Tired of London? Move to One of These UK Cities

London 's bright lights and city charm do it for some, but after the novelty wears off, the Big Smoke can feel a little suffocating. These are some alternative UK cities in which we'd rather be living.


United Kingdom

Less than an hour's drive from London, Oxford is the perfect place to escape the big city without moving too far afield. Nicknamed the "City of Dreaming Spires", it's defined by honey-hued medieval colleges, churches and libraries dotted around the winding River Thames. More modern establishments are gradually settling into the city centre, including creative cocktail bars and vegan restaurants (Happy Friday Kitchen is a local favourite), but old British pubs remain at the heart of Oxford's cultural scene. Winter months should be spent going for long countryside walks, and summertime weekends paddling in the river - both rounded off with an ice-cold beer at one of the city's many pubs.


United Kingdom

For those wanting a cheaper cost of living but unwilling to skimp on big-city lifestyle, the capital of the North delivers every time. Particularly good for football fans, it gives residents access to Old Trafford and the Etihad Stadium, while weekends can be spent exploring sporting museums such as the National Football Museum. Also known for its musical alumni (the Gallaghers, The Smiths and The Stone Roses to name a few), Manchester has plenty to offer in the form of evening entertainment including live music and DJ sets.


United Kingdom

Although technically Cornwall's only city, Truro draws in those looking for countryside lifestyle. The city is oozes a laid-back village feel, while retaining city-style amenities (that being plenty of supermarkets and things to do). Test it out over a weekend - people-watch from a glass-fronted café before taking a long walk on any of the sandy beaches nearby (Gunwalloe Church Cove is our favourite). You'll be convinced by the end of the first day.


United Kingdom

If you have a penchant for culture and the arts, this is the place for you. You'll struggle to be at a loss for something to do - during the summer months Edinburgh comes alive with theatre and music and, come winter, Christmas markets, stalls and ice rinks are dotted around the city. Even strolling along its streets and cobbled alleys is entertaining, as buskers provide merry tunes to accompany your gawking at the impressive gothic architecture. If it all gets a bit much, disappear down to Leith for a charming wander around the docks, or head to Portobello beach for some peace and quiet.


United Kingdom

Straddling the River Avon, this character-filled city is the perfect London replacement. Once a maritime centre, its disused docks have now been reborn as leisure centres filled with upmarket restaurants, trendy bars and quaint cafés. A vivid cultural scene has drawn in young artists, resulting in world-famous street art adorning the city's walls and buildings, while Bristol's culinary stage is ever-growing, offering the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the UK outside of London.

Discover More
The Best Places for Wild Water Swimming in the UK