For those who live there, it was no surprise that Harrogate was crowned the happiest place to live in the UK for the third year running in 2015, confirmation that the picturesque North Yorkshire spa town comes as close to the ideal place to live as anywhere else. Good schools, beautiful scenery, a thriving economy and excellent transport l...
For those who live there, it was no surprise that Harrogate was crowned the happiest place to live in the UK for the third year running in 2015, confirmation that the picturesque North Yorkshire spa town comes as close to the ideal place to live as anywhere else. Good schools, beautiful scenery, a thriving economy and excellent transport links are just some of the reasons Harrogate regularly comes high in quality-of-life polls. The only downside of this is the higher property prices it has relative to other places in the region.
There is also an ongoing debate going on in the town about whether the supply of new homes is enough to meet demand, or whether it is deliberately being kept low so as to not change the picturesque charm the town already has. A reflection of this is that as of January 2016, it was reported that only 16 buyers had been able to use Help to Buy due to the low number of new homes being built. The end result of this is that you have to be prepared to pay a premium for living in Harrogate, yet it can be a premium well worth paying.
According to the last census in 2011, the town has approximately 75,000 residents. It has numerous tourist attractions including a number of tea rooms, the most famous of which is Betty's Tea Room founded in 1919. Harrogate also has many parks and gardens, top-class restaurants, leisure facilities and a healthy mix of independent shops and major stores. The surrounding North Yorkshire countryside is known for its exceptional beauty and its picturesque villages.
Although, Harrogate is a difficult place to buy a home if you're a first-time buyer there are still opportunities available in the town. For those looking to buy new houses, Linden Homes [http://www.whathouse.com/awards/linden-homes/], for example, has new homes on offer but will cost a million pounds plus. For those on a lower budget, the Starbeck area could offer some better buying choices. Harrogate Borough Council still actively promotes affordable housing including Shared Ownership properties that become available.
Harrogate's central location means it's ideal for commuting to Leeds, Bradford and York. The town has direct rail services to all three of these towns whilst it also has excellent bus links to different places in the region. Also handy for commuting is the proximity of the A1(M) which lies a few miles east of the town.
Last but not least, Harrogate has some excellent schools. St Aiden's High School and Harrogate Grammar School are two schools of many that perform highly. In the south-west of the town, Ashville College is considered the leading independent college in Harrogate.