What Thing About London Makes You Happy?

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 38 months ago
What Thing About London Makes You Happy?
Photo by Doug from the Londonist Flickr pool

Last week, the Office for National Statistics released its annual wellbeing survey. Londoners reported feeling less satisfied, happy, worthwhile and more anxious than the rest of the country, with Greenwich — for some reason — one of the most anxious places in the country.

We went on BBC Radio London over the weekend to chat about this. But before we went on air, we asked followers of our Facebook page what things about this magnificent place make them happy. Over 700 comments later, and we thought we'd share some of them here. Because for all the tube is crowded, the cost of living is terrifying and the streets can be dirty and polluted, it's always worth taking a moment and appreciating just how lucky we are to live in the greatest city in the world.

  • The weather made a surprising number of appearances. On a crisp, blue autumn day like this, that's not so strange. But all the rain? Maybe when we compare ourselves to Los Angeles or Dubai, it's just nice that we have weather.
  • Ali Ghazi likes the smell of coffee at tube stations; Dave Whittaker has a special fondness for Bank station in general.
  • Walking along the Thames is another favourite, as is the view from the bridges. (We'd like to put in a special mention for the view from Waterloo bridge, mainly because you don't have to look at Waterloo bridge while standing on it.)
  • Johanna Eberhardt is clearly a sensible person as she loves nabbing the front seat at the top deck of the bus.
  • Getting lost is another popular suggestion. And, unlike New York for example, it is possible to get lost in London because we haven't fallen victim to the stupid 'city block' planning ethos.
  • Krisztina Fazekas mentions the pagoda at Battersea Park, which is a fine lead-in to a reminder of just how green London is. And we don't just mean the main parks in the centre of town; all around your local area there will be small patches of nature just waiting to be discovered.
  • Several people talked about London's football teams, particularly Arsenal. (You all do realise we wanted to know things that make you happy about London, right?)
  • Tori Drew finds happiness in a £1 cream cheese bagel from Brick Lane.
  • "Drinking establishments with beers I've never heard of," says Michael Murphy. We can get behind that one.
  • Darren Stokes likes the last trains home full of drunks, because you get to have funny chats with complete strangers.
  • John Hiscock says the canals, something enthusiastically endorsed by our own Geoff Marshall.
  • Geoff also told us — not on Facebook, we get to talk to him ourselves — that London's diversity makes him happy. "It's something that people who hate London never get," he says.
  • On a related note, our own Zoe Craig is made happy by the fact that "you can try amazing food from so many different parts of the world without leaving your postcode".
  • And Dave Haste is made "pretty damned happy" by his Oyster card.

So go on then — tell us what about London makes you happy in the comments.

Last Updated 30 September 2015