During my master’s degree study, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to explore almost half of UK’s soil. The UK had always been on my to-visit list for such a long time. I had dreamt to see and experience its beautiful countryside, stone-cottage, and famous landmarks with my own eyes. After having those memorable experience of visiting several UK cities, I couldn’t help but to have some favorites. All were pretty. But some are really enchanting and made me don’t want to leave. So, here’s a list of my favorite UK cities.
My Favorite UK Cities
Okay, before you accuse me of being basic and typical for choosing literally the most famous city in the UK as my no.1 favorite, let me tell you something. London is not just the capital of England. It’s not just The Big Ben, or London Eye, or Buckingham Palace. London is so much more than that. Every visit to London is never the same. There’s a lot to explore. It’s vibrant, but also posh. It’s modern but also classic. London is the perfect combination of historical and modern day and that’s exactly what I’m looking for in a city. I don’t know I feel some kind of force pulling me to London and that’s why it’s my #1
Yes, another one of UK’s biggest cities is on my top list. But that’s the thing about Edinburgh. Despite being the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh has its own charm. Its hilly surfaces are decorated with gardens and neoclassical building. And don’t get me started with the cobblestone streets and historic old stone building. There’s an overwhelming sense of history around the city and everywhere you see is eye-pleasing.
Often praised as UK’s must-see city, Bath is so much more than its famous Roman bath. It’s full of well-maintained Georgian Townhouse and I can’t help but feeling like I’m in a Jane Austen novel walking around its town. The ambience of walking around Bath is just too pleasant. It almost made me feel like I’m a proper Britons.
Famous for its world-class university, I didn’t expect to like Oxford. I thought it would just be a mundane student-city packed with students. But apparently, I was wrong. Oxford is so classy. I don’t really know what about it. But if I compare it with a similar UK student-city, Cambridge, I find myself preferring Oxford more. The charm that Oxford has is indescribable. Especially in the afternoon when the sun is about to set. The color combination of the sky and sand-colored old building is second to none.
Another unexpected UK city that I have fallen in love with. Durham wasn’t even on my list of must-visit UK city before. I visited it because I wanted to see the Durham Cathedral, as part of my Harry Potter pilgrimage. But as I made my way around its tiny cobblestone alley, I began to feel like home. The city is not as big, but charming and beautiful. Every curve is enchanting and that’s what I love most from Durham.
Granted, I didn’t even spend a whole day in Glasgow and only got to explore a lot of it but Glasgow is the kind of city that could make you fall in love instantly. Despite the short visit, I could well pick up the classical and charming vibe of it.
This seaside city was definitely a nice little break from UK’s terrible cold weather. Since it’s located down south, it’s quite nice and warm. The beach is okay. Of course, that’s because I’ve seen lots of spectacular other beaches in my home country. But for a pebble stone beach, Brighton beach is rather pretty. And the beach is not the only thing that is special. I love Brighton because of its flamboyant vibe and the pastel-colored row of houses. It’s also unique and unlike the typical English cities.
I didn’t visit York in the best circumstance. It was windy winter day and when I say windy I’m talking UK windy. It was chilly and the wind messed up my hair. My boyfriend, in particular, would be surprised I put York on the list. Because the bad weather actually caused us to squabble a bit. But, I could still feel the quaint vibe of this city. It was rather quiet but the city is so picturesque. The atmosphere is also so friendly. I could spend hours sitting by the window in one of its charming cafés.
Least Favorite Cities
Initially, I just want to make a list of my favorite cities. But then I remember that among all the pretty UK cities I’ve been to, there are two cities that miss the mark. And no matter how I tried to forget it, they will always be the least favorite city for me.
It may well be due to the fact that I’m not a football fan and not really big into The Beatles. But actually, it’s more than that. I’m basing this on the vibe I picked up from the city. I found the city uninviting and uninteresting. Maybe I explore the wrong part of the city, I don’t know but the city has no charm whatsoever. It felt cold and really not a city I love to explore.
I have nothing against a modern city. In fact, I love it because it could be chic and has a different kind of charm. But not Leeds. Leeds was dull and mundane. It’s like an ultra chic lady who is shallow and dumb inside. I can’t think of anything interesting to see or to do in Leeds. Definitely not my kind of city.
What about Birmingham?
Well, Birmingham is a curious case. It’s a city I hate to love. And of course, I’m totally biased because I lived there. As a clueless visitor, I might not find Birmingham that attractive. But if Birmingham is a person, it is the kind of person who doesn’t give up a good first impression but once you know them, they are actually really charming, have a lot of interesting stories and all. You get what I’m saying right?
That is why I don’t put Birmingham on any of the lists. Because I can’t be objective. It’s bittersweet. I love it but I also hate it at the same time. Ah, I just really miss it now.
Aaand..that’s about it, folk. This post is just a little homage to my longing towards the UK. Really wish I was there right now. But reminiscing is good for now. I’m definitely coming back and revisit all the fun I had up there.
I wish I could write about all the UK cities that I’va visited. These lists obviously barely scratch the surface but I had to pick only my top cities to avoid making this post too long. I hope you find it enjoyable to read, though.
What about you? What’s your favorite UK city? Do tell me <3