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These are officially the friendliest places to visit in the UK

Researchers based the ranking on more than 240 million verified Booking.com reviews

Chiara Wilkinson
Written by
Chiara Wilkinson
Features Editor, UK
Newcastle, Northern Ireland
Photograph: Shutterstock
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We all know that some parts of the country have a friendlier rep than others. The North-West of England: more likely to have strangers smile at you and say ‘hello’ on the street. London: evil stares and people barging past like the world is about to end to get a space on the Tube.

To settle all the stereotypes, Booking.com has published an official ranking of the most welcoming places in the UK as part of its annual Traveller Review Awards. The list is based on more than 240 million verified customer reviews on its website, so you can bet it’s pretty trustworthy.

It’s bad news for city-dwellers, with basiclaly all of the top ten being quite rural. Coming in at number one was Kirkwall, the largest town on the remote Scottish island of Orkney. The Northern Irish towns of Newcastle (not to be confused with Newcastle in England) and Newry also scored well, coming in at number two and three respectively. 

Here are the UK’s ten most welcoming destinations for 2023, according to Booking.com:

  1. Kirkwall, Scotland 
  2. Newcastle, County Down
  3. Newry, County Down 
  4. Enniskillen, County Fermanagh
  5. Pitlochry, Perthshire
  6. Ballycastle, County Antrim 
  7. Glastonbury, Somerset
  8. Stamford, Lincolnshire 
  9. Frome, Somerset
  10. Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire

Booking.com also released a ranking of the ten most welcoming destinations worldwide. While Polignano a Mare in Italy took the top spot, the British city of York came number six in the official global rankings.

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