The perfect cities and towns within the UK for a weekend staycation break or day trip have been ranked by Which?, with York the primary big city, Cambridge the highest-ranking medium-sized city, and Wells first within the small city rating.
At the opposite end of the table, Aberdeen is the worst-ranked big city, Ipswich is last within the medium-sized cities and towns rating, and Hastings is bottom within the small cities and towns list.
The outcomes come from a survey wherein respondents were asked to rate 56 cities and towns across seven categories – food and drinks, accommodation, cultural sights, shopping, ease of getting around, lack of crowds and value for money. Which? Travel says that the top-rated destinations offer ‘vibrant food scenes, historic backstreets and cultural wonders’.
The perfect cities and towns within the UK for a weekend staycation break or day trip have been ranked by Which?, with York named the primary big city to go to. Above is The Shambles, a famously enchanting street in town
Cambridge has been revealed because the highest-ranking medium-sized city within the survey. Which? Travel recommends punting along town’s River Cam (above) to absorb views of the ‘university colleges that overlook its willow-fringed banks’
Wells – a city filled with ‘medieval nooks and crannies’ – is first within the small city rating. Pictured is town’s famous Vicar’s Close
Within the ‘large cities and towns’ rating within the study – a survey of greater than 3,600 people – York receives an overall rating of 86 per cent, earning five stars for its cultural sights and food and drinks offering. Which? Travel says: ‘York has all the time pulled within the punters with its unbeatable mixture of historical and cultural attractions. These have now been matched by excellent food and drinks options and great independent shops.’
It’s trailed by second-place Belfast (85 per cent) – which earns top marks for food and drinks, and its lack of crowds. In joint third place, it’s Edinburgh – a city that boasts ‘vigorous street life, many tasty food and drinks options (rated five stars within the survey) and excellent galleries’ – and Liverpool (each 83 per cent), where recent ‘regeneration’ has helped to ‘boost its rating within the survey’.
The remainder of the highest five comprises fourth-place Newcastle (80 per cent) and Glasgow and London, that are tied in fifth place with scores of 78 per cent.
Aberdeen (twenty first), the lowest-ranked big city, scores 59 per cent overall, receiving just two stars for food and drinks, shopping, ease of getting around and value for money. Nevertheless, Which? Travel defends the Scottish destination, saying: ‘Aberdeen is a handsome city of grand granite buildings at the center of 150 miles (241km) of glorious coastline. It has a world-class art gallery, a thriving street art scene and it’s well situated for sampling quite a lot of local food.’
Belfast, which is second in the large city rating, earns top marks for food and drinks, and its lack of crowds. Above is town’s Titanic Belfast museum
Aberdeen (pictured), the lowest-ranked big city, scores just 59 per cent overall. It earns just two stars for ‘food and drinks’ and ‘shopping’ and ‘value for money’
Southampton similarly performs poorly, ending second from bottom in twentieth place with a rating of 61 per cent.
Moving on to the ‘medium cities and towns’ rating, gold medal winner Cambridge has a rating of 81 per cent. Which? Travel recommends punting along town’s River Cam to absorb views of the ‘university colleges that overlook its willow-fringed banks’. It says: ‘Nosing across the 30 colleges and their immaculately kept gardens is one among Cambridge’s big selling points, helping it to earn 4 stars for attractions.’
Canterbury – where the medieval streets create a ‘feeling of time travel’, based on Which? Travel – ties in second place with Winchester (each 78 per cent).
The outcomes come from a survey wherein respondents were asked to rate 56 cities and towns across seven categories
Canterbury – where the medieval streets create a ‘feeling of time travel’, based on Which? Travel – ties for second place within the medium-sized city rating
Winchester is joint second within the medium-sized city rating. Pictured is imposing Winchester Cathedral
Oxford, Chester and Harrogate tie in third place with a rating of 77 per cent, followed by Worcester (fourth, 74 per cent). Fifth place can be a tie – Chichester, Dundee and Norwich each rating 73 per cent.
Second last within the rating, meanwhile, is Gloucester (14th, 56 per cent).
While Ipswich (fifteenth) is the lowest-ranked medium-sized town with a rating of 54 per cent, Which? Travel notes that the town has a vibrant future. It says: ‘The centre of Ipswich might feel slightly forlorn, however the waterfront is undergoing massive regeneration following government funding. Watch it soar up the rankings in future.’
Ipswich, pictured above, is the lowest-ranked medium-sized town with a rating of 54 per cent
Finally, within the ‘small cities and towns’ category, first-place Wells has a rating of 88 per cent. ‘If ever there was an ideal little cathedral city, Wells is it,’ says Which? Travel. It adds: ‘Wells attracts fewer visitors than the large cathedral cities, so it scored five stars for lack of crowds. All of it gives you the space in addition to the time to explore its medieval nooks and crannies.’
In second place it’s the Welsh city of St Davids (86 per cent), which holds the title of the smallest city within the UK – it ‘feels more like a village than a city… with pubs, restaurants, galleries, and gift shops clustered around a sweet little square,’ based on Which? Travel.
It’s chased by Bath (third, 84 per cent), St Andrews (fourth, 83 per cent), and Ely (fifth, 80 per cent).
Royal Tunbridge Wells (nineteenth) finishes second last with an overall rating of 60 per cent, while last-place Hastings (twentieth) has a rating of 57 per cent, with the town earning just two stars for food and drinks, ease of getting around and value for money.
In second place within the small cities and towns list it’s the Welsh city of St Davids (86 per cent), which holds the title of the smallest city within the UK
Hastings – bottom within the small city and city rating – has a rating of 57 per cent. It fails to attain above three stars in any of the survey categories
Commenting on the survey’s findings, Guy Hobbs, Editor of Which? Travel, tells MailOnline Travel: ‘While the UK’s stunning coastal and countryside destinations have stolen much of the glory throughout the recent “staycation” boom, our research shows just how much the UK’s towns and cities must offer those looking for the proper long weekend away.
‘With a world-class array of cultural and heritage sites, buzzing nightlife and culinary options to suit every budget, you’re sure to search out somewhere to tempt you on Which?’s list of one of the best towns and cities for 2022.’
Which? Travel adds: ‘What [travellers] proceed to understand is a medieval cathedral with cobbled lanes, loads of history, independent shops and somewhere agreeable to have a cup of tea and a slice of cake. That’s not your complete story, nonetheless: grittier cities have shot up the rankings – Belfast specifically has grow to be a favoured destination for foodies and culture aficionados.
‘Similarly, Newcastle and Liverpool scored highly for his or her mixture of entertainment, good food and vigorous street life. Cities with fewer crowds, akin to Harrogate, Ely and Wells, also ranked well – proving that sometimes you may get away from all of it, or not less than a few of it, on an urban break.
For more information, visit www.which.co.uk/l/travel.