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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 March 2007, 17:11 GMT
Bournemouth happiest town in UK
Boscombe beach
Bournemouth's beaches are a factor in making residents happy
A town best known for rest homes, lawn bowls and beige slacks, is now the happiest place in the UK, according to a new survey.

The poll of 6,000 people discovered 82% of Bournemouth residents said they were happy. The least happy place was Walsall in the Midlands, with only 49%.

Bournemouth's mayor put the town's success down to its "abundant shops and buzzing nightlife."

The top ten happy towns also included Oxford, Plymouth and Tunbridge Wells.

According to the poll, the character of Bournemouth itself was a big part of why people were happy to live there.

Cited as particular influences were the town's beaches, vibrant town centre and its easy acccess to the surrounding countryside.

Other important factors were personal freedom, followed by peoples fulfillment at work.

But the poll showed that what made people most happy were relationships with partners, friends and family.


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