Leigh-on-sea voted the happiest place to live in the UK by Rightmove

The survey made for interesting reading, with the top 10 happiest places to live in the UK dominated by small towns

Leigh-on-Sea, Essex
(Image credit: James Williams / EyeEm/Getty)

On the move? Before you start house-hunting for a particular type of period property, or one that has a large kitchen-diner/good local school/a south-facing garden, take a breath. Have you considered just how happy the town/city/village/county you're moving to could make you? 

With this in mind, property experts Rightmove asked over 21,000 people about just how happy they are where they live, and the results are in. The 12 factors used in the survey include: safety and the ease of commuting, the availability of green spaces, and even the friendliness of the neighbours.  

And the winner is... the small coastal town of Leigh-on-Sea, in Essex, for the second time in the last three years. The town is near Southend and its seaside attractions, but retains a peaceful and somewhat exclusive feel of a small village (its population was 22,509 in the 2011 census). 

In fact, small towns dominate the rest of the 'happiest' list:

2. Farnham, Surrey
3. Monmouth, Wales
4. Christchurch, Dorset
5. Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
6. Newbury, Berkshire
7. Macclesfield, Cheshire  
8. Hitchin, Hertfordshire
9. Tunbridge Wells, Kent
10. Kendal, Cumbria

Our comment? If where you live isn't on the list, don't rush to move just yet. Maybe your neighbours are grumpy and your commute a bit long, but, hey, has anywhere in the world got a kebab shop/little Italian place/wine bar as good and as friendly as your local?