Manchester has been voted the best UK city to visit this summer

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 14th April 2021

Newly-conducted research has revealed that Manchester is the best city for a summer break in the UK in 2021.

With international travel restrictions likely to remain in place by the time summer comes around, many Brits will be looking to explore the sights on our shores instead, and while a holiday in Blighty is usually spent by the coast or in the countryside, it’s also a brilliant time to visit a new city.

If you’re stuck for a bit of staycation inspiration though, Staybridge Suites has ranked 15 cities across the country based on their summer amenities, including rooftop bars, percentage of green spaces, riverside activities and lidos, outdoor pools, open water swimming areas. 

Each city was then given a score out of 10.

And Manchester has come out on top, with a score of 7.5 – was there ever any doubt?


When it comes to Manchester’s standout summer features and activities for tourists, Staybridge Suites has said that as well as being home to the most rooftop bars outside of the capital, the city also has a vast collection of both bars and restaurants lining the River Irwell and the Bridgewater Canal.

There’s also plenty of water-related activities too, with the Helly Hansen Watersports Centre offering canoeing, sailing and windsurfing.


You can also take part in open water swimming in and around the city centre as well. 

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But where should us Mancs be looking to head to for our city breaks instead then? What other UK cities have earned themselves a spot in the new rankings?

Newcastle and Bristol tied for second place, both with a score of 7.


It may not boast as many rooftop bars as Manchester, but Newcastle still offers a number of spots along the Tyne for visitors to enjoy a drink, and the North East also has some amazing areas of countryside, including ancient forests in Hareshaw Linn and quaint villages like Haydon Bridge – which is home to Hadrian’s Wall and has a National Park on its doorstep.

Bristol is also described as a hub of summer fun, as it has a large selection of outdoor pools to relax by, including the historic Bristol Lido.

On the other end of the spectrum, London and Leeds were at bottom of the summer city rankings, each with a respective score of 3, as while the capital has lots of outdoor space, lidos and rooftop bars, the size of the city means it isn’t the best place to enjoy the heat, and similarly, Leeds may also have a large percentage of green space in the city (21.7%), but the lack of nearby lidos and outdoor swimming opportunities mean it scored low in the overall ranking.

The Best UK Cities To Visit in 2021

  1. Manchester – 7.52
  2. Newcastle & Bristol
  3. Liverpool – 6.5
  4. Nottingham – 5.5
  5. Belfast & Glasgow – 5
  6. Leicester, Edinburgh & Southampton – 4.5
  7. Birmingham, Sheffield & Dundee – 4
  8. Leeds & London – 3

Speaking on the new rankings, Lisa Crocker – Regional General Manager from Staybridge Suites – said: “Once restrictions are lifted, it is likely that holidays will be restricted to the UK this summer [and] whilst the coast and countryside are the usual option in the British summer, our research shows that there are lots of amazing activities to enjoy in the UK”. 

“Cities like Newcastle have perfect summer settings and breathtaking countryside a short drive away, offering the best of both.


“Post lockdown, we are anticipating a big increase in people choosing self-catering accommodation options and the flexibility to feel safe in a home away from home”.

You can take a look at the full rankings and find more information here.