MEDIA once again turned to Linley & Simpson for expert comment as Harrogate has been crowned the happiest place to live in Great Britain for a second year running.

National newspapers and even ITV News made a beeline to the residential sales and letting agency's Princes Square offices in the spa town to find out just what put the district smiles ahead of the rest.

The title was awarded by the property portal Rightmove who canvassed the views of 50,000 people, asking them to rank how happy they feel in their homes and communities.

The accolade - which Harrogate has now won for two years in succession - is expected to trigger a surge of interest in Harrogate properties. Harrogate came top overall out of 111 places, and is first for safety, neighbourliness and recreation.

Founding director of Linley & Simpson Will Linley, was born and educated in Harrogate and has lived in the district all his life, said many factors combined to put a smile on the faces of people living in the Spa town.

"For many, the town will always be associated with Agatha Christie and her 'disappearance' but for those of us who have spent our lives here, there is no real mystery to why it is again the UK's happiest," he said.

"It has a strong community feel and sense of 'belonging' - whether they are born here, or choose to move here, people tend to stay living in the town.

"It has rich heritage wedded to a thriving town centre with many shops, bars and restaurants full of their own individual character.

"People here have a good quality of life, with low unemployment, low crime rates and a sought-after range of schools from which to choose - with an abundance of green space in the heart of the town as well as on its rural outskirts.

"And with the town coming under the world's spotlight in July - when it hosts Le Grand Depart of this year's Tour de France - there will be many more opportunities for people to see for themselves while Harrogate is smiles ahead."

The top ten happiest places are scattered across Great Britain, with Inverness in Scotland taking the runner up spot and Taunton in Somerset flying the flag for the South West at number three. The bottom ten are all within Greater London, with East London coming bottom out of the 111 places.

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