The Great British City Off

The Great British City Off

The Great British City Off

The Great British Bake Off has hit our screens for the ninth season. Last year, The Great British Bake Off 2017 saw Bake Off Winner Sophie Faldo win with her signature multi-layered entremet which was suitably nicknamed "Ode to the Honey Bee". While we were all over the bake off crème de la crème of 2017, this year we have decided to create the GBCO or Great British City Off.

Unlike the world renowned GBBO, instead of baking up some tantalising desserts and mousses, we have decided to cook up the ingredients that result in delicious and gourmet cities.

Here, we explore the top eight city winners that are known for their tourism. However, a Great British Bake Off wouldn't be complete without us giving a mention to our personal favourites. So, we have chosen our top three cities in the UK that we think deserve a mention as well.

So, what's the recipe to a good city??

The ingredients you might need:

A pinch of population Raw entertainment A slice of tourist attractions A tbsp of tourism

We took eight cities from the UK and compared how they rank in tourism, attractions, and population. Who won? Find out below.


  1. London

  • Population: 8.136 million
  • International Visits: 19.8 million
  • 7/10 visitors would be likely to return outside of summer months
  • Top Attraction: British Museum with 4,296,000 international visitors
  • Most Recommended Attraction(s): Big Ben and the Tower of London



  1. Bristol

  • Population: 535,907
  • International Visits: 536,000
  • Named “Museum Destination of the Year” in 2018
  • Top Attraction: Brunel’s SS Great Britain with 194,000 visitors
  • Most Recommended Attractions: Clifton Suspension Bridge and Brunel’s SS great Britain


  1. Edinburgh

  • Population: 482,005
  • International Visits: 2 million
  • 4% of international visitors visit Edinburgh in the summer months
  • Top Attraction: National Museum of Scotland with 2,165,601 visitors
  • Most Recommended Attraction: Edinburgh Castle


  1. Manchester

  • Population: 510,746
  • International Visits: 1.3 million
  • Half of all visitors to Greater Manchester on average are under the age of 44
  • Top Attraction: The Lowry with 866,773 visitors in 2014
  • Most Recommended Attraction: The John Rylands Library


  1. Belfast

  • Population: 280,211
  • International Visits: 2.6 million
  • In 2016 visitors to Belfast spent £24.5 billion
  • Top Attraction: Titanic Belfast with 440,000 visitors
  • Most Recommended Attraction: Titanic Belfast


  1. Glasgow

  • Population: 598,830
  • International Visits: 787,000
  • Glasgow has the largest sporting infrastructure outside of London
  • Top Attraction: Riverside Museum with 1.4 million visitors
  • Most Recommended Attraction: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum


  1. York

  • Population: 198,051
  • International Visits: 231,000
  • 1 in 5 groups who visit York travel with children
  • Top Attraction: York Minster with 700,000 visitors
  • Most Recommended Attraction: National Railway Museum


  1. Birmingham

  • Population: 1.086 million
  • International Visits: 1.1 million
  • There are 75,748 jobs supported by the tourism economy
  • Top Attraction: The Library of Birmingham with 1.83 million visitors
  • Most Recommended Attraction: Birmingham Back to Backs



      9. Newcastle


  • Population: 268,064
  • International Visits: 296,000
  • Newcastle International Airport handles 5 million passengers annually
  • Top Attraction: Angel of the North with 33 million visitors
  • Most Recommended Attraction(s): Victoria Tunnel, The Quayside and St. James’ Park
  • Why We Love Newcastle: Over the years Newcastle has been home to iconic people and household names including Cheryl Cole, Ant and Dec, and Rowan Atkinson. With all these legends from one city, it's hard not to feel like a superstar when wandering around these streets.


     10. Leicester


  • Population: 443,760
  • International Visits: 229,000
  • After the football win in 2016, tourism was boosted by 1 million more visitors
  • Top Attraction: National Space Centre with 315,000 visitors
  • Most Recommended Attraction(s): National Space Centre and King Richard III Visitor Centre
  • Why We Love Leicester: If having a National Space Centre wasn't enough, this city reached fame in 2012 when the University of Leicester's experts excavated Richard III skeletal remains. The king had died in 1485 and was discovered under a car park in this incredible city.


      11. Oxford


  • Population: 150,200
  • International Visits: 586,000
  • There are 38 colleges that are part of the world-famous Oxford University
  • Top Attraction: The Ashmolean with 938,568 visitors
  • Most Recommended Attraction(s): The Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers Museum
  • Why We Love Oxford: Known as the "City of Dreaming Spires" this destination is one of the most famous university cities in the world, renowned for its architecture, history, and academia. It has also played host to numerous big name films such as The Golden Compass, Harry Potter, and The History Boys.

*all information is correct as of publication

*all population figures are taken from the 2011 census

*all information is taken from tourist figures from the city and government websites

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