Who is the merriest of all? The most festive cities in the UK unveiled

It’s nearly Christmas; the countdown is well and truly on. Cue an influx of advent calendars coming your way, and the task of finding unique ones yourself to send to your closest friends. Then there are the exciting Christmas markets that begin popping up here, there and everywhere for you and your chums to enjoy. Naturally, you’ll be ordering a hot and fragrant mulled wine together to really get into the Christmas spirit.

Although this excitement for Xmas isn’t necessarily shared by everyone. This led us on a quest to uncover how festive people are per city and which one was the merriest of all. The results are in, and you’ll be quite surprised to hear them, simply read on to discover the most festive city in the UK and more…

The most festive city in the UK revealed

After reviewing each city in the UK and focusing on those that host Christmas markets, London has won the title as the most festive city in the UK this year. Not to mention, Christmas searches online in London total a whopping 33,100!

Image 1

Being the nation’s biggest city, it makes us feel all fuzzy inside knowing that the more people there are, the more people there are to celebrate this wonderful time of year. And it appears that residents here just love celebrating Yuletide in all its glory because, from our other recent findings, we also named London the most generous city at Christmas time. Clearly then, living in the Big Smoke has its benefits – particularly over the festive period!

Other festive cities that celebrate this season 

Taking the second highest spot after London was Glasgow, with people here being big on listening to Christmas songs to get into a jolly mood. After this Scottish city was Belfast and Manchester, followed by Liverpool.

So, there is no real correlation between the location of the UK’s most festive cities. They just share a love for this time of year which celebrates religion and the art of giving, alongside Santa and his whole Christmas clan.

What was surprising, though, is that Glasgow was the second most festive spot in the UK, with Edinburgh not even making the list, despite having a much larger and more popularly known Christmas market. This proves that sometimes individuals and how much they spend on Xmas is more telling for festive cheer than the presence of a Christmas market!

What makes these UK cities so festive?

It’s all good and well knowing which cities celebrate Santa, his sleigh and all of the treats we tuck into from November to December, but what contributes towards a city being deemed as “festive”?

Listening to merry Christmas songs

As Buddy’s character famously said in the popular Christmas film, Elf, "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud, for all to hear". And nothing quite gets us eager for the festive activities than listening to an uplifting Christmas song or two.

This opinion is clearly prevalent among UK residents, as there are 110,000 average searches for Christmas songs monthly! And we found that two of the most festive locations, London and Glasgow, are big on searching for and listening to jolly Christmas tunes.

Those residing in Birmingham and Bristol seem to follow suit, despite not being named festive cities overall. The same can be said for people’s online Christmas searches in these two places, which average at 5,400 (Birmingham) and 3,600 (Bristol). This actually beats Manchester and Liverpool (2,900), despite these cities featuring as two of the most festive metropolises.

Watching fun Christmas films together

We discovered that there are 60,500 average monthly searches online for Christmas films, which is pretty impressive. And it seems that Londoner’s love watching Christmas films the most in the lead up to the 25th, with people in Birmingham doing the same, alongside Glasgow, Bristol and Liverpool.

Perhaps then, this lust for merry movies over this period contributes to how festive you feel over Xmas. After all, London watches the most and has the highest levels of Christmas cheer…

Watching your favourite films in your lounge in December also creates the perfect opportunity to snuggle up on the sofa with your favourite people. You can feel the festive nostalgia in the air as you gorge on a cheese board, alongside our luxury mince pies or goodies from this year’s stocking filler when the big day arrives.

The scrooge-ist cities revealed: Southampton takes the top spot

There’s no use in exposing the most festive city without revealing the least. And we can confirm that those living in Southampton are the least festive of all. Nottingham takes second place, followed by Norwich and Leeds, with Cardiff taking the final title. These spots didn’t feature in the top list of cities which consciously searched for Christmas related content or celebrations, either.

Discover more Christmas excitement

Whether you’re a resident of the most festive city or the least, ensure you keep up the traditions this year by sending your cherished friends one of our luxury Christmas hampers. And for further inspiration on how to decorate a Christmas cake and other fun, festive activities to enjoy this Yuletide, head over to our informative blog.


Study looked at how much each city spends on presents according to a survey commissioned by Cartwright & Butler and conducted by The Leadership Factor. It also researched the number of Christmas markets in each city, alongside average monthly search volumes in each city for: Christmas films, Christmas Songs and Christmas decorations. From this, a ranking formula (with the highest score of 35) was then created to reveal which cities were the most festive.