What, no London?!! Revealing the best cities to live in the UK

What defines a great city for you? Maybe you’re a lover of quality detached housing at affordable prices or a fan of swish apartments. You might place high culture on a pedestal, dig the bar scene, or be all about family fun. Well, we coined 27 categories and crunched 675 numbers to reveal the best cities to call home in the UK. Here’s what we discovered.

The most beautiful city is...

Swansea’s stunning coastal location, high number of conservation areas and proximity to a great selection of National Trust sites sees it crowned our most beautiful city.

The coolest city is...

Manchester has a long-standing reputation for being a centre of all things cool. It’s a rep the city lived up to, picking up this title in our study.

The #1 city for families is...

Nottingham scored well across the board and is a deserved winner of our award for the best city in the UK for families.

The best city for making your forever home is...

Manchester is a home lover’s paradise, with hundreds of shops dedicated to interior design. It’s also a regular on TV property shows, making it a genuine hotspot for home-hunters looking to settle down.

About these results

To come up with these results, we created 26 categories and filled them with 675 statistics, gathered during our extensive research phase. We then applied a weighting system and calculated the best cities from the 25 most populated cities in the UK.

You’ll find the entire list of categories below.

Most beautiful city:

Population; air quality score; number of high-rise buildings per 10,000 people; National Trust sites within 10 miles; coast; Areas of Natural Beauty within 25 miles; proximity to National Parks; average annual rainfall; average annual hours of sunshine; conservation areas per 10,000 people; public parks per 10,000 people.

Best cities for families:

Parks per 10,000 people; percentage of OFSTED outstanding schools; average value of detached homes; cost of living index; crime rates; number of families living in the city; leisure facilities per 10,000 people.

Coolest city:

Number of bars per 10,000 people; apartment sales per 10,000 people; average apartment value; percentage of young people; percentage of students; art galleries per 10,000 people.

Best city for making a forever home:

Furniture shops per 10,000 people; interior design shops per 10,000 people; number of Location, Location, Location episodes set in the city; detached house price rises.