Edinburgh ranked the most festive city in the UK by new study

Research claims Edinburgh is the most festive UK city
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Edinburgh has been crowned the UK’s most festive city to visit ahead of Christmas 2023, according to a new study.

The research, by Hammonds Fitted Furniture, compared a number of Christmas factors in order to find the ultimate festive day out destinations. The findings were then combined to rank each city out of a possible 100 points.

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In the top spot, Edinburgh scored 95, York scored 84 to come second, while Glasgow came third with a rating of 83 out of 100.

Edinburgh has been named the most festive city in the UK. Stock Getty photo overlooking the city's Christmas Market.Edinburgh has been named the most festive city in the UK. Stock Getty photo overlooking the city's Christmas Market.
Edinburgh has been named the most festive city in the UK. Stock Getty photo overlooking the city's Christmas Market.

UK’s most festive towns and cities

Edinburgh - 95, York - 84, Glasgow - 83, Leicester - 80, Manchester - 78, Lisburn - 75, Newcastle - 71, Blackpool - 70, Oxford - 69, Norwich - 67.

White Christmas

Those who are wishing for a white Christmas, have the best chances in Edinburgh, as almost half (48 per cent) of Christmases in the Scottish capital have seen snowfall since 1960, according to Met Office data.

Christmas market

The Edinburgh Christmas market is greatly popular with tourists, even being crowned the best in Europe by National Geographic last year. This popularity was reflected in the study, with 52,000 Instagram posts under the hashtag #edinburghchristmasmarket.


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York residents also have plenty of Christmas cheer, according to the data, with one in six (16 per cent) locals putting their Christmas decorations up as early as the first week of November.

As for the areas of the country that are the least festive, Derry in Northern Ireland (18) came in at the bottom of the rankings, along with Wrexham in Wales (27) and Bradford (29).

Other findings

Keen to find out what puts us in the festive mood, Hammonds also quizzed 2,000 Brits on the factors they believe make a place feel ‘Christmassy’ when visiting UK cities.

Three quarters agreed that festive lights (75 per cent) were the aspect that filled them with the most Christmas cheer. Seeing festive decorations (74 per cent) also scored highly as a key festive factor. Whilst half of those surveyed also said that Christmas markets get them into the festive spirit.

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Only a quarter believe that snow is needed to get that festive feeling going, and less than a third (32 per cent) say that carol singers are a seasonal necessity.

Despite top locations Edinburgh and York both boasting cobbled streets and medieval buildings, only one in seven responded that the architecture of the location can make it feel more festive.

Melissa Denham, interior stylist at Hammonds Furniture added: “We’re lucky to have so many wonderful festive events all over the UK, and we hope these rankings encourage people to travel to some new places this Christmas to soak up the Yuletide atmosphere.

“There are some great options for festive days out across the country, and we hope people manage to get out and enjoy them this winter.”

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The Hammonds research based its findings on the chance of a white Christmas; Search data on Christmas lights in area location from Google Keyword planner; Number of Instagram posts under local Christmas market hashtags; Number of scheduled Christmas events for each area per 10,000 people of the population; Population data; and survey data of when people start to put their Christmas lights and decorations up.