The most relaxing cities in Britain

Sometimes you just need to switch off, get away for a couple of days and enjoy a good break. Which got us thinking, what is the most relaxing city in the whole of the UK to do exactly that?

 

With such a mix of cities, all complete with their own definitive cultures and ways of life, it’s hard to pick a winner; but after some research we’ve been able to. We looked into the hallmarks of relaxation: green space, spas and yoga studios and discovered how much of each there is vs. the city’s population. Revealing the amount of competition you’re up against to relax in an area… The fewer people taking up the green spaces, or booking up the spas, the more relaxing!

 

Find out below where to go if you want to chill out, with the top 10 most relaxing cities in Britain.

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1. Brighton

Previously, Brighton has been named the happiest place to live, and now the city can lay claim to being the most relaxing place to live too. If you’ve visited the city before, you’ll already know that from The Lanes to Hove Lawns, the city runs on a chilled out vibe, and with a huge amount of green space per person thanks to the South Downs, coupled with the sea, spas, popularity of yoga and clean-eating options, Brighton is unrivalled when it comes to a city based chill out.

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Brighton hotels

2. Oxford

Known as the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’, Oxford certainly lives up to its dreamy nature after being ranked as the second most relaxing location in the UK. With Botanic Gardens, Massage Centres, beautiful parks and stunning architecture, this medieval city isn’t short of places to dawdle around and admire. The parks of the famous Oxford University are of particular note for picnics, duck ponds and punting along the river.

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Oxford hotels

3. Newcastle

Aside from the breath-taking views from the panoramic hilltop which holds the famous Angel of the North, Newcastle is home to a number of laid-back locations which explain its top-three status. For example, the bank of the River Tyne houses a ‘seaside’ away from the coast, bringing with it some chilled beach vibes. For more outdoor space, look to Leazes Park and Heaton Park for walkways, waterfalls and picnic spots.

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Newcastle hotels

4. Southampton

Automatically more relaxing due to its coastal location, Southampton is also home to a number of spacious parks and green havens to while away the weekends. ‘The Common’ is the perfect hideaway from the city, featuring a duck lake, secret paths through the trees and dog walking routes. The Hawthorns is another tranquil spot, offering an oasis for local wildlife and perfect for some mindful walking.

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Southampton hotels

5. Bournemouth

Bournemouth boasts beautiful stretches of sandy beach, but for an escape just outside the city centre, try some tranquil bird watching at Lower Gardens which has its own aviary! If you’re visiting in the summer, free park yoga runs every Sunday throughout the season across a number of green locations. No booking needed, just turn up with your mat and some water – what could be more relaxing!

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Bournemouth hotels

6. York

One of the most charming features in York are its ‘Shambles’; a medieval maze of twisting, narrow lanes which snake through the city. And just a short walk from the city centre is Rowntree Park; a peaceful woodland walk and ornamental lake to explore at your leisure and truly switch off.

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Hotels in York

7. Edinburgh

Widely known for its castle and annual festival, Edinburgh is maybe lesser known for its tranquil cobbled streets and laid-back vibes. Take the time to wander around the city and discover nooks of calm and quiet spaces. Housing a labyrinth of curated bookshops, quaint cafes and quiet galleries, you don’t have to go far to find a sense of calm in this elegant Georgian city.

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Hotels in Edinburgh

8. Glasgow

Although a cultural hub in Scotland, Glasgow also ticks all the boxes for a relaxing destination. The art nouveau architecture makes it an inspiring city to mosey around, especially if you end up in The Mitchell Library which is beautiful both inside and out. There are several parks dotted around including Kelvingrove Park; a splendid space to see the River Kelvin and soak up the surrounding nature.

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Hotels in Glasgow

9. Bath

Perhaps the most famous place to relax in Bath is in its Thermae Spa. The only natural thermal spa in Britain, it’s the perfect tonic for stressed bodies and minds. Take advantage of the day spa, or sit atop the spa in the open-air pool for a bird’s eye view of the Roman city. Bath fully embraces all kinds of yoga classes too, including Iyengar, Ashtanga and Hatha. It’s no wonder this calm city features in the top ten!

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Hotels in Bath

10. Manchester

This may be a surprising entry as Manchester is widely known as a modern industrial hub, especially busy in its Northern Quarter, but explore further and you will find an abundance of peaceful places amongst the bustle of the city. One in particular, Sale Water Park, features a huge lake encased by beautiful paths and meadows for walking, cycling or just sitting back and admiring. Manchester’s New Islington Marina also provides a tranquil space for exploring, with peaceful water and brightly coloured canal boats.

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Hotels in Manchester