Few countries have such amazing and distinct cities as the UK. Each with their own personality and charm. When it comes to booking a city break, it can be hard to know where to begin, let alone where to stay.
We’ve put together a list of the best UK cities to visit in 2021, whether it’s a quick city break or longer, once local lockdowns have been lifted.
From Grade I listed hotels to countryside manor houses, we’ve added our suggestions of where to stay. We’ve combined the top UK cities from Condé Nast Traveller’s Reader’s Choice Awards with our own top cities to visit in 2021.
The very first modern, British industrial city, notable for its unrelenting charm and spirit. Home of The Smiths, Oasis and The Stone Roses.
Find a range of dramatic, brooding architecture in this electrifying, bustling city. From its impressive, Victorian Neo-Gothic town hall, to its Art Deco and Edwardian baroque buildings which line the city streets.
The city is filled with an enormous selection of shops, from boutiques, to high street names The Manchester Arndale is the UK’s largest city centre shopping and there’s more artisanal coffee shops, music bars and nightlife.
Where to stay
Experience the finer things in this grand stone building that (unsurprisingly) once housed the Manchester Stock Exchange. This plush hotel stands in the beating heart of the city centre, not far from the main tram stop.
Looking for a unique, boutique stay in the city? Look no further, the Dakota is for you. With its cosy, intimate feel, with dark, moody interiors that are as inviting as they are cool. Visit for their grill and restaurant (and for photos), stay for the first-class hospitality.
Number 8 in The Readers’ Choice Awards 2020
Certainly, one of the most picturesque cities on this list, and the only one hold UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Bath continues to enchant travellers from all over the world, ever since its Roman beginnings, and has been known as a place for relaxation and wellness for centuries.
While the city’s spas are still a tantalising draw for tourists, the place is overflowing with places to drink, dine and soak up the scenery alongside the River Avon, against the backdrop of the surrounding Somerset hills.
Where to stay
Only a brief jaunt from the city centre and overlooking the elegant Victoria Park is the magnificent Royal Crescent Hotel. The Royal Crescent is one of Bath’s most iconic landmarks, built in the 1760s. Take in the perfectly manicured lawns overlooking the park, which form a sweeping vista of the surrounding Grade I Listed terrace houses.
For a quintessential, classic British countryside affair, the Lucknam Park Hotel is for you. When you’re not exploring the 500-acre estate by foot or on horseback (if the mood so takes you), or taking in the heritage of this grand country manor, you can relax and unwind in their state of the art spa facilities.
Number 3 in The Readers’ Choice Awards 2019
It’s unsurprising that the UK’s capital features on this list, which is consistently voted as one of the best cities in the world. London being the most popular tourist destination in the world (hosting 17.4 million tourists in the last year).
More than 300 languages are spoken in this multicultural melting pot of a city. Some of the best restaurants in the world can be found here, like Lyle’s set in the heart of trendy Shoreditch, or The Clove Club, showcasing the best of seasonal British cuisine.
And between touring historic sights, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London or taking a trip to the Westend or London Zoo, there’s something for everything. There’s plenty of free activities and events on offer throughout the year, and something to suit everyone.
Where to stay
Housed in one of London’s most iconic, contemporary landmarks, a night at The Shangri-La Hotel is distinct and memorable. Opulent, oriental-styled suites with floor-to-ceiling windows and views across the London skyline welcome you.
This immaculate and lavish Regency-style hotel is exactly what you would expect of a Knightsbridge residence, just off Hyde Park corner. Elegant, 19th-century interiors, filled with white marble and sumptuous furnishings make for a warm welcome.
When you’re not enjoying the Library bar, the Michelin-starred Céleste restaurant, or their award-winning afternoon tea service, head to The Lanesborough Club and Spa for some relaxation and respite.
Number 2 in The Readers’ Choice Awards 2019
Oxford, the City of Dreaming Spires, is as enchanting as it is culturally significant. Home to the one of the oldest universities in the world, established around the 11th century.
The city is brimming with medieval university colleges, Norman ruins and historic landmarks like the Bridge of Sighs, dotted amongst grand, palatial libraries. A trip to the Covered Market bazaar is a must, especially in the lead up to Christmas.
Where to stay
This five-star hotel consistently features on Best Hotel lists, and was ranked fourth in Condé Nast Traveller’s ‘Top Hotels in the UK’ in their 30th annual Readers’ Choice Awards. The heritage site dates back to the 13th Century, with its 42 suites and rooms overlooking the dreamy spires, historic architecture and university colleges.
If you’re looking for more of a country-manor stay, look no further than Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.
Voted Number One best city in the UK 2020
Edinburgh, the greenest city in the UK and the capital of Scotland. There’s so much to do and admire in this staggeringly beautiful city, which was voted Top UK Heritage Attraction in the British Travel Awards. And between Edinburgh Castle, its museums, breathtaking architecture, medieval Old Town to the neoclassical buildings in its Georgian New Town.
Shops, cafes, bars and restaurants line the historic city streets. Famed for its literary and scientific heroes, notable residents include Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh, J. K. Rowling and Charles Darwin, who studied medicine at The University of Edinburgh.
Where to stay
Spend your city break in Edinburgh’s historic grand railway hotel, the Waldorf Astoria, formerly The Caledonian. Affectionately referred to as ‘The Caley’ by locals, this five-star hotel makes for a memorable stay.
This boutique, Gothic hotel is a crowning jewel in Edinburgh’s old town crown. If you’re looking for an exceptionally unique stay, The Witchery is it. Stay in suites like The Turret, (with views overlooking the Old town), the Inner Sanctum, The Library. With four-poster beds, antiques, lavish regal interiors with hidden Gothic chapel bathrooms and rich furnishings throughout.
Get in touch with Camel Collection and make the most of our exclusive discounts, upgrades or complimentary packages on all of the above hotel stays.
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