The Most Beautiful City in England: Ranking a Charismatic Gem

Choose the city you think is the most beautiful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:17 (Updated on Dec 4, 2023 05:37)
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion truly matters! Today, we're on a quest to unveil the most beautiful city in England, and we need your help. From the enchanting cobbled streets of York to the historic charm of Bath, England boasts a treasure trove of picturesque cities that leave visitors and residents alike absolutely smitten. So, which city do you think deserves the crown? Cast your vote and make your voice heard, or suggest an enchanting hidden gem that we might have missed. Together, let's embark on a virtual journey through England's most captivating cities, and uncover the true epitome of beauty that lies within this majestic land.

What Is the Most Beautiful City in England?

  1. 1
    Bath - known for its Roman baths, stunning Georgian architecture, and picturesque streets.
    Bath is a historic city located in Somerset, England. It is renowned for its stunning Georgian architecture, natural hot springs, and rich heritage. The city has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1987, acknowledging its historical significance and remarkable beauty.
    • Roman Baths: The Roman Baths complex is one of the main attractions in Bath, featuring well-preserved ancient Roman bathing and temple ruins.
    • Pulteney Bridge: A picturesque bridge spanning the River Avon, designed by Robert Adam and inspired by the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.
    • Bath Abbey: A magnificent medieval abbey known for its stunning architecture and rich history.
    • The Royal Crescent: An iconic crescent-shaped row of townhouses built in the 18th century, representing Georgian architectural excellence.
    • Thermae Bath Spa: A modern spa facility that allows visitors to bathe in Britain's only naturally hot thermal waters.
  2. 2
    Oxford - famous for its prestigious universities and historic buildings, including the Bodleian Library and Christ Church College.
    Oxford is a historic and picturesque city located in the county of Oxfordshire, England. It is renowned for its prestigious university, stunning architecture, and rich cultural heritage. With its charming cobblestone streets, beautiful riverside scenery, and well-preserved medieval buildings, Oxford exudes a timeless and captivating atmosphere.
    • University of Oxford: One of the oldest and most esteemed universities in the world, dating back to the 12th century.
    • Architecture: Featuring a remarkable blend of architectural styles including Gothic, Baroque, Neoclassical, and Modernist designs.
    • Dreaming Spires: Oxford is often referred to as the 'City of Dreaming Spires' due to its numerous spires and towers.
    • Bodleian Library: A legendary library that houses millions of books, including rare manuscripts and notable literary treasures.
    • Radcliffe Camera: An iconic circular building serving as a reading room for the Bodleian Library.
  3. 3
    Cambridge - another university town with stunning architecture, including the famous King's College Chapel.
    Cambridge is a picturesque city situated in the county of Cambridgeshire, England. Renowned for its prestigious university and stunning architecture, it boasts a rich history that dates back over 800 years. The city is known for its tranquil river, charming cobbled streets, and beautiful green spaces.
    • Population: approximately 130,000
    • University: University of Cambridge
    • Famous Colleges: King's College, Trinity College, St John's College
    • Architectural Marvels: King's College Chapel, Mathematical Bridge, Great St Mary's Church
    • River: The River Cam flows through the city, providing scenic views and opportunities for punting
  4. 4
    York is a walled city with a rich history, including the York Minster cathedral and the Shambles, a picturesque street with medieval buildings.
    York is a historic city located in North Yorkshire, England. It is often considered one of the most beautiful cities in England due to its rich history, stunning architecture, and charming atmosphere. With its narrow medieval streets, ancient city walls, and iconic landmarks, York offers visitors a unique journey through time. The city is known for its fascinating mix of Roman, Viking, and medieval heritage, which is evident in its various historical sites and museums. York is also famous for its breathtaking Gothic cathedral, York Minster, which stands as a testament to the city's grandeur and religious importance throughout history.
    • City Walls: York's city walls are the most complete medieval walls in England, spanning approximately 2.5 miles and offering panoramic views of the city.
    • York Minster: York Minster is one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Europe, showcasing stunning stained glass windows, intricate stone carvings, and a rich history.
    • The Shambles: The Shambles is a charming street with overhanging timber-framed buildings, dating back to the medieval period, and is often described as one of the best-preserved medieval shopping streets in Europe.
    • National Railway Museum: York is home to the National Railway Museum, housing an extensive collection of locomotives, carriages, and historical artifacts that offer a glimpse into the rich railway heritage of the country.
    • Clifford's Tower: Clifford's Tower, perched on a mound, holds a significant place in York's history and offers panoramic views of the surrounding cityscape.
  5. 5
    Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland with a stunning castle, historic old town, and beautiful views from Arthur's Seat.
