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Welcome to UK Cities, a guide all about... UK Cities!

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the UK's official title) is in fact a unitary state composed of four main parts: the three constituent countries of England, Scotland and Wales (collectively known as Great Britain) - and the province of Northern Ireland.

The UK has 66 'official' cities, though perhaps confusingly it has many more towns easily large enough to be considered cities, and some of its official cities are even smaller than large villages or small towns. See the articles on the right for more about this.

This website explains what constitutes city status in the UK, with the various conflicting definitions of the word 'city', including the official definition.

We have compiled some commonly sought after tables - a list of the largest cities in the UK, a list of the oldest cities in the UK, and a list of dates of incorporation (where known) of the UK's cities.

We have also compiled a city guide for each of the United Kingdom's 66 cities. These guides provide limited demographic data and a basic introduction to each city, touching on their history and their claims to fame. We have also listed contact details for each city's official city council website.

We have created special individual directories of local shops and services for most of the larger cities including Greater London, Bristol, Leicester, Greater Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

UK Cities is organised into country subsections for Great Britain (that is England, Scotland and Wales) and Northern Ireland.

Choose any city from the country menus on the right or browse one of the city articles above.


 UK City FAQ

The 'official' meaning of the word 'city' in the UK is quite different from the word's common usage meaning and is independent of its geographical size or population size. The following articles clear up any confusion:

  • Definition of the word 'city'
    Most people take the word 'city' to mean large town. A popular misconception is that city status is granted to a town if it has a cathedral or university. In fact 'official' city status in the UK is independent of these things. more»

  • City status criteria
    Discusses the criteria taken into account for granting city status in the UK and highlights the disparity between the official meaning of the word 'city' and its common usage meaning.

  • Largest UK Cities
    A list of the largest UK cities and their population in order of population size. The population statistics refer to proper city zones, not metropolitan areas.

  • Oldest UK cities
    A list of the oldest cities in the UK, or more precisely those with the oldest dates of incorporation, as it is not known when most of them originally began as settlements, prior to receiving city status.

  • Dates of incorporation/ city status
    A list of the dates when each of the UK's cities received their charters of incorporation (official city status).

  • Large cities - conurbations and metropolises
    Since the industrial revolution, massive cities began to evolve in Britain. As the urban sprawl continued many forged stronger links with other nearby towns and cities to form giant metropolises and conurbations.

 Cities in England

Bath Birmingham Bradford
Brighton and Hove Bristol Cambridge
Canterbury Carlisle Chester
Chichester Coventry Derby
Durham Ely Exeter
Gloucester Hereford Kingston upon Hull
Lancaster Leeds Leicester
Lichfield Lincoln Liverpool
City of London Manchester Newcastle upon Tyne
Norwich Nottingham Oxford
Peterborough Plymouth Portsmouth
Preston Ripon Salford
Salisbury Sheffield Southampton
St Albans Stoke-on-Trent Sunderland
Truro Wakefield Wells
Westminster Winchester Wolverhampton
Worcester York

 Cities in Wales

Bangor Cardiff Newport
St Davids Swansea

 Cities in Scotland *

Aberdeen Dundee Edinburgh
Glasgow Inverness Stirling

 Cities in Northern Ireland

Armagh Belfast Londonderry
Lisburn Newry

* See also Scotland Directory for a comprehensive and categorised list of Scotland sites.

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UK Cities | City definition | City status | Largest cities (population) | Dates of incorporation | Conurbations & metropolises

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