Where’s The Coolest Place To Live In The UK? These Guys Used Science To Find Out

...And it's not in London

Nothing says hip party like being in a shopping trolley


Travel is one of the most holistically rewarding things you can do. Travel broadens the mind, fills your life with wonderful stories, familiarises you with other cultures, cuisines, and ways of living, and can even make your moral compass a little more open to some of life swifter routes to happiness (or cheating, if you must give it a name).

But you don’t have to go far to have a good time. In fact, there are many cool spots right here in the UK that you should check out.

TravelSupermarket, the holiday wind of online fiscal wizards MoneySupermarket have released a list of the top 20 hippest places to hang out in the UK, and the results might surprise you.

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When you think of the hippest of hip places in the UK, you probably immediately think of London, and specifically Shoreditch, Camden, or Carnaby Street, depending on quite how vintage your Dr Martens are. And while London is represented, it only gets two places in the top 10, and 4 spots in the top 20. Take that, Kate Tempest!

Is that a top-knot on your head or are you just plea… this doesn’t’ quite work,d does it – Photo: iStock

In fact, the hippest place to hang out anywhere in the UK, according to the study, is Ancoats in Manchester. Although it’s been in the shadow of its more famously hip cousin to it’s immediate South, The Northern Quarter (which was 9th overall on the list, incidentally) Ancoats can now claim to be the hippest area of Manchester, should you ever be visiting the rainy northern powerhouse.

Need more proof of it’s hip credentials? Mpora have been known to make short films in and around Ancoats, immediately tripling property values in the area.

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The top three was completed by Leith in Edinburgh, where cooler-than-cool British inde’ hit Trainspotting was filmed, and Digbeth in Birmingham, where, as far as we know, nothing of note has been filmed, but the locals do talk a bit like Thomas Shelby from Peaky Blinders, so you can close your eyes and pretend.

Make mine a mocha-frappa-beardy-wanka-chino, please – Photo: iStock

The full list of the UK’s hippest places to hang out is:

  • 1) Ancoats, Manchester
  • 2) Leith, Edinburgh
  • 3) Digbeth, Birmingham
  • 4) Baltic Triangle, Liverpool
  • 5) Peckham, London
  • 6) Finneston, Glasgow
  • 7) Cliftonville and Old Town, Margate
  • =8) Kelham Island, Sheffield
  • =8) Dalston, London
  • =9) Northern Quarter, Manchester
  • =9) Stokes Croft, Bristol
  • 10) Bruton, Somerset
  • 11) Jericho, Oxford
  • 12) Clapham, London
  • 13) Pontcanna and Canton, Cardiff
  • 14) Uplands, Swansea
  • =15) Ropewalks, Liverpool
  • =15) West End, Glasgow
  • 16) Ousenburn, Newcastle
  • 17) Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire
  • 18) Dptford and new Cross, London
  • 19) Monton, Manchester
  • 20) Hastings and St. Leonards, East Sussex

The areas were ranked on a specific and (kind of) scientific set of criteria. First of all was quality of “hip cultural outposts” – things like independent coffee shops, vegan cafes, vintage fashion stores and independent bike shops per capita. Points were deducted for chain stores.

Next up was “creative capital density” or, in English, the amount of creative jobs and creative hubs, galleries and shared spaces in the area divided by the amount of people living there.

Finally, and arguably most importantly, was “traveller value”. Simply how good was the value for money of a stay, calculated by comparing the price of a stay in the most expensive hotel in the area and a stay in the most expensive hotel in the city centre (which is maybe what did for London).

So, next time you fancy seeing somewhere a little different, why not check out a place closer to home? Granted, you may end up with a beard and an old-school galleon indellibly tattooed on your chest, but that’s all part of the fun, right?

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