    Edinburgh is a stunning city located in Scotland, although it is often mistaken as part of England. It is known for its captivating mix of medieval and Georgian architecture, picturesque landscape, and rich history. The city offers a vibrant cosmopolitan atmosphere while still retaining a sense of Scottish tradition and heritage. From the magnificent Edinburgh Castle perched on a volcanic rock to the charming cobbled streets of the Old Town, the city is a treasure trove of beauty, culture, and natural wonders.
    • Edinburgh Castle: A historic fortress that dominates the city skyline and offers breathtaking views.
    • Royal Mile: A famous street that connects the castle with the Palace of Holyroodhouse, lined with shops, pubs, and notable landmarks.
    • Arthur's Seat: An ancient dormant volcano and one of the most iconic natural landmarks in the city, providing panoramic views of Edinburgh.
    • The Royal Yacht Britannia: A former royal yacht now permanently docked in Leith, offering a glimpse into the extravagant lives of the British monarchy.
    • Holyrood Palace: The official residence of the monarch in Scotland, surrounded by stunning gardens and located at the end of the Royal Mile.
  6. 6
    Canterbury is famous for its cathedral, which is the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    Canterbury is a historic city located in southeast England. It is known for its picturesque charm, rich cultural heritage, and historical significance. The city is famous for its magnificent cathedral, cobbled streets, and medieval architecture. Canterbury offers a blend of ancient and modern attractions, providing a delightful experience for visitors.
    • Location: Located in southeast England
    • Cathedral: Home to the famous Canterbury Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
    • History: Boasts a rich historical background, including Roman and medieval influences
    • Architectural Style: Features stunning medieval architecture and timber-framed buildings
    • Culture: A vibrant cultural hub with various festivals, music events, and theaters
  7. 7
    Stratford-upon-Avon - the birthplace of William Shakespeare, this charming town has historic buildings and theaters dedicated to the famous playwright.
    Stratford-upon-Avon is a charming town located in Warwickshire, England. It is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in England, known for its picturesque setting, rich history, and cultural significance. The town is situated on the banks of the River Avon and is famous for being the birthplace of the legendary playwright William Shakespeare.
    • Population: Approximately 27,000
    • Location: Warwickshire, England
    • River: River Avon
    • Famous for: Birthplace of William Shakespeare
    • Shakespeare's Birthplace: Well-preserved house where Shakespeare was born
  8. 8
    Durham is home to Durham Cathedral and Castle, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and a picturesque riverside setting.
    Durham is a historic city located in northeast England. It is known for its stunning beauty, as it is nestled along the banks of the picturesque River Wear and is dominated by the grand Durham Cathedral and Castle. The city offers a blend of captivating architecture, charming cobbled streets, and breathtaking landscapes. Durham is also home to one of the oldest universities in England, adding to its cultural and intellectual atmosphere.
    • Durham Cathedral: A magnificent Norman cathedral that dates back to the 11th century.
    • Durham Castle: A UNESCO World Heritage Site and renowned Norman castle that now houses Durham University.
    • River Wear: A beautiful river that meanders through the city and offers picturesque views.
    • Durham University: One of the oldest and most prestigious universities in England, renowned for its academic excellence.
    • Durham Market Place: A lively square where you can explore local produce, crafts, and enjoy a vibrant atmosphere.
  9. 9
    Bristol is a vibrant and creative city with street art, historic architecture, and a buzzing nightlife.
    Bristol is a vibrant and picturesque city located in southwestern England. It is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and thriving arts and music scene. With its unique blend of old and new, Bristol offers visitors a delightful mix of charming medieval streets and modern attractions.
    • Population: Approximately 463,400
    • Landmarks: Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol Cathedral, SS Great Britain
    • Culture: Bristol is renowned for its street art scene, music festivals, and vibrant cultural events.
    • Education: Home to prestigious universities like the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England.
    • Green spaces: Bristol boasts numerous parks and gardens, including the sprawling Ashton Court Estate.
  10. 10
    Winchester is a historic cathedral city with a charming old town and the ruins of a medieval castle.
    Winchester is a historic city located in Hampshire, England. It is renowned for its picturesque beauty that combines a rich cultural heritage with stunning natural landscapes. The city is known for its charming medieval streets, centuries-old buildings, and beautiful gardens, making it a haven for history and architecture lovers.
    • Winchester Cathedral: One of the largest cathedrals in Europe, boasting exquisite Gothic architecture and the longest nave.
    • Great Hall and King Arthur's Round Table: The Great Hall is a 13th-century medieval hall housing the legendary Round Table associated with King Arthur.
    • Winchester Castle: The remains of Winchester Castle, including the Great Hall, showcase the city's medieval past.
    • Wolvesey Castle: The ruins of Wolvesey Castle, once a grand medieval palace, offer a glimpse into Winchester's history.
    • Winchester City Mill: A working water mill dating back to the 18th century, providing insight into traditional milling techniques.

