Plymouth voted second-most beautiful city in the UK in national survey

A nationwide survey commissioned by revealed that Plymouth is the second-most beautiful city in the entirety of the UK. The survey was part-questionnaire and part-study, ranking each urban area in the country on metrics such as happiness, liveability, proximity to the sea, and architectural heritage.

While it may come as no surprise to proud locals that Plymouth is ranked so highly, others may be surprised that famously beautiful and ornate cities such as Oxford, York, Bath, and London didn't even crack their way into the top five.

Plymouth is beautiful for many reasons, with the endless ocean views, pristine beaches, and friendly locals only making up part of the equation. The other cities in the top five have their own merits, too, although many of them may not be what you'd expect.

If you're wondering which cities the British public decided were the most attractive in the UK, and what it is that makes them such great places, read on to find out!

5. Brighton

There's a lot which makes Brighton beautiful. Like Plymouth, the city enjoys the luxury of instant access to the sea, along with miles and miles of beaches. The architecture of Brighton is another major draw, with world-famous landmarks such as the Indian-themed Pavillion and the hauntingly beautiful skeletal remains of the West Pier, which closed back in 1975.

But, more than anything else, it's the unique local culture and quirky residents which may Brighton such a beautiful place to be. Long-considered the LGBT+ capital of the UK, Brighton is a place where tolerance is the word on the street and everyone is encouraged to be themselves. Brighton Pride is one of the largest Pride Festivals in Europe, with A-list celebrities such as Britney Spears and Kylie Minogue making appearances to perform for happy locals every year.

Brighton is a city of colour, where optimism and eccentricity are strongly encouraged. The arts scene is unparalleled anywhere outside of London, with much of the UK's most exciting and daring contemporary arts housed here. It's this creative spirit and fierce individualism which makes Brighton such a beautiful place to be.

4. Bristol

Bristol is the hippie paradise of the UK. It's the city with the highest proportion of vegan restaurants, thrift shops, record stores, and yoga studios in the entire country, which is unsurprising for a city with such a longstanding reputation for tolerance and progressive values. The city's most obvious claim to aesthetic beauty is the rainbow-coloured townhouses which line the hills of Clifton, the wealthiest area of Bristol.

Perched on the River Avon, one of the most stunning sites is the Clifton Suspension Bridge, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1831. The annual Bristol Hot Air Balloon Fiesta sees hundreds of quirkily-painted hot air balloons rise above the city on a characteristically warm August evening, creating a truly gorgeous vista that visitors never forget.

Bristol also ranks highly for its sense of community, with the many sporting teams and events in the city serving to bring locals together. Whether you're a fan of the Bristol Rovers, Bristol Pitbulls, or Bristol Sonics, a sporting event in Bristol is like a national holiday.

Locals have a tendency to get into the spirit however they can and often place bets on the teams they are most loyal to. Given that Bristol's sports teams are less prominent on the global stage, the most popular platforms are ones offering the most extensive betting options, such as Paddy Power, which offers odds on all of the local teams. Savvy Bristolians also tend to do their research by using betting review sites like Oddschecker to scope out which platforms offer the best free bets and welcome offers. Visitors would be well-advised to do the same should they ever find themselves in Bristol during Derby Day.

3. Derby

Derby certainly doesn't have a far-reaching reputation for beauty, which is why many people were initially confused at the inclusion of this small Midlands city near the very top of the rankings. However, a local would very easily be able to dispel any confusion you might have.

For one thing, the city is partly located inside the UK's first, and arguably most scenic natural park, the Peak district. The city itself also has one of the highest densities of parkland per person out of anywhere else in the country, with a staggering 12 parks per 100,000 residents.

Beyond this, the city is fortunate enough to be adorned with a gorgeous 16th-century Baroque-style cathedral, as well as hundreds of Grade II listed buildings dating back to the industrial revolution, when wealthy traders funded a wave of public works, including manor houses for political officials and ornate market halls for the locals.

Derby is also frequently ranked as one of the most friendly cities in the country, as well as one of the happiest places to work. Derby may be small, but it clearly punches well above its weight in several areas.

2. Plymouth

Does Plymouth's beauty even need explaining? Home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe and adorned with a huge supply of award-winning and historically important architecture from various different time periods, this city is a very nice place to call home indeed.

When you're not staring wistfully at the gracious shoreline, you can feast your eyes on such awe-inspiring architectural sights as the graceful Plymouth Hoe lighthouse, the imposing Royal Citadel, or the ornate 16th-century Guildhall. The Plymouth Sound is regularly voted as one of the most beautiful parts of the UK, whilst its location means that it is also one of the sunniest cities in the country.

The city is also ranked as the 5th best place in the UK to live and work, thanks to a strong local emphasis on work-life balance which may also be the reason that Plymouth is one of the places in the country with the least stressed-out population. For sun, sea, and serenity, there are few places more lovely than our very own Plymouth.

1. Swansea

The only non-English city to make it into the top of the rankings also came out on top by a considerable margin. The second-city of Wales may not be much to look at if you're stood in the town centre, but stroll a little bit further out and you'll encounter non-stop beauty and some of the warmest, friendliest locals anywhere in the world.

The Mumbles are the gateway to some of the UK's most stunning natural scenery. Here you'll find the dramatic hills and rolling beaches of the Gower Peninsula, as well as the truly breathtaking Three Cliffs Bay, which has been used as a backdrop for countless films and TV shows.

Exploring the quaint and colourful cottages which line the Swansea Bay is an experience not to be missed, while the city itself is filled with locals who are always happy to stop for a chat.
So what do you think of these rankings? If you think there is somewhere in the UK which deserves to be included here, let us know in the comments!