Solo travel has experienced a huge surge in popularity in 2023.
After Coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions, people are keen to travel the world. And they aren’t prepared to wait for their friends and family members to travel with them.
One of the most popular countries for American travelers to visit this year is the UK. According to a report from Trip.com, there has been an incredible 145% increase in the number of passengers traveling from the U.S. to the UK this year, compared to last year.
But where are solo travelers visiting?
A new report has ranked the UK’s best cities for solo travelers. It looked at a variety of different factors, including safety, hotel prices, and activities, as well as air quality and the number of green spaces available.
The report found that Gen Z women are twice as likely to cite ‘safety fears’ as a barrier to solo travel (49% of women compared to 29% of men), so choosing a city that is safe is an important factor.
With that in mind, these are the 3 best UK cities for solo travelers:
Norwich bears the byline “A Fine City,” and it’s easy to see why. Boasting award-winning shops, lively streets, and a creative energy, Norwich attracts people from around the world.
The city is a wonderful fusion of modern and historic.
Norwich was England’s first UNESCO City of Literature and has a flourishing, youthful arts scene as a result. But it is also the most complete medieval city in the UK, with a fully intact Norman Cathedral and Castle, which is currently undergoing renovation.
Art fans can enjoy the comprehensive collection of modern art and sculpture at the Sainsbury Center, which is on the University of East Anglia campus.
Solo travelers can also enjoy people-watching from bustling cafes, wandering the cobbled lanes, and meeting like-minded people in the many bars and pubs.
Legend has it that Norwich has 365 pubs – one for every day of the year, as well as 52 churches – one for every week of the year. This means residents could enjoy a drink every day, then repent for their overindulgence on a Sunday!
For solo travelers hoping to enjoy a city and a beach or country break, Norwich is the perfect location. It is the gateway to the Norfolk Broads, a network of navigable rivers and lakes in the English countryside.
Norwich is also less than 20 miles from the coast, and many of its beautiful beaches can be accessed by train or are around a 30-minute drive away. Gorleston-on-Sea, which is just 18 miles from Norwich, has just been named the best beach in the UK.
Oxford is perhaps most famous for its university: its ancient and modern colleges attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and are home to a host of fascinating galleries and museums.
Outside of its university, Oxford is independently a beautiful city that boasts stunning architecture and a rich history.
Sociable solo travelers will enjoy visiting Oxford for its metropolitan university population and lively bar and café scene. This makes meeting like-minded people surprisingly easy here.
One of the most popular activities in Oxford is punting on the river (think — gondola ride). This has been an Oxbridge tradition since the 1880s, and as a solo traveler, you can join a shared punt tour rather than struggling to take out a private hire punt alone.
If you’re a book lover, then head to Blackwell’s bookshop. This is the largest academic and specialist bookstore in the UK and features over 3 miles of bookshelves. If you don’t visit to buy a book, then at least pop in for a sniff of its famous real book smell!
Perhaps the most unexpected entry to this list, Perth is a relatively small city located in central Scotland. But Perth is also an incredibly lively city, boasting independent shops, a thriving arts scene, and exciting café culture.
Perth is home to Scone Palace, which is a huge historic castle that used to crown Scottish monarchs. In 1953, Queen Elizabeth was officially crowned Queen of Scotland here. Visitors can see a replica of the crown, as well as a host of lavish staterooms, here.
One of the main reasons for Perth’s entry to this list is its abundance of green spaces. Perth is packed with parkland, and many of its streets are pedestrianized, adding to the feeling of clean air.
Solo travelers can relax by the banks of the River Tey, Scotland’s longest river, or active travelers can try their hand at fishing or kayaking here.
Perth is known as the ‘Fair City’ for its long-standing commitment to fair trade. Foodies will be delighted here, as many of the restaurants champion locally sourced ingredients, fair trade ingredients, and traditional Scottish cooking techniques.
What’s more, because Perth is in the heart of Scotland, it’s a great base for exploring so much of what the wider Scottish countryside has to offer.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com