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Discover why Liverpool is named the UK’s best large city for a break



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In a recent survey conducted by Which?, Liverpool has emerged as the top large city in the UK for a break, surpassing other notable cities such as London, Edinburgh, and Cardiff.

The survey, which gathered feedback from nearly 4,000 members, evaluated various criteria including accommodation, food and drink, cultural sights, tourist attractions, ease of getting around, lack of crowds, and value for money.

Liverpool’s impressive score highlights its appeal as a lively and culturally rich destination, making it a must-visit for both domestic and international travellers.

Liverpool took top spot in the large cities category with a city score of 84 per cent – beating capital cities Belfast (77%), London (76%), Cardiff (72%) and Liverpool’s neighbour Manchester (71%) by some margin.

“Lively” and “buzzing” Liverpool scored a full five stars in the cultural sights and tourist attractions category, with respondents noting an impressive range of cultural and historical attractions beyond the Beatles.

The city also scored four stars for food and drink, shopping, accommodation, lack of crowds and value for money. One respondent said: “It’s got everything you could possibly want.

Great for eating places, great for sights and famous places and very friendly people.”

Taking joint second place in the large cities category are Edinburgh and York, with tied city scores of 83 per cent.

The “stunning” Scottish capital is “bursting with cultural activities” according to visitors, who scored it a full five stars for cultural sights and tourist attractions. Edinburgh received four stars for food and drink, shopping, ease of getting around, and overall value for money.

York, known for its Roman and Viking heritage, also took five stars in the cultural sights and tourist attractions category, with some of its most well known attractions including York Minster, the National Railway Museum and the Jorvik Viking Centre. The city also scored four stars for shopping, accommodation, ease of getting around, value for money and food and drink.

Among medium-sized cities, Bath was the top scorer, receiving a city score of 82 percent. With a five star rating for cultural sights and tourist attractions, one visitor described Bath as “one of the top sites in the UK, indeed Europe,” for its architecture and points of historical interest, which include the well preserved Roman baths and the Georgian houses of the Royal Crescent. The city also scored four stars for food and drink, accommodation and shopping, and three stars for value for money.

Wells, Somerset was the highest scoring location in the survey overall, with an impressive city score of 86 per cent, and took first place in the small cities category. It scored four stars for its range of cultural sights and tourist attractions which include the Cathedral, Bishop’s Palace and Vicar’s Close.

At the opposite end of the tables, Derby (56%), Leicester (58%) and Swansea (58%) were the lowest rated large cities.

Derby scored just two stars for food and drink, accommodation, cultural sights and tourist attractions, shopping and ease of getting around. One visitor noted that while “there are not a huge number of cultural sights within the city centre, the Museum of Making is worth a visit.”

Famous as the final resting place of Richard III, Leicester also failed to impress on the whole with a city score of 58 per cent, and received just two stars for accommodation and ease of getting around. Multiple respondents noted poor hotel stays, and some recounted difficulties with local transport. One said, “Driving into Leicester is not straightforward for anyone new. It all seems overly complicated.” The city did however receive four stars for its shopping experience and lack of crowds, and one visitor noted that though “it’s not a pretty city… there are gems if you know where to look.”

Wales’ second largest city, Swansea, received just two stars for food and drink, cultural sights and tourist attractions, shopping, ease of getting around and parking. Famous as the birthplace of Dylan Thomas, the city is also popular for its proximity to the Gower peninsula. One ambivalent visitor summed up, “Swansea is OK as a city, but the main draw is the coast and countryside on its doorstep.” Others were more favourable however, praising the “friendly people and brilliant market and marina.”

In the small and medium sized categories, Bournemouth, Torquay and Fort William in Scotland also fared poorly with joint scores of 58 per cent.

Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel, said,

“Whether you’re after vibrant nightlife, world class museums or a first rate dining experience, our survey shows that the UK has a wealth of fantastic cities just waiting to be explored.

“Liverpool stood out among the UK’s large cities for its fantastic cultural scene and buzzing atmosphere, beating London and the UK’s other capital cities to take first place.

“For those seeking a more laid-back destination, Somerset is the place to be, with both Bath and Wells scoring highly, and each offering a wealth of historical and cultural sights.”

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