More than 80 percent of the UK population live in urban areas, that is our big cities and towns. That's no surprise because it's where most jobs and property are located.
But the appeal of moving to the countryside remains strong in the UK - check out the number of TV shows dedicated to helping townies relocate to a rural idyll. Wide-open spaces, gorgeous scenery and a sense of isolation are among the most appealing aspects of leaving an urban landscape behind. So if you want to improve your chances of happiness and overall wellbeing, where should you be looking to relocate?
Halifax's Rural Areas Quality of Life Survey reveals the best rural places to live across the UK by looking at key factors such as employment, education, social and environment. And topping the 2017 survey was the Orkney Islands, which scored highly in employment, average earnings and education, coupled with low crime rates and low anxiety levels alongside high scores for wellbeing and leisure.
There's certainly a whole lot of space around in the Orkneys, an archipelago of 70 islands, only 20 of which are inhabited, located 10 miles off the northern-most coast of Scotland.
If you fancy a more rural but less isolated idyll, next on the Halifax list is Wychavon in Worcestershire where average life expectancy for men is 81.2 years and women 84.5 years and an astounding 95 percent of adults say they enjoy good health.
Satisfaction guaranteed in rural idyll
Orkney might have lots of space to explore outside, its houses are amongst the smallest in Britain, while those in Wychavon boast some of the biggest rural homes around with an average of 6,1 habitable rooms, 98 percent of which have central heating.
Staying connected is essential when you leave urban areas behind. Broadband connectivity and speed might be more important to those moving to the countryside than the size of any property, and the Halifax survey reveals that Harborough in Leicestershire is the best for internet access (99 percent), followed by Test Valley and Arun - both on 98 percent - and Tendring on 97 percent.
Education, the physical environment and health are all factors people take into account when moving. But how often do we take time to consider if we will genuinely be happy wherever we move to, if our own personal satisfaction with life will increase depending on where we live?
The Halifax survey carries out a personal wellbeing test based on four criteria - life satisfaction, worthwhile, happiness and anxiety. The adults with the greatest life satisfaction live in North Kestevan in the east Midlands; Eden, in Cumbia, has the most adults who believe what they do in their lives is worthwhile; the happiest adults in Britain are those found in the Western Isles; and Orkney, again, has those who feel least anxious about life.
Practical reasons guide a move
The reality is that most of us don't plan where we live based on those kinds of factors; instead we're guided by practical reasons, constrained by finance, choice and employment in the main.
However you've found your ideal place to live, Homeward Legal can help guide you through the conveyancing journey and increase your happiness quotient along the way. Call our sales team now on for a no-obligation quote.