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Holiday Happiness

Beat the blues with our guide to feeling good. Find the happiest places in the UK, 5 foods to put a spring in your step, our favourite feel-good films and more!

The 5 Happiest places in the UK

Ribble Valley, Lancashire

Lancashire’s the Ribble Valley is the second happiest place in the UK, according to a survey from 2015. Nestled closely between the borders of Yorkshire and Lancashire with hundreds of square miles within the gorgeous Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this gem of a location is one of the UK’s hidden holiday secrets with scenery to rival the Lakes’ and Yorkshire. Visit Clitheroe and Longridge, the beautiful village of Slaidburn and enjoy amazing food at the Inn at Whitewell.

West Somerset

It’s hardly surprising that West Somerset was also featured on a Happiest Places to Live list. With amazing views and the stunning scenery of the Quantock Hills, wild and wonderful stretches of coastline, beautiful sandy beaches and the unrivalled majesty of Exmoor National Park, it’s the perfect place to pep you up in the New Year. We’d recommend the relaxing West Somerset Railway for an even more restful exploration.

Orkney Islands

Voted the best place to live in Scotland for 3 years running for its mild weather, low population (traffic jams aren’t much of an issue!) and peaceful ambience, Orkney is known one of the happiest places to live AND one of the best places for children. The stunning Orkney Islands have been inhabited for nearly 10,000 years. Along with heritage attractions, such as the Ring of Brodgar and Midhowe Broch, there are plenty of amazing festivals and events and loads of wildlife to put a smile on your face.

Harrogate, Yorkshire

The town of Harrogate in North Yorkshire seems to keep residents and visitors delighted; not only has it been named Britain’s best place to live for three years in a row but it cornered the market in relaxing pursuits. There’s the world famous Bettys Tea Room, which provides some of Britain’s best afternoon tea even if you have to queue out the door to get in (it’s all part of the experience!). What’s more, the town’s spa has been rejuvenating people since the 16th century and is still going strong, so there really must be something in the water.


The town of Bridport was crowned the UK’s Happiest Town in The Times for its blend of urban activities and cosy rural charm. What’s more, Dorchester made the top 10 on a rival list of happiest places to live for the quality of its accommodation, local amenities and friendly locals. We’d recommend the Jurassic Coast, Corfe Castle, the Swanage Railway and Monkey World to put a smile on your face. Take a look at our Inspire & Explore section for Dorset holiday ideas.

The 10 Most Feel-Good Films
Perfect for taking away to your holiday cottage

Singin' in the Rain

Singin' in the Rain

Full of feel-good, Gene Kelly’s dancing alone can’t help but put a smile on your face.

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

If Bill Murray’s conversion to feel-good doesn’t amuse then his acerbic put downs most certainly will.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Even 30 years later we doubt anyone has had a better day off than Ferris, Cameron and Sloane.

Notting Hill

Notting Hill

Richard Curtis’ ode to the London borough is the quintessential rom-com with charm and humour to spare.



A beautiful and stylish feel-good tale from France with a fantastic soundtrack.

Roman Holiday

Roman Holiday

Romance in Rome with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn – what could be better?



A feel-good family film, this tale of a Peruvian bear seeking a family is guaranteed to warm hearts and put smiles on faces.

La La Land

La La Land

Superb song and dance numbers in dazzling Technicolor are guaranteed to put a smile on your face.



There are several Tom Hanks’ films that could make the list, but we’re a little bit partial to this 1988 age-changing comedy. There are few better feel-good films for a Sunday afternoon!

It’s a Wonderful Life

It’s a Wonderful Life

Not just a Christmas classic, Frank Capra’s ode to community is a feel-good classic too.

5 Feel-good Foods

We’ve found 5 fantastic feel-good foods to put a spring in your step.


Not only one of the best ‘superfoods’, blueberries are also one of the most delicious! Rich in antioxidants, studies have also suggested they can improve memory and eyesight too.


Packed with nutritional value and still in season in the New Year, beetroot is rich in iron, calcium and fibre as well as offering powerful antioxidant properties and being a staple of detoxification diets. It’s the perfect food if you’re trying to eat a little healthier in the New Year!


It can be hard to avoid garlic, which is no bad thing as recent studies have shown that it can help to stave off colds and cholesterol and lower your blood pressure.


High in Vitamin A, carrots are rich in carotene, which when converted to Vitamin A, helps to boost your immune system. Perfect for staving off a New Year cold!


Rich in protein and packed with vitamins, eating nuts is a great way of giving yourself an energy boost. The vitamin E found in almonds and Brazil nuts helps to boost your immune system as well as giving you healthy skin and eyes.

The Keys to Holiday Happiness


Social interactions are one of the best ways to feel happy and fulfilled. Whether it’s saying hello to a neighbour, stopping for a chat in the street or taking the time to meet someone new, there are few better ways to feel happy than by connecting with another person. When you stay in a new town, village or community there’s a whole host of new people to meet – whether your new neighbours, shopkeepers, landlords or friendly locals. And with a holiday home, you can connect with your very own family and friends and feel great on your break.


Learning a new skill aids your concentration and discipline, keeps you engaged and curious and offers a wonderful sense of achievement and accomplishment. Perhaps the best thing about learning as a key to happiness is that it offers such broad scope. You could try your hand at a new language, learn a hobby, sport and activity or try to master a new skill. What’s more all of the above are available at some of our holiday properties.

Being More Active

Taking care of your body is one of the most important steps to happiness. Whether eating well, getting enough sleep, rest or sunlight, you will often find that a healthy body lifts your spirits. And while you don’t have to become a triathlete to notice a change in your mood, more active pursuits often offer a more welcome sense of accomplishment while blowing the cobwebs away. Walking, cycling, swimming and more are all readily available from your holiday home

Notice the world around you

Most of us spend our days moving but very few of us are able to stop and look and truly appreciate our surroundings. It’s not always possible to do this in the working day but a weekend or holiday away provides the perfect opportunity for you to slow down and marvel at the majesty of the world – and you will often find a holiday home provides the perfect setting with an abundance of natural beauty.

Give yourself something to look forward to

Giving yourself something to look forward to is an amazing way to brighten up your day. A treat or a goal – no matter how big or small – is just the thing to put a smile on your face and keep you motivated. Even better, a treat following a goal allows you to keep focussed and motivated as you look forward to the reward at the end of your accomplishments. And what could be better than booking a break and counting down the days!

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