively, in 219 national rankings.