Life

The friendliest cities in the UK have been revealed, and it’s not good news for London

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Lauren Geall
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Friendly Cities UK: Plymouth

New analysis has revealed the friendliest cities to live in in the UK, based on factors including generosity and how welcoming and trustworthy the residents are.

There’s something so satisfying about building a new friendship. Whether they’re a fellow gym-goer you got talking to or someone who attends the same book club, learning about another person and developing a new bond is certainly one of life’s greatest pleasures.

However, unfortunately for us, these moments are growing fewer and fewer. Whether it’s to do with our busy schedules or growing commutes, less of us are taking the time to interact with new people; according to 2018 research by the Campaign to End Loneliness, over half of UK adults haven’t made a new friend in a long time.

But among these slightly depressing statistics there is still hope to be found. The same research found that almost nine in 10 UK adults believe that small moments of connection – such as being able to make small talk on the bus or simply smiling at another person – are a valuable way of tackling loneliness.

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So, with all this considered, living in a place full of friendly people can make all the difference with those everyday reactions. New research by Moonpig has revealed the UK’s friendliest cities based on the key friendship qualities of generosity and how welcoming and trustworthy they are (judged by analysing Moonpig’s internal gift-giving data and external surveys respectively). 

According to the research, Plymouth is officially the friendliest city in the UK for its well-rounded score in the study’s four ranking factors (generosity, welcome, trust, and online search interest in “friendship”), followed by Brighton and Leeds. Finishing up the top five were Norwich and Cardiff. Notably, London does not even make the top ten, but it did rank number one for generosity.

Friendship scores across the UK
Plymouth came out on top for scoring high in all four categories.

Newcastle topped the generosity list, Cardiff came first for being welcoming, and Coventry ranked top for their search interest in friendships.

But don’t worry if your city isn’t on the list; there are ways you personally can help to make where you live a friendlier place. Whether it’s saying a quick “good morning” as they walk past or starting a conversation while you’re waiting for the train, encouraging others to get talking as well as doing it yourself is not only good for the community – it can help you to feel more confident too.

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So next time you’re feeling a little brave, why not reach out to a neighbour or work acquaintance about going for a coffee? Not only do small actions like this have the power to make you feel amazing, they could inspire others to take a similar step, too.

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Images: Getty/Moonpig

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Lauren Geall

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