What makes us happy in life? The obvious answers could be sharing quality time with our family. Having a genuine hope for a bright future. Or perhaps it's as simple as choosing to be happy when misery may be a easier option. As you can imagine, there's been a lot of thought and debate gone into this very subjective subject! The ancient Greeks believed happiness has at least two aspects: 'pleasure' and 'a life well lived'. A more recent addition to this definition is the concept of engagement i.e. living a “good life” of work, family, friends and hobbies. There's even a scientific term for happiness called 'subjective well-being' (SWB), which is a combination of life satisfaction and feelings of fulfilment. In identifying SWB it was found that roughly 50% of our happiness is determined by our genes, 40% by our daily activities and the remaining 10% by our circumstances.
So, if 50% of our 'subject well-being' is determined by daily activities and circumstances, then the place we live in will have a major impact. And it t
urns out that Woodbridge is one of the happiest places to live in Great Britain!
That's according to a recent survey by the Daily Mail
, with Woodbridge making the top 10 (10th to be specific). Leigh-on-Sea in Essex topped the poll, with Bury St Edmunds being the next Suffolk town at No.13. For those of us lucky enough to live in Woodbridge, this survey won't come as a big surprise, but it's still quite an honour for the town. In their annual survey, The Mail surveyed 24,000 people across the country asking local residents to rank their area against 12 factors. These include arts and culture, sense of belonging, personal safety, local services and amenities such as restaurants and shopping. Quite a wide range.
So why are we so happy in Woodbridge? For me, there’s a wonderful holiday feel about the place, with the maritime Tide Mill area and its working boat yards, sailing clubs, and river side cafes. Woodbridge is also lucky that the big retail giants have not managed to ‘take over’ our town centre. We have a lovely mix of individual shops, restaurants, and pubs, with Barretts right in the heart of it all! The town's size is about right, not too big, not too small. Housing developments mean that a lot of people live in or around the town centre, giving it a living, community-based core.
The weekend has also become a very lively place for Woodbridge, and there's usually something going on somewhere in the town, especially in the evenings, as the events pages of Choose Woodbridge
and Local Values
Honey and Harvey, The East Coast Diner, The Fire Station, and The Angel - great evening entertainment in Woodbridge
I think we are really spoilt with our restaurants and pubs. Michael and I travel quite a bit visiting various trade shows and we know the standard of food in Woodbridge is exceptional. Our favourites include the Shapla, The Table, The Anchor, The Galley and The Riverside. All this and Woodbridge is also the gateway to the beautiful Suffolk Heritage Coast. Plus, if that's not enough, in the last few years we've been voted one the the Top 10 High St Towns in the UK by the Sunday Times, and one of the Top 20 Foodie Hotspots in the UK by the The Telegraph. No wonder we're so happy! Of course, you don't have to live here to get that 'Woodbridge feeling', regular visits will do the trick!
Carol singing on Market Hill
One final thing, I know inevitably that Woodbridge will have to grow and develop in future. But let's hope we can keep the special character of our beloved town, and that we all continue to stay so happy.
See you soon,