Great British cities that aren't London

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Dick Place ZONE Architects Modern Kitchen
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City living is something so many of us enjoy but it can be surprisingly easy to fall out of love with, particularly if you live in London. Don't get us wrong, we love the capital but as far as British cities go, it is so huge and expensive that you might be wondering if you could get more for your money and a better quality of life somewhere else. We've thought about this too.

Take a look at our list of fantastic British cities to live in other than London. You'll see that we have chosen an image of a project completed in each place to really highlight what you could be spending your hard earned money on rather than a cramped studio flat in the capital! 


Fast becoming one of the most popular British cities on the map, Bristol is the ideal combination of historical, beautiful and forward thinking. Always looking for new ways to make it's mark, Bristol is a cultural hub that allows residents countless opportunities to interact with art and music.

Home to the incredibly popular Bespoked Handbuilt Bicycle Show, Bristol is making great inroads into becoming one of the most cyclist-friendly cities in Britain and with the docks in full use still, a healthy respect for traditions and historical architecture is never far away. It's a must for any culture vultures!


Found just 100 miles from London, Norwich offers you the best of every world; a commercially active city with a touch of rural charm and heritage architecture. You never quite know what type of buildings you will come across when you turn a corner in Norwich but with two cathedrals you'll never be far away from some pretty skyline opportunities.

Many people choose to work in London and commute from Norwich every day and it's easy to see why when the houses can look as lovely as this one, from Studio Urban Blu. Imagine what you would get for the same money in London!


Dick Place - garden ZONE Architects Modern Kitchen
ZONE Architects

Dick Place—garden

ZONE Architects

A city packed with excitement and culture, Edinburgh is perfect for when you want to get as far away from London as possible. In fact, this is probably the most northern of all British Cities that are comparable. With incredible commercial opportunities for work, Edinburgh balances your career aspirations and pressures with a host of heritage architecture and fun cultural festivals.

With a heady mix of contemporary apartment buildings, traditional townhouses and elegant hybrid homes, Edinburgh offers the hustle and bustle of a busy city, just on a smaller and more refined scale.


Private House, Cardiff LOYN+CO ARCHITECTS

Private House, Cardiff


Wonderful Wales has a wealth of amazing housing potential to offer anyone that has grown weary of the squashed proportions of London and we know that for the same money as you could secure a tiny flat, you could build something spectacular on the outskirts of Cardiff.

The tenth largest of all British cities, Cardiff is by no means provincial and boasts a fantastic university and a number of high-end sporting venues. A great destination for any ball sports fans, it also has a brilliant shopping district and fantastic transport connections.


Found in West Yorkshire, Leeds is another example of just how fantastic British cities, other than London, can be. Offering a close connection to the softer, greener aspects of geography, Leeds is the perfect combination of a built-up city with rural leanings.

Don't worry that you wouldn't have access to all your favourite shops for when you want to revamp your new living room though as Leeds is the shopping centre for the Yorkshire and Humber regions, with countless amazing large malls and independent retailers.


The Pattern House reForm Architects Modern Houses
reForm Architects

The Pattern House

reForm Architects

Manchester started to gain significant popularity during the 1990s when Britpop rose up to become a favourite music genre. Producing numerous famous bands, such as Oasis and the Stone Roses, the 'Madchester' scene became synonymous with art, culture and all things progressive.

With a huge number of media companies relocating to Manchester, liberal arts job vacancies have tempted some of the brightest professionals away from London, while the professional orchestra scene has seen many an incredible musician relocate in order to enjoy better value for money on the property ladder. 

With so many British cities offering all the benefits of London, with few or none of the downsides, it's no surprise that an exodus seems to be occurring. After all, why settle for less when you can have a better quality of life, cleaner air and a nicer house just by moving a few miles away?

For more non-London inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: The Former Piggery. If you like some green space with your home, we think Bristol could suit you perfectly!

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