Researchers from the universities of Sheffield and Manchester have drawn up a map of the happiest places in the UK, using the sense of well-being described by people surveyed. They found that the county of Powys in Wales was top of the list. By happy coincidence, I have recently visited Hay on Wye which is in that county.
It is certainly a very pleasant and attractive town, and luckily it wasn't raining the weekend I was there. It was possibly the single warm and dry weekend of the year.
Cheerful displays of flowers everywhere.
Hay has the benefit of two castles, this, and another which closely resembles a mound of earth covered in grass. Even the one pictured is not what it seems.
Hay's great good fortune continues, because it is close to the lovely countryside of the Wye Valley.
And the ultimate blessing as far as I'm concerned, the river Wye.
Beautiful views all along it as it more or less follows the Wales-England border.
There is quite a network of paths alongside the river and that would keep me very happy.
Another plus point for Hay is provided by the 30 to 40 bookshops in the town, one of which is in the castle pictured above. I could happily browse for days on end.
I dare say there must be other reasons why the area is considered the happiest in Britain but the article I read didn't say specifically. What do you think makes for a great place to live?