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Only one Welsh entry makes ‘Top 20 friendliest cities in the UK’ list

25 Mar 2024 4 minute read
Cardiff view from above

A new UK-wide poll has revealed a list of the ‘Top 20 friendliest cities in the UK’  – with London coming out in first place and only one entry for Wales.

The research was commissioned by Bluestone National Park Resort to shine a light on the positive impact good neighbourhoods and strong communities can have on people’s happiness and wellbeing as part of its “Welcome to our Neighbourhood” campaign.

The poll revealed the 15 qualities that make a perfect neighbour with trustworthy (71 percent), quiet (57 percent) and kind (53 percent) topping the list


Half of the respondents want to live next door to someone who is helpful, while being reliable and thoughtful about those around them were the other top traits (47 percent).  

In contrast to the fifth (21 percent) who say their perfect neighbour is chatty, one in four prefer someone who keeps themselves to themselves.   

An overwhelming 97 percent of people admitted that having good neighbours and a community around them is good for their mental health. 

According to the results, one in five insist that they couldn’t live without their neighbours, while 57 percent say that having good neighbours around them gives them a sense of belonging. 

In fact, over half (55 percent) feel that strong neighbourly relationships are key to happy communities.

Cardiff Bay from St David’s hotel

Claire Lewis, Head of Guest Experience at the popular holiday destination in Pembrokeshire, said: “Creating a sense of community at our resort is a huge part of our offering to guests.

“We want to provide not just luxury accommodation, but a space for families and friends to create unforgettable memories together. From kayaking across our lake, exploring the beautiful natural surroundings of Pembrokeshire’s beaches, coast path and harbours, to recharging in the resort’s award-winning Well Spa, there really is something for everyone to enjoy.” 

Almost half of respondents (47 percent) believe that having a strong community around them helps to build confidence, with men (51 percent) relying on their community for confidence more than women (44 percent).

Surprising results

Surprisingly, Londoners were most likely to say they’re friends with their neighbours (73 percent), followed by those from Edinburgh (70 percent), Stoke-on-Trent (68 percent), Plymouth (65 percent) and Cardiff (65 percent). 

While over 60s are most likely (86 percent) to say hello to their neighbours with Gen Z the least likely (47 percent). 

The findings also show that the onscreen families we’d most like to live next door to is the Weasleys (19 percent) from Harry Potter, followed by the Trotters (14 percent) from Only Fools and Horses and The Royles (12 percent) from the Royle Family.  

However, bottom of the dream on-screen neighbours pile were the eccentric Cattons, as featured in one of the biggest films from last year, Saltburn, with just one in twenty (five percent) admitting they’d like them to live next door.  

Despite the nation relying on community, nearly half (46 percent) don’t know the full names of their neighbours, and more than one in ten (13 percent) have no idea what the people who live next door to them are called.

Ignorance is bliss (for some)

One in twenty (four percent) admit they completely ignore their neighbours when they walk past each other, with a third (36 percent) insisting they’re glad their neighbour doesn’t speak to them, as they don’t want them to stop and chat. 

And for the fifth of Brits (19 percent) who haven’t spoken to their neighbours recently, it’s been over four months since they uttered a word to each other.

Cardiff Bay. Image: Enjoy Travel Group

The research, commissioned by Bluestone National Park Resort, also highlighted how problematic neighbours can be, with over two thirds (69 percent) insisting that having difficult neighbours can make their life hell.  

So much so that over a quarter of Brits (27 percent) have decided to move homes or leave a neighbourhood because the people living next door were so hard to get along with.  

And on average, difficult neighbours have played a part in a decision to move four times.

Cities most likely to be friends with their neighbours

  1. London 73%
  2. Edinburgh 70%
  3. Stoke-on-Trent 68%
  4. Plymouth 65%
  5. Cardiff 65%
  6. Birmingham 64%
  7. Leicester 64%
  8. Leeds 63%
  9. Manchester 62%
  10. Sheffield 61%
  11. Brighton 61%
  12. Norwich = Cambridge 59%
  13. Glasglow 58%
  14. Bristol 58%
  15. Newcastle upon Tyne 56%
  16. Belfast 56%
  17. Nottingham 55%
  18. Oxford 52%
  19. Liverpool 51%

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3 months ago

What a load of shyte. The last time I was in London I needed directions to get somewhere. All the people I spoke to were very distant and seemed afraid to offer any assistance. Others were surprised that I spoke to them and others just ignored me.

Ap Kenneth
Ap Kenneth
3 months ago

Without knowing how many people reponded to this “poll” from each of the cited places then the statistical irrelevance is unknown, but I am guessing at bilge.

3 months ago

My next door neighbour was from Birmingham. He beat people up on the streets. He broke into someone’s house to beat them up. Long story short, he’s in jail now. Luckily the peace has somewhat been restored. And the nice Welsh people of North Wales welcome all nice tourists, from all over. Wales is a beautiful place, with beautiful people. We are proud of our Welsh speaking heritage. But for those of which, who come here to disturb the peace, to buy out all its residents, leaving us with limited availability of properties. Litering the entire countryside. I doubt anyone… Read more »

3 months ago
Reply to  Cymruboi

It’s a problem that’s not going to go away in a hurry, I’m afraid. Welsh local authorities have an arrangement to provide accommodation for anti-social families who are unwanted by their own local authorities over the border. Presumably the Welsh LA’s receive a fee for this service. This has had a detrimental affect not only on towns like Rhyl but also on a number of previously peaceful Welsh villages.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
3 months ago

What a load of rubbish. London the friendliest city? The most expensive more like. I’d take this list with a pinch of salt.

Paul Needs
Paul Needs
3 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

I lived there for 5 years… certainly not the friendliest – most people seemed scared to make eye contact in case the other person was a weirdo!

3 months ago

Yeah, this can’t be real. Cardiff? There are plenty of places in Wales friendlier than Cardiff. And only 1 from Wales is ridiculous as most, if not all foreigners claim that the people of Wales were far friendlier than their UK counterparts.

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