UK’s rudest and most welcoming cities revealed

In which UK city residents regularly forget to say thank you, and more than half fail to smile at passers-by? Research of 4,000 Brits reveals.

London phone box
(c) pexels

The UK’s rudest city: London

London is home to the most unwelcoming people in the UK, while Southamptonians are the most welcoming people as revealed today by the Jurys Inn hotel group.

The research from Jurys Inn to mark the start of British Tourism Week found that the cosmopolitan capital has the unfriendliest customer service, and its residents avoid making conversation in pubs and dodge having to give up their seat on the tube or bus.

Another third regularly forget to say thank you, and more than half (52 per cent) fail to smile at passers-by.

A spokesperson for Jurys Inn which polled 4,000 Brits, said:

A warm welcome goes a long way. With London’s spot at the top of the unwelcoming list and the Olympics only two years away, the capital may need some tips from the friendly people of Southampton. It’s interesting that the top five most welcoming places are all coastal cities.

It’s sad to see how many people don’t hold doors open for others or offer assistance elsewhere and basic manners are ignored.  First impressions are so important when travelling to a city – a lot can be learnt about a place simply walking down a street, and carrying out daily tasks helps you gauge how receptive the people are.  It seems Londoners have the least amount of time for people – they’re too busy rushing around, leading hectic lives.

The poll revealed Glasgow as the second most unwelcoming place in the country.

Four in ten admit to walking on by when an elderly person needs help crossing the road, and they typically forget to say please five times a day.

Bradford came third and Birmingham fourth, with 57 per cent admitting they could do a better job at welcoming visitors. And Liverpool completed the top five, with a third failing to help someone who is struggling to get in a train or down some stairs with a pushchair.  The study found more than half (55 per cent) reckon British politeness is worse than ever and one in ten reckon they come across as a rude person.

The UK’s most welcoming city: Southampton

The research was carried out among adults in 30 cities around the UK, and Southampton emerged as the most welcoming city.

Residents in the south-coast city believe it was more important to have good manners than anyone else polled, and they also rated their shop staff as the friendliest in the country.

Nearly half (45 per cent) wouldn’t think twice about helping someone lift heavy shopping into the boot of their car, and they forget their Ps and Qs just twice a day on average.

Those living in Norwich helped to secure second spot in the welcoming city list, with eight in ten saying they would reach something off a high shelf for a fellow shopper.

And Exeter was third – with fewer than one in five likely to barge past other shoppers if they spotted a bargain in store and Brighton was fourth.

A massive two thirds would run after a stranger in the street if they saw them drop some money.

The naval city of Plymouth completed the top five, with those living there more likely to consider someone smiling at them in the street as being ‘nice’ rather than odd or trying to flirt.


UK’s most unwelcoming cities

  1. London
  2. Glasgow
  3. Bradford
  4. Birmingham
  5. Liverpool
  6. Manchester
  7. Aberdeen
  8. Wolverhampton
  9. Belfast
  10. Leeds

UK’s most welcoming cities

  1. Southampton
  2. Norwich
  3. Exeter
  4. Brighton
  5. Plymouth
  6. York
  7. Oxford
  8. Nottingham
  9. Derby
  10. Portsmouth