Top UK’s 10 best cities

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by Hertz - 12 March 2020

From the Scottish Highlands to Northern Ireland’s picturesque stretches and southern England’s coastal delights, the UK has some of the greatest cities on earth.

Whether you want to focus on a single destination, or a hire a car and see a melting pot of cities, our guide on the crème de la crème of the UK should help you choose.

Edinburgh

To picture Edinburgh is to envision a mighty castle dominating a modern skyline. Once home to Mary Queen of Scots, the castle is currently residence to the crown jewels and the ever-mysterious Stone of Destiny - a symbolic stone representing Scottish heritage.  

The National Monument of Scotland has stood atop Calton Hill since 1829. While never completed, it is now a popular tourist destination and even opens its grounds for lively festivities on the Gaelic holidays Samhain and Beltane.

Belfast


Across the pond, Belfast is Northern Ireland’s thriving capital, standing out for its green surroundings.

A stroll through The Lagan Valley Regional Park offers chance to breathe in the invigorating Northern Irish air. Spilling across more than 4,000 acres of rolling countryside, the park is a patchwork of meadows, ponds and pine forest. You may meet some of the native wildlife, including barn owls, otters and even seals taking rest on the rocky shores of nearby sandbanks.

York



Over 2,000 years of history and charm are tucked behind York’s defensive walls. Enter and you’ll immediately see the city’s pride and joy; York Minster. The intricate façade and ornate interior make the cathedral one of the world’s most outstanding.

Step back in time and awaken your senses with the immersive JORVIK Viking center or simply take to the city’s iconic Shambles.

At 900-years old, the Shambles is Europe’s best-preserved medieval street. Today, you’ll find boutiques nestled next to quirky shops, which have retained their iconic timber frames and meat hooks – a sign of York’s proud butchery roots.

Follow the snaking street and you’ll find shops unlike any other, including the renowned Monk Bar Chocolatiers, and The Shop That Must Not Be Named – one for any Harry Potter fan.

Manchester

Manchester has transformed from its industrial heritage and today proudly stands as a chic hub, rapidly tearing tourists away from the capital. Prepare yourself for a warm northern welcome as head to the Northern Quarter. The urban area is bursting with creativity. See unique graffiti art and a collection of unique shops selling everything from vinyl records to bespoke furniture.

For more traditional culture, head to the Lowry. The museum is synonymous with the city itself and showcases the works of Mancunian hero, L.S. Lowry. Art buffs should head on to visit Manchester Art Gallery, which is home to a variety of famous works, including those of acclaimed Impressionist Adolphe Valette who is renowned for his landscapes of Manchester

Millennium Quarter is home to the Cathedral, the bustling Corn Exchange, featuring independent stores, and a green city park.

Liverpool

Liverpool is an industrial icon oozing local charm. Stop by the Mersey to find the Tate Liverpool and see pieces by Sir Peter Blake – the creative mind behind The Beatle’s album cover for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

For more Beatlemania, head to the Cavern Club. Following in the footsteps of Lennon’s and McCartney’s first performance here, budding musicians still perform at the venue every night.

Cambridge



Few cities can claim to be as beautiful as Cambridge. Made famous for its university, where the likes of Stephen Hawking and Charles Darwin developed their brilliant minds, the city is peppered with over 30 colleges, some dating back to the medieval era.

Kings College Chapel is a prime example of late Perpendicular Gothic architecture, built between 1446-1515. The exhibition details the history of the college, taking visitors through time as they walk underneath the world’s largest fan vault ceiling.

Cardiff

This ancient city is the proud capital of Wales and has plenty of history to uncover. Cardiff Castle is a great stone fortress that has stood since the 11th century. It was built for the third Marquis of Bute, allegedly the world’s richest man at that time. The impressively vast grounds include a variety of engaging exhibits and the Norman Keep – a twelve-sided structure offering panoramic views of the city.

From here you can see Castell Coch, a castle built in the 1870s with the feel of a medieval fairy-tale. Its conical-roofed towers rise from Fforest Fawr and are only a hint of the splendour inside.

Bath



Standing as a Roman city shaped by the high-societal Georgians, Bath stands as the UK’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its thermal springs enticed Roman settlers, leading to the creation of the famous bath houses. The Roman Baths Museum explores the springs and local temples, as well as the social and political life of the Roman Empire.

The Georgians put their own aristocratic stamp on the city, which used to be a hotbed for establishing political relationships. The Royal Crescent is a sweeping terrace made of pale limestone and is the very essence of Georgian architecture.

Brighton

Brighton became England’s most popular seaside resort when the royals made it their regular holiday home. The Pavilion is an extraordinarily ornate palace that once belonged to King George IV. Wander through its decorative rooms to experience the life of English royalty.

You’ll find grand Georgian villas along the waterfront promenade, as well as a thriving pier with fairground attractions and a typical seaside atmosphere. Discover galleries among the various cafes and shops, including Brighton Fishing Quarter Gallery. Inside an old fisherman’s arch, it explores Brighton’s rich fishing community and its journey to become a popular beach destination.

London

We couldn’t miss the capital off our list. Home to over eight million people (that’s more than the population of Norway), London has more to it than Big Ben and the London Eye.

The Globe commemorates the works of England’s greatest playwright, William Shakespeare, built with an open ceiling in the original building’s image. Stand underneath the sky and enjoy the world’s most famous plays the way they were intended.

Covent Garden is a neoclassical building filled with stalls selling everything from antique jewellery to artisan soaps. While you shop, soak up the talents of live performers and enjoy lunch at one of the market’s top restaurants.

The British Museum has a permanent collection of over eight million works, one for every resident in London. From famed artists to exhibits exploring ancient Egypt and The Americas, explore the world in London.

Discover the best of the UK by planning your trip in advance. It’s a small place with plenty to offer, and a thought-out itinerary means you wont miss any of its greatest treasures. Book Hertz car rental to start your British excursion.

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Article by Hertz

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