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These are officially the friendliest cities in the UK

Scotland came out on top in a study that measures community spirit

Arusa Qureshi
Written by
Arusa Qureshi

A year of quarantine can bring out the worst in anyone, but one UK city and its residents haven’t buckled under the pressure – instead, they’ve topped a study of the friendliest communities around.

According to a new study, Edinburgh is the place to be. Scotland’s capital not only came out on top when it came to friendliness, but was also highly ranked for those considering moving and starting over again in a new community. Edinburgh residents have the strongest sense of community, the study found, and the city scored highly for safety and in the number of independent businesses, too. (Its long history and overflowing, year-round arts-and-culture calendar don’t hurt either.)

The study, by Parkdean Resorts, took into account five factors to rank the cities: happiness rates; safety stats; the number of local businesses; the number of community activities on TripAdvisor; and the number of community Facebook groups. 

Coming in second overall, the city of Exeter in Devon achieved the highest happiness score in the overall list of 50. Oxford followed due to its high number of community activities, with Glasgow taking the fourth spot and Bournemouth rounding out the top five. 

Want to see where your city landed? Here’s the full top ten: 

1. Edinburgh

2. Exeter

3. Oxford

4. Glasgow

5. Bournemouth

6. York

7. Canterbury

8. Northampton

9. Stafford

10. Cambridge

Wondering how not one, but two Scottish cities ended up in the top five? Edinburgh has its glorious landscape, many world-famous landmarks, bustling food and drink scene and, of course, all those unmissable festivals and events that pop-up throughout the year to thank. Meanwhile, Glasgow is a fierce rival with its phenomenal cultural landscape, which boasts some of the best venues in the UK, and a truly thriving underground arts scene. Basically, us Scots are a friendly and welcoming bunch and we have lots of cool shit to do, too. 

So if you're looking for a temporary or even permanent change to your surroundings – and let’s face it, the ‘green list’ for international travel is pretty slim right now – why not give one of these welcoming and nearby locations a try? The friendly faces in Edinburgh and Glasgow are definitely up for visitors post-lockdown. 

Want more relocation inspo? These are officially the best cities to start a new life in 2021.

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