From the heights of Scotland to the temperate coasts of Cornwall, it’s a surprise that the happiest place to live in the UK in 2024 is a London borough. However, Richmond is not your average London borough. Rightmove’s Happy at Home index has awarded Richmond with this annual accolade. In a survey of 26,000 people, Winchester took silver and Monmouth in Wales, the bronze. It is the first time London has been able to take the gold. Cambridge, Brighton, and Bristol have also been rated highly in other happiness indexes for work and life balance. What is it about Richmond that has its residents so satisfied?
Richmond’s links to high serotonin
Unquestionably, key factors of Richmond’s ability to induce happiness in its residents are related to green open spaces and nature connection. Richmond Park and Kew Gardens play a large role in providing residents with inspiration, oxygen, and relaxation. The Royal Park and the Royal Botanic Garden represent the apex of refined horticulture in the UK and historical heath and hunting grounds. Nearly half of the borough is taken up by these iconic parklands, plus the Thames gracefully winds through the borough, and Richmond is the only London borough to include both sides of the Thames.
Parks and places of specific interest in Richmond
A seam of aristocratic architecture and history runs through the borough and neighbouring areas. Examples can be found in and around Richmond Park, Syon House, and Ham House. There is a regality and spaciousness to these riverside West London places of interest. Not to mention Richmond Hill, from where you can take in the vista of the Thames in all its glory. Here are six locations in Richmond where historical grandeur and nature cohabit in this urban area.
London’s largest Site of Special Scientific Interest and a National Nature Reserve, Richmond Park is where the city melts into grasslands, hills, woodlands, and herds of deer. Home to different strands of biodiversity, for Londoners, it is a place to experience the expansiveness of nature on their doorsteps. Sunday walks are almost an institution for nearby residents, and it’s a daily destination for riders, dog walkers and cyclists.
Does the world-famous Kew Gardens need an introduction? With species of plants and trees from all over the world, it is one of the most biodiverse places on Earth. Kew hosts Kew the Music in the summer, with excellent open-air concerts, as well as yoga in the classic Glasshouse and a whole range of educational and cultural activities. Friends of Kew is a membership that grants reduced access to both Kew Gardens and Wakehurst, as well as other benefits. It makes sense for locals to make full use of this extraordinary resource throughout the changing seasons.
A hidden historical gem of the area, Eel Pie Island is open to explore during the Summer Open Arts days. All year round, it remains an enclave for artists and creatives who work in the legacy of this island’s creative history. Originally a pleasure ground and place for refreshment on the waters in bygone times, it was also the crucible of British Rock music. The Eel Pie Island Hotel was the place to catch The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Pink Floyd in the 1960s, until a fire in 1971 burned the house down.
A site of important Tudor history, Syon House has been the home of the Duke of Northumberland since the 16th Century. While it is in the borough of Hounslow, its Capability Brown landscape stretches across the Thames to Kew Gardens. It is open to the public, for the grounds and to view the Robert Adams interiors. Originally the site of the medieval abbey, it has been an extensive pleasure ground over the years, and is now the home of Hillier’s garden centre.
One of the most striking Stuart houses in the UK, this National Trust property sits on the Thames. Curating a collection of paintings, furniture, and textiles collated in the Stuart era, it is a treasury of historical aesthetics. Open and formal gardens include a restored 17th-century kitchen garden. Produce from the kitchen garden supplies The Orangery Café where you can enjoy seasonal food options with all the family. A second-hand bookshop and gift shop provide the perfect shopping experience in keeping with the location.
Richmond Green and Kew Green
Both greens in the borough are owned by the Crown Estate and leased to the Borough of Richmond. Richmond Green has been hailed as “one of the most beautiful greens in London” and has an array of superb, listed buildings flanking its sides. Historically a residential area for courtiers, the Maids of Honour Row survives in all its historical glory. Named in their honour is the popular antiquated tearoom near Kew Gardens that supplies something quintessential English to locals and tourists alike. Cricket has been the game on both greens and continues to be so, while jousting has been gradually phased out. Kew Green is an access point to the gardens through the Elizabeth Gate at the west end of the green. Both greens are stately and beautiful public spaces in the borough.
Moving to Richmond
The happiest area it may be, it is also quite pricey too. It’s true that once residents are living in Richmond, they don’t want to leave, and may just move within the borough. The average house price is 10.9 times the average UK earnings and is just over 1 million pounds. A popular borough for celebrities, Richmond is home to more than a few. Mortlake, Teddington, Roehampton, Isleworth, and Brentford are all close to the riches of Richmond. It may be worth house hunting in these areas if you want to be close to Richmond but with more accessible house prices. In the last year most of the properties that sold in Richmond were flats, at an average of £557,626, according to Rightmove.
Burke and Wills – Removals and storage in SW London
As removal and storage experts in the borough of Richmond, and surrounding areas we understand the happiness rating. We are always happy to provide excellent family-orientated services to our customers when they are moving house. Keeping our customers happy is our job, and it is easy to do. Whether you need a Man and Van service, our handy Property Services, storage solutions or just to move house, call us. We get on the case swiftly with our video survey service. Providing you with an accurate no no-obligation quote. As SW London’s family-friendly removal and storage company, we have built a solid reputation over the years through referrals and repeat business. Read our reviews for confirmation of that. If you are moving to Richmond, let Burke and Wills ensure that your moving day has a truly happy ending.