Missing your favorite city?


Ranking factors for beautiful city

  1. Architecture and historic buildings
    The aesthetic appeal of a city's architecture, including both modern and historical structures, can contribute significantly to its beauty. Look for well-preserved historical buildings, unique architectural styles, cathedrals, and other landmarks.
  2. Natural beauty
    The presence of parks, gardens, rivers, lakes, and other natural attractions can enhance a city's beauty. Look for cities with well-maintained green spaces, scenic vistas, and natural features that complement the urban environment.
  3. Cleanliness and maintenance
    A clean and well-maintained city is more visually appealing. Consider whether the streets, public spaces, and buildings are free of litter and have been maintained with care.
  4. Urban design and layout
    An aesthetically pleasing city layout can include elements like pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, attractive public squares, and well-planned neighborhoods. Look for cities with a coherent design that balances practicality and aesthetics.
  5. Cultural attractions
    A city with a vibrant cultural scene can contribute to its overall beauty by offering interesting and visually appealing attractions, such as art galleries, museums, and performance venues. Consider the cultural offerings of each city and whether they add to its visual appeal.
  6. Vibrant public spaces
    Public spaces that are lively and well-used by residents and visitors can make a city more attractive. Look for cities with vibrant public spaces, such as markets, plazas, and waterfronts, that promote social interaction and engagement.
  7. Atmosphere and ambiance
    The overall atmosphere and ambiance of a city can contribute to its beauty. Consider whether the city has a calming, energetic, or historic feel, and whether that contributes positively to its overall attractiveness.
  8. Lighting and nighttime beauty
    Cities can be particularly striking when lit up after dark. Consider how well the city's buildings, bridges, and other features are illuminated and how that adds to its nighttime appeal.
  9. Street art and public art installations
    Public art can add visual interest and creativity to a city's streetscape. Consider whether each city has a thriving street art scene and whether it enhances the city's overall beauty.
  10. Views and panoramas
    A city with stunning views, whether of its own skyline, natural surroundings, or both, can be seen as more beautiful. Consider the availability of viewpoints and vantage points from which to appreciate the city's scenery.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most beautiful city in England. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or city is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 180 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each city once every 24 hours. The rank of each city is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most beautiful city in england

When it comes to the most beautiful cities in England, there are many contenders. From historic and charming towns to bustling metropolises with stunning architecture, England has something to offer for everyone. The country's rich cultural heritage and diverse landscapes make it a popular destination for travelers from all over the world. Some of the top cities that are often mentioned as the most beautiful in England include Bath, Oxford, Cambridge, York, and Canterbury. Each one of these cities has its own unique charm and beauty. Bath, for example, is famous for its Georgian architecture and Roman baths, while Oxford and Cambridge are renowned for their prestigious universities and picturesque college buildings. York's medieval walls and winding streets make it a favorite among history buffs, and Canterbury's stunning cathedral and quaint cobbled streets are a must-visit for anyone interested in architecture and history. Of course, beauty is subjective, and what one person finds beautiful may not be the same for another. That's why we've created a poll to find out what people think is the most beautiful city in England. Whether you're a proud local or a curious traveler, cast your vote and let us know which city you think deserves the title of the most beautiful in England.

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