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The UK’s most popular city has been revealed – and it’s not London

A YouGov poll has revealed that two cities in the north of the UK are now more popular than the capital

Annie McNamee
Written by
Annie McNamee

For a very long time now, London has been at the centre of the UK for, well, everything. Food and drink, the arts, history, tourism, nightlife... the capital has been the go to city for too long. Finally, its long reign of being Britain’s favourite city might be over, as a recent YouGov poll has revealed that it has fallen out of favour in recent years.

Perhaps that’s a little bit dramatic. After all, London is still the third most popular city in the country – but it used to be the first, so this is a win for the underdogs. Where has taken its place? In a shocking turn of events, the small cathedral city of York is now winning over the people’s hearts and minds. 

Why York? Well, the poll (which was by YouGov) didn’t actually ask that, but it did discover that 74 percent of people said they liked the town. We in the UK must not have many good cities if that’s the absolute highest percentage we can muster. Narrowly missing out on first place was Edinburgh, which was also liked by 74 percent of respondents. 

London’s approval rating sat at 63 percent, gaining it a bronze medal. That 11 percent difference is pretty telling, Londoners. Your time as the country’s darling it up. 17 percent of people noted that they actively disliked London, while only 3 percent and 1 percent said the same about Edinburgh and York respectively. 

The rest of the top ten most popular cities were as follows:

  • Cambridge: 62 percent approval rating
  • Oxford: 61 percent approval rating
  • Brighton: 60 percent approval rating
  • Liverpool: 58 percent approval rating
  • Manchester: 55 percent approval rating
  • Portsmouth: 55 percent approval rating
  • Bristol: 54 percent approval rating

For the whole list, you can look on YouGov’s website here. York, with your historic centre and great selection of eateries, it’s your time to shine. Show the world what you’re made of. Never let London forget what you took from them.

What is happening in the UK?

We at Time Out like to keep you updated on the stories that will really peak your interest. For instance, did you see if your local triumphed at the 2024 pub awards? Or maybe you’d like to find out what the rudest city in the country is (spoiler- it isn't London). If you’re looking for something a little cheerier, why not have a read about how the UK is actually one of the world’s happiest countries?

Did you see that York’s railway station is getting a huge £1.1 billion makeover?

Plus: Is this UK castle really the most overrated attraction in the entire world?

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