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Our little black book of enchanting places

Come on, get happy

Posted in DESTINATIONS By Maggie O' Sullivan

Got the end-of-summer blues? Then it’s time to plan a trip. And while you’re at it, why not get a double-dose of happiness by going somewhere that is officially ‘happy’? This cheerful chap comes from Costa Rica. Last month his country was named the happiest country in the world by the Happy Planet Index (HPI) published by the New Economics Foundation. Get happy Rainbow Tours has a 13-day Volcano and Cloud Forest trip which takes in the renowned Arenal National Park, Costa Rica's tropical cloud forest and the beaches on the Nicoya Peninsula in Guanacaste Province. From £3,775 per person. Copenhagen, Visit DenmarkOn the other hand, according to the World Happiness Report, published earlier in the year to coincide with World Happiness Day, the world’s most contented hotspot is the country that gave us Borgen, The Killing and The Bridge: Denmark. Never mind Nordic Noir, this is a country that has all the ingredients for happiness, from stunning landscape and cool design to a burgeoning foodie culture. Get happy Check out Visit Denmark for everything you need to plan, book and experience the perfect holiday in this cheerful country.The Ritz-Carlton, NaplesHappiest place in the US? That depends on which poll you read, but if you enjoy high-end shopping and golf, then Naples, Florida, the winner of last year’s Annual Well-Being Index by Gallup-Healthways, should put a smile on your face. Get happy Who wouldn’t feel cheerful at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples? Set on nearly 5km of pristine sand, this luxury five-star offers slick service and a dazzling array of spoiling ameneties, including access to access The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, 10 minutes away. From £289 per night. The happiest county in England, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) earlier this year, is Mid Sussex. It surely helps that more than 60 per cent of it has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, from the High Weald in the north to the South Downs. Get Happy Gravetye Manor, in the heart of Mid Sussex, would be our choice. You don’t even need to leave the premises: the Elizabethan manor house is set in 21 hectares of gorgeous Mid Sussex countryside and the 17 bedrooms and suites are named after tree species on the estate. From £260-£450 a night.Wester Ross, NorthCoast 500However, the same ONS survey declared the happiest place in the whole of the UK to be the Scottish Highlands…It just goes to show that stunning scenery is more important to our psyche than good weather. Get happy Plan your trip around the North Coast 500 , a circular route which takes in 500 miles of the North Highlands’ beautiful coastal roads. You can do part of the route or, for maximum happiness (and satisfaction), do the whole thing.


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