Why Skipton is the 'happiest' place to live in the UK

Skipton (Craven) has recently been titled happiest place to live in the UK by the ONS, which having lived in various places over the past decade doesn’t surprise me. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of areas around the country which offer the same great quality of life and ultimately wherever you live it’s what you make of it that’ll enhance your overall level of happiness, but for me i’ve found real contentment by opting for a different pace of life and here's why...

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I’ve been asked a number of times from friends, family and customers why I decided to leave city living and for me it’s simple, I didn’t get on with city life and you know what, that’s ok. I’ve struggled with panic disorder since my late teens and whilst work kept me occupied and focused it would be the early commutes, countless train journeys and stuffy cabins that fired up all those emotions making day to day life at times quite difficult. I was in a mind set of this is it, this is what life’s about, work, eat, sleep, repeat and with that conclusion I was of course, miserable. 

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Just months after it'd began dating my now fiancé Jonathan, it’d slowly began to change my outlook on what's important through his own lifestyle choices. As a freelance designer, working from home, in control of his time, in control of his happiness, I was inspired to take a leap of faith myself by leaving a full time job at a Leeds based design agency and never looking back. Initially we moved to a tiny one bed house in Saltaire village, we got a puppy, did all those typical settling down type things, before finally making the decision which would change my life for the better, opening Mauds House and becoming my own boss! 

By opening Mauds House in Jonathan’s home town of Skipton and embracing a ‘slow life’ in the countryside it instantly gave me the head space I needed to make my business work, there were no distractions outside of work to weigh me down, just the peacefulness that rural life has to offer. Recently we moved (yet again) to be closer to the shop and everything feels to be falling into place pretty smoothly. I’ve noticed a huge change in my mood, my anxiety levels have dropped significantly, I sleep better at night and I feel a sense of belonging in a community which we've formed around the shop which makes me feel for the first time in my adult life, at home.

Earlier in the year Craven and South Lakeland district councils were awarded £1.34m by Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund and for good reason. They're currently working on an exciting project The Great Place Scheme to boost the local economy through celebrating local culture, arts and heritage, read more HERE.  

Councillor Myers said: "We want the image of our Great Place to be transformed to a place of opportunity and creativity that attracts younger people. We're so close to the digital and creative clusters in Manchester and Leeds, and through this project we will get the building blocks in place so that young creatives can stay or move here and do business here, reaping the benefits of an excellent quality of life while they still enjoy the same opportunities as in urban areas."

If you're a creative considering a move away from the city, Skipton and the Craven district should definitely be at the top of your list.

Hattie x