Northern Ireland – The happiest place to live in the UK

There are several reasons why friendly and sociable Northern Ireland is considered to be one of the happiest places to live in the UK. The country has a lot to offer, from beautiful scenery to a low cost of living and great employment opportunities, not to mention the countless beaches, world famous golf courses and wealth of public parks and forests. All of which make Northern Ireland an amazing place to put down roots. In fact, Northern Ireland is so blessed with beautiful regions, dramatic coastlines, castles, landmarks and mountains, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to things to marvel at. Here are just some of the reasons that Northern Ireland is an amazing place to live:BelfastConsidered one of Europe’s most friendly and fashionable regional capitals, Belfast has been described by Lonely Planet as a ‘must-see visitor destination’. The vibrant and thriving capital has undergone an era of regeneration and features a wide array of award-winning restaurants, bars and tourist attractions such as the Titanic Belfast Centre. Belfast is also a short drive from a number of Northern Ireland’s other attractions such as the legendary Giant’s Causeway, which is the number one Irish attraction in the list of the world’s top tourist spots, the Lakelands of Fermanagh, the Walls of Derry, the majestic Mountains of Mourne and the Glens of Antrim. Best places to liveAccording to The Sunday Times Best Places to Live Guide, five places in Northern Ireland were named among the best places to live in Britain, with Ballyhackamore in Belfast topping the list in Northern Ireland. A wide range of factors are considered when compiling the list from jobs, schools and broadband speed to culture, community spirit and local shops, to compile the definitive top locations to live. Other Northern Ireland locations on the list include Holywood in Co Down, Newcastle in Co Down, Portrush in Co Antrim, and Strangford in Co Down.Property marketDuring the first quarter of this year, Northern Ireland led to house price growth across the UK with a 7.9% increase on last year. However, with unemployment now at a 10-year low, inflation falling and wages increasing, property prices remain more affordable in Northern Ireland than in many other regions. EconomyMillions are being invested in regeneration and Northern Ireland’s towns and cities are thriving, with the new industries being created giving the economy a new lease on life. Outside of London, Northern Ireland is the leading UK region for attracting inward investment. In fact, Belfast is the world’s top destination city for financial services technologies investments. Business in Northern Ireland is also supported by a strong infrastructure, with the region boasting the highest availability of superfast broadband in the UK.Outdoor Activities The country has not one, but two world-renowned golf courses at Royal County Down and Royal Portrush, not to mention the numerous other golf courses throughout the region. Royal County Down is located in Newcastle, a small holiday town at the foot of the Mountains of Mourne, while Portrush stands on a rocky promontory that juts out into the Atlantic. Both courses offer spectacular views and greens that blend into the landscape perfectly. Not a golfer, don’t worry there are plenty of other activities in Northern Ireland to keep you busy, such as a walk along one of the breath-taking beaches. Some of Europe’s most remarkable beaches are in Northern Ireland, with the naturally beautiful formations of coastline providing long stretches of golden sand. Arts and cultureNorthern Ireland is as culturally rich as it is beautiful. Home to several fascinating museums, the country has also produced a wealth of world-renowned writers, among them Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, C.S Lewis, Oscar Wilde, and Samuel Beckett. Northern Ireland has also given the world musical legends such as Van Morrison, Gary Moore, James Galway, Phil Coulter, Brian Kennedy, The Undertones, Ash, Stiff Little Fingers and Snow Patrol.During more recent years, the country’s film industry has enjoyed much success as the base for a number of large-scale productions which include Game of Thrones, Dracula Untold and the BBC drama series ‘The Fall’. Northern Ireland’s scenic locations and host of talented actors have made it a sought-after destination for production companies. Northern Ireland has a lot to celebrate and offer and continues to attract both tourists and settlers alike. In the words of Liam Neeson: “I’ve always maintained that Northern Ireland is the world’s best-kept secret, both in the character of its people and its scenery.”

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From the beginning, our experience with Michael and Rhys has been brilliant. Whenever we had a question to ask or needed some additional information, they were both just a phone call away and were always happy to provide us with an answer. As first time buyers, they made us feel ...

Sue Smith

We can’t fault Aston and co in Syston, for their handling of the sale of our property. We were kept up to date weekly and nothing was too much trouble. Both Micheal and Rhys were approachable and very professional. I would definitely recommend using them for an efficient and hassle ...


Having had issues with other agents, we came to Astons who gave us an honest appraisal of our house – not overpricing it like others to gain business. Michael and Rhys are a great partnership and Rhys being local was able to provide viewers with information that other agents hadn’t. ...

Andy Freer

Recently sold our house with Aston & Co. We honestly could not have asked for more. From the moment Michael came to value the house, to the day to day communication from Rhys we have not had to chase them once. Michael and Rhys are a great partnership and a ...

V Pears

We chose Aston & Co in Syston to handle the sale of our property. We were kept up to date regularly and Michael and Rhys dealt with all matters efficiently and quickly.We would definitely recommend using them for an efficient and hassle-free move.

Gareth Mueller

We bought a house from a vendor who used Astons & Co as their agent. Rhys was helpful and professional from start to finish and regularly kept us in the loop with how things were progressing. Communication was efficient and swift all the way through.

Julie Pearson

From the first visit to value our property to the final phone call informing us of completion Rhys and Michael at the Syston office have been brilliant, down to earth, realistic with valuation very easy to get in touch with.Making everything less stressful.Regular updates were very reassuring . I would ...

Charlotte Hings

The team at Astons are great. They’re really down to earth, take time to listen and help resolve anything they can for you.Their communication is excellent as they always keep you in the loop with what is happening with your sale. They keep both seller and purchaser happy.Fees are reasonable ...

Julie Perkins

We have recently used Aston & Co to sell our property. At all times we received regular reports from them on interest and following viewings . When our property sold Astons managed the chain keeping all parties fully informed and I believe that without their input our sale would have ...

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Michael and Rhys handled both our sale and purchases. They had good local knowledge, their valuation turned out to be on point. Our sale viewings were nearly all on the same day and we accepted an offer very quickly. We were kept up to date regularly with that and our ...

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