Cyclists make their way through Richmond Park
Cyclists make their way through Richmond Park Getty

Leafy Richmond upon Thames has been hailed as the happiest place to live in London.

That's according to an annual poll from online property firm Rightmove, which interviewed more than 17,000 people and asked them to rank where they lived taking into account such aspects as community spirit, friendliness of locals, the quality of amenities and local services.

Second came Bromley, an outer London borough to the south, but the inner London boroughs of Camden and Hackney came third and fourth respectively. Waltham Forest, an outer London borough to the north of London, completes the top five places to live in the capital. There are 32 boroughs of London.

The survey also asked people to rank statements such as 'I feel safe', 'I earn enough to live comfortably' and 'I can be myself'.

The leader of Richmond Council, Cllr Paul Hodgins, said: "It is a superb place to live and work, and our residents and businesses are happy as a result of the quality of life in the borough. We have physical beauty in parks, open spaces, and our stretch of the Thames. But more importantly we have an incredibly active community, with over 18,000 volunteers."

At the other end of the spectrum, the five worst places to live in London were Hillingdon, Croydon, Newham, Barking and Dagenham, and Brent trailing in last. All five of these London districts also rank as the least happy places to live in the country.

On the national scene Royal Leamington Spa, in the West Midlands, took top spot, followed by the South East's Leigh-on-Sea, and Wirral in the North West. The top five places to live in the country were completed by Yorkshire's Harrogate and Tunbridge Wells in the South East.

Leamington Spa's Mayor Caroline Evetts said: "Royal Leamington Spa has it all, from our wonderful Regency buildings, impressive parks and gardens as well as a unique mix of high street shops and independent boutiques."

But as you might expect, happiness comes at a price with the average asking price of a home in Leamington Spa is £330,848, almost £20,000 higher than a year ago. The average asking price for a house in the UK is currently £310,003.