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British Cities with the Most Tourists

Can you name the cities and towns in the United Kingdom that receive the greatest number of international visitors?
For 2015. Source
Quiz by brandybuck96
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Last updated: May 20, 2017
First submittedJune 5, 2015
Times taken11,127
Rating4.47
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# Visits
Type
Answer
18,851 k
City
London
1,543 k
City
Edinburgh
1,152 k
City
Manchester
1,107 k
City
Birmingham
662 k
City
Glasgow
601 k
City
Liverpool
535 k
City
Oxford
526 k
City
Bristol
457 k
City
Brighton and Hove
430 k
City
Cambridge
# Visits
Type
Answer
358 k
City
Cardiff
323 k
City
Bath
316 k
City
Inverness
300 k
City
Leeds
263 k
City
Newcastle
257 k
City
Southampton
240 k
City
York
236 k
Town
Reading
217 k
City
Aberdeen
204 k
City
Nottingham
+1
level 43
Oct 16, 2016
No Blackpool? Interesting list, did not expect so many Scottish cities/towns!
+3
level 73
Jul 16, 2017
Lots of British people go there but few international tourists. If we want to go the beach, we tend to go where there is actually some sun.
+1
level 46
Jul 19, 2017
Wouldn't the British tourists visiting Scotland be left out though as it says greatest number of international tourists?
+1
level 42
Jul 21, 2017
Some sun? You're not going to get that much more sun down south compared to Blackpool!..I expected Blackpool to be here as well
+1
level 79
May 10, 2018
I don't usually think of the UK as being a beach destination other than possibly Brighton. I'm from the USA but I'm a hopeless Anglophile. I can't imagine places like Canterbury, Hereford, and Leicester not being on a must see list for international tourists.
+3
level 67
Aug 13, 2019
I think the beaches of the West Country, i.e. Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset, would certainly be considered to have great beaches, as would the coast around many other places in the UK, e.g. the Gower or Pembrokeshire in South Wales, Bournemouth, Northumberland, East Anglia. It's certainly not restricted to Brighton which no doubt picks up a lot of London visitors.
+2
level 67
May 13, 2018
Not sure why you didn't expect so much interest in Scotland. It's easily the most attractive part of the UK - and I speak as someone born and bred in England. What I always find surprising is how dominant London is in the figures. It's a place that I generally avoid whenever possible.
+1
level 73
May 20, 2017
No Huddersfield, Hull or Middlesborough? Just joking but thought Dover might be on there with people taking boats across from Calais in France.
+1
level 56
Jul 17, 2017
People generally just bypass Dover. They aren't missing much, it's a real dump!
+1
level 39
Dec 15, 2017
U 'ULL!! WE'RE THE BLACK AND WHITE ARMY!!!
+2
level 70
May 20, 2017
British or UK cities? There's a difference.
+2
level 76
May 21, 2017
The source is a UK-government-funded one called VisitBritain that incorporates Northern Irish data into its stats. I would suggest you argue with them.
+4
level 74
May 21, 2017
British is commonly (and officially) used as adjective for the whole UK.
+1
level 72
May 21, 2017
In this quiz, there isn't a difference, because no Northern Irish cities appear in the list anyway. But if Belfast, Londonderry etc were eligible, then "UK" would be more accurate than "British" here.
+3
level 70
Jul 18, 2017
'British' is a word used to mean 'from the UK'. A person from the UK is British, not 'United Kingdomish'. Same principle.
+3
level 72
Jul 18, 2017
A person from Northern Ireland can be British or Irish (or both). It's all in the Good Friday Agreement
+3
level 46
Jul 19, 2017
The description specifies United Kingdom. Cities in Northern Ireland can still be called British even though they're not technically in Britain. British = from the UK.
+2
level 75
May 21, 2017
Why on earth are people visiting reading?
+3
level 69
May 21, 2017
The Reading festival is a big part of it I guess
+1
level 69
May 21, 2017
I know that most people just pass through there, but Dover should probably be on there too.
+1
level 76
May 22, 2017
Dover appears further down the stats. The majority of people don't actually pass through Dover on entry - the Channel Tunnel route just skims the town, and goes on to Folkestone, so rail and car passengers can't really be counted as visiting.
+2
level 65
May 21, 2017
What ? Isn't llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch in there ??
+1
level 80
May 21, 2017
I think you spelled that wrong.
+2
level 73
May 27, 2017
No, thats right. It should definitely be here
+2
level 73
Jul 16, 2017
No, he spelled it perfectly right.
+4
level 67
Jul 16, 2017
Welsh Wheel of Fortune must be fun.
