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Why we’re so happy in Kingston

Published on Friday, 09 September 2016

We’re the second happiest borough in London (after our neighbours in Richmond), it’s no surprise to us, we think there are several reasons Kingstonians are a cheerful bunch.


According to Rightmove’s annual happiness survey (Rightmove Happiness Survey) here in Kingston we’re twice as happy as we were 10 years ago (Kingston Named Second Happiest Borough).


The survey polled 24,000 people and asked them to rate 12 factors about where they lived such as green spaces, safety, the friendliness of their neighbours and what they thought of their local services.


Kingston came 50th in the national survey overall, but we have come a long way since 2006 when we were in 110th position. Topping the national survey was Leigh-on-Sea (Leigh On Sea Happiest Place to Live) but before you all go off packing your bags and relocating to the Essex seaside town, we thought we’d list our top 10 reasons why we are the second happiest London borough residents.


Our top 10 reasons why we’re so happy in Kingston:-


1) Employment

Kingston has the second lowest rate of out-of-work benefit recipients (5.4%) and one of the lowest rates of unemployment (4.8%) across London (Out of Work Benefits)


2) Development

There’s a host of new development underway including the regeneration of the Eden Walk shopping centre area (Eden Walk Plans) and Tolworth Tower (Tolworth Tower Development)


3) Next door to Richmond

So our next door neighbours pipped us to the post, but we are a stone’s throw from beautiful Richmond Park and Richmond itself is just down the road so very easy for us to visit if we’re in need of cheering up!


4) Education and university

A belated congratulations to all our GCSE and A Level students who received some impressive grades this summer, we have some great schools here in the borough and, of course, a fabulous university. In fact, Tiffin Girls’ School was the UK’s 16th best performing secondary school based on its 2015 GCSE results (Top 100 Secondary Schools)


5) Proximity to London and Crossrail

We’re less than half-an-hour from London and Crossrail 2 (Cross Rail 2) will increase the amount of services for residents travelling into central London.


6) Open spaces and the River Thames

We have access to some fantastic open spaces with the Surrey countryside a quick car, bike, bus or train ride ride away whilst the River Thames meanders through out town offering some great walks and leisure activities. Hampton Court is just down the river for a picturesque and historic day out and don’t forget to visit the ice rink in winter.


7) Sense of community

We have a great sense of community spirit here and we think there’s evidence of that on a daily basis but is particularly embodied in the Kingston Carnival (Kingston Carnival) and Love Kingston (Love Kingston) which culminates in the ‘I love Kingston day’ on 14th February.


8) Amenities – restaurants, theatre, etc

We have some great restaurants and the Rose Theatre (Rose Theatre) means you don’t always need to take a trip to the West End to enjoy some fantastic shows.


9) Excellent town centre

Our town centre offers something for everyone; we have some great shops including most of the High Street names as well as some great independent retailers. Our most famous store is, of course, Bentalls, which first opened its doors in 1867 and was acquired by Fenwick in 2001 but retained its name and the shopping centre is named for the store.


10) We’re quirky

We think our famous telephone boxes say it all! The 12 old fashioned red telephone boxes which appear to be toppling over each other in a domino fashion is the work of artist David Mach. Commissioned by our local council, the telephone boxes were unveiled in 1989. We just can’t imagine the town centre without them!


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