When we think of Yorkshire, it's hard not to think immediately of the likes of Geoffrey Boycott - the Greatest Living Yorkshireman - and his fast bowling enemy Fred Trueman. Both uncompromising, and both rather negative personalities.
And yet: for the third year in a row, Harrogate, the jewel in the crowd of God's county, has been named as the happiest place in Britain to live.
Rightmove polled over 24,000 people on questions such as how safe they felt in their community, how friendly their neighbours were, and how proud they were of their home, as well as general levels of 'community' and 'contentment' to find a general measure of 'happiness' and the town in the south of the county came out on top.
Hot on its heels were Shrewsbury, Ipswich, York and Chester, demonstrating that the North is clearly the place to be if you want a happy life. For other areas, Truro was named as the happiest place to live in the south-west, while Hemel Hempstead was best in the south-east.
Richard Cooper, leader of Harrogate Borough Council was not slow to give a quote, saying, "Harrogate is a fantastic part of the world in which to live. We are surrounded by some of the UK’s most beautiful scenery, have fantastic shopping, a wide variety of restaurants and cafes, and great entertainment and leisure opportunities – including some unique experiences such as the elegant Turkish Baths. As a floral town, we are also extremely lucky to have a significant number of parks and gardens in the immediate vicinity – which are a joy to discover."
However, it was not such good news for Barking & Dagenham, which ranked as 'worst' in no fewer than five categories.
Local councillor Darren Rodwell disputed the findings, saying, “I find this report quite amusing, as we have just had tens of thousands of people coming to a series of events celebrating 50 years of our borough. Of course there are challenges in Barking & Dagenham, but I know we have the drive and ambition to make this borough a better place to live for everyone. It’s why we have been singled out as London’s premier growth opportunity, with tens of thousands of homes and jobs being created over the next 15 years.”
Take a look at the best and worst perfoming places in the UK for each category below:
Area upkeep: Harrogate / Barking & Dagenham
Pride: Harrogate / Aberdeen
Neighbourliness: Landrindod Wells / Barking & Dagenham
Space: Blackpool / Islington
Contentment: Hemel Hempstead / Hounslow
Value: Newport / Luton
Community: Westminster / Barking & Dagenham
Costs: Falkirk / Hounslow
Safety: Harrogate / Barking & Dagenham
Décor: Dundee / City of London (Borough)
Amenities: Kensington & Chelsea / Barking & Dagenham
Recreation: Torquay / Paisley