+1
level 64
Jul 17, 2017
That made me laugh out loud. Thank you
+1
level 39
Dec 15, 2017
Been there, it was raining..
+1
level 49
Feb 14, 2018
It's not a city
+1
level 67
Feb 20, 2018
Neither is Reading.
+1
level 67
Feb 20, 2018
I was surprised some of the Welsh seaside towns (Tenby, Llandudno, etc.) didn't make it onto the list, but then neither did many English ones (Blackpool, Scarborough, Whitby, etc.). Must be that they're strongly favoured by UK visitors as opposed to overseas visitors.
+1
level 72
May 21, 2017
I wonder how they work this out? International tourists is easy because they are counted at the border, but no-one "checks-in" and "checks-out" of individual cities like this. Haworth in Yorkshire has heaps of foreign tourists (it's near Wuthering Heights of Bronte sisters fame), and how about Dover, where lots of people enter the UK?
+1
level 67
Jul 16, 2017
Very difficult, for sure. Even places that have a hotel registry system - with a bed tax for international tourists, for example - still miss daytrippers, which many of these places and others would get lots of.
+1
level 73
Jul 16, 2017
For Haworth, it's a little bit like Stratford or Canterbury. A lot of people go there, but it seems a bigger crowd than it actually is because of the comparatively small scale of the towns. But I agree with you on Dover, tried it along with Folkestone and Grimsby because those three towns are the entry point of the bulk of Northern European tourists in Great Britain.
+1
level 67
Feb 20, 2018
Was wondering this too - I used to work in St. Davids which is always massively packed with tourists during the summer, but is comparatively small in itself. I think coastal and rural areas must tend to have smaller numbers overall as tourism is highly seasonal and weather-dependent, whereas in cities there's more to do outside of the summer.
+2
level 70
Apr 9, 2018
Just imagine if your first sight of this green and pleasant land were Grimsby...You'd get straight back on board.
+1
level 74
Jul 16, 2017
Reading? Why?
+3
level 48
Jul 16, 2017
Reading is a good way to gain knowledge. We should all read a book sometime.
+1
level 74
Jul 16, 2017
The answer to some of these comments would seem to be that they are not 'cities' e.g. Dover or Stratford-on Avon are not cities.
+2
level 67
Jul 16, 2017
Neither is Reading but it's there.
+3
level 67
Jul 18, 2017
... but the quiz asks for cities or towns.
+1
level 68
Jul 16, 2017
Westminster is technically a city - surely that makes the list?
+1
level 72
Jul 18, 2017
Maybe at the expense of London? Would be interested how many actually visited the City of London - suspect it'd still be second, but behind Westminster
+1
level 57
Jul 16, 2017
Why is Stratford-upon-Avon not on this list ? Whenever I go there every other person is a foreign tourist with a camera !
+1
level 57
Jul 16, 2017
I know it is not a city !! but the Q says "towns & cities"
+1
level 56
Jul 17, 2017
Surprised that Southampton gets more international tourists than Pompey, considering that Portsmouth has the historic naval docks and are well worth a visit (while there's nothing of that level of tourist attraction in Soton).
+2
level 44
Jul 17, 2017
Cruise ships?
+1
level 48
Jul 17, 2017
No Swindon? Oh, I can only hope...
+2
level 50
Jul 18, 2017
Swindon does get loads of international visitors - it's just that they are all on their way to Bath
+1
level 72
Jul 18, 2017
I did try Swindon before Reading - both admittedly out of desperation; imagine my surprise ...
+1
level 76
Jul 27, 2017
I'm American and scored 18/20 - I can live with that, but missed one I should have gotten.
+1
level 58
Jul 30, 2017
Reading? WTF? N Stratford upon Avon? Hmmm, seems a bit dodgy. And Birmingham? Why would tourists go there too?
+2
level 66
Sep 15, 2017
NEC and the ICC and Symphony Hall. There is way more to see in Birmingham anyway than one might suppose - and for a major city, it is very compact with everything in walking distance. Communications to and from the airport are by far the best in the whole UK
+1
level 39
Dec 15, 2017
I was wondering why so many people were going to Inverness then I thought, all those Americans looking for Nessie isn't it... Sigh...
+1
level 38
Apr 11, 2018
Reading ??!!!!! nearly as many as one of UK's premier tourist destinations York? Don't think so.
+1
level 76
Apr 11, 2018
I doubt that the source distinguishes between visits made for leisure and those made for business. That would explain some of the oddities.
+1
level 30
Feb 11, 2019
I would have NEVER thought of reading......... if it weren’t for the fact that it gives you that it’s a town!
+1
level 50
Aug 23, 2019
Imagine telling your family you were visiting the uk, and you arrived in Birmingham. Big letdown.