Top 7 Most Popular Cities to Visit in the UK

The UK continues to be a popular tourist destination, with millions of visitors each year. In addition to continued foreign visits, we are seeing that due to the economic downturn more and more people are going to holiday at home, so expect a growth in UK domestic trips for 2009 and beyond.

In line with these vacation trends we have put together a guide to the Top 7 Most Popular Cities to Visit in the UK – so you can pick up some ideas for your holiday break. For more details please read on…

The UK’s capital city has long been the “jewel in the crown” of the UK tourism Industry. The city is located on the majestic River Thames and there is so much to see in the city. This bustling city is well served by the underground tube stations so it is very easy to get from place to place, and discover the gems of the city which range from the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Big Ben, London Tower Bridge to Westminster Abbey and the British Museum!

London is a world centre for music, shopping, theatre, drama, literature and culture and if museums, theatre and drama are your thing, you are spoilt for choice here! You could take in a play at the National Theatre or visit the Tate Modern Gallery. Or visit the London Eye or take a boat trip on the River Thames! Or shop at Oxford Street or Regent Street! Whatever you decide to do a visit to London is a place you will always remember. Find out more about Tourism in London.

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and is the seat of the Scottish Parliament. Being a University City, Edinburgh has over 60,000 students and attracts around 13 million visitors a year! You can find some of the most wonderful buildings of the British Isles here, including the 1,000-year-old Edinburgh Castle. The city is home to one of the most enchanting and exciting arts festivals in the world – The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Indeed the period from July to September is Festival Time in the city, with the Arts, Jazz and Blues Festival and the International Film Festival all taking place. The street Festival celebrating the New Year is called Hogmanay, and this is a party to beat all parties!

Edinburgh is not just about Festivals, for a bit of culture visit the Scotland Museum and the National Gallery of Scotland to name but two. You could also pay a visit to the mountain called “Arthur’s Seat”, which is an extinct volcano located right in the middle of the city!

The Manchester area was originally one of the centres of Britain’s Industrial Revolution, once being the cotton producing capital of the world. The city is home to plenty of museums, art galleries, theatres and libraries as well as wonderful architecture. In 1996 the city centre was ripped apart after an IRA bomb which led to major urban redevelopment in the city centre, leading to a modern, and cosmopolitan city centre famed for its shopping!

Manchester is famed for its popular music scene, and many famous musical groups from the Hollies and the Smiths to the Stone Roses and Oasis hailed from the area. There are plenty of popular clubs to visit for live music. Find out more about Manchester Tourism.

The second largest city in Britain, with one million inhabitants, Birmingham was known as the Manufacturing Capital of the UK for generations. The Steam Engine, which was made James Watt, was first constructed here, along with the famed Orient Express, and the city was the home of the British Motor Industry.

With plenty of Museums from Cadbury World to shopping at the Jewellery Quarter, and plenty to buy at the new Bullring complex, there is something in Birmingham for everyone. Find out more about Birmingham City.

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland, with 620,000 inhabitants in the city area. It is a bustling city, situated on the River Clyde, and home to some beautiful Victorian architecture. Take in a visit to The Tall Shop (The Glenlee), check out the wonderful Glasgow Science Centre and the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens. The Buchanan Shopping Mall is a great place to visit for shopping!

Find out more about Tourism in Glasgow.

A city that held the title of 2008 European City of Culture, Liverpool’s early claims to fame were due to its position as being one of the busiest trading seaports in the world. Located on the River Mersey, the city is home of one of the world’s most famous musical groups, The Beatles. No visit to the city is complete without indulging in some Beatlemania, and the best place to do so is to visit the wonderful Albert Dock alongside the waterfornt, which houses the Beatles Story Museum, The International Slavery Museum, the Maritime Museum and also the Tate Gallery. Find out more about The Beatles Story. You could also visit the Cavern Club on Matthew Street, where the band began their career, and where a new club has been built on the original site. Liverpool is not all about nostalgia – it is a city famed for its nightlife and shopping! Find out more about Tourism in Liverpool.

Oxford is home to Oxford University, one of the oldest establishments of its kind in the world, dating back to the 11th century! As you stroll through the streets of the vibrant University City you will be walking in the footsteps of presidents, kings, prime ministers and Nobel Prize winners who attended the famous University. 

Some of the most famous attractions that are well worth visiting include the Ashmolean Museum, the Botanic Gardens, Christchurch Cathedral, the University itself and Bodleian Library. Find out more about Oxford Tourism.

If you are thinking of heading to visit one or some of these wonderful UK cities, the best way to get around is to hire a car. Avail of a high quality car rental service by checking out our Car Hire UK page.

Have you been to one or more of the cities we have listed? What did you think of your stay there? What UK cities would you recommend your fellow readers to visit and why? Please let us know your thoughts – as always your comments are most appreciated.