The 10 Best British Cities for Architecture

The UK is blessed with a wonderful mixture of old and new when it comes to architecture. Major cities such as Bristol, Manchester and of course, London feature buildings designed by cutting edge architects sitting beside classic structures with hundreds of years of history. The cities listed below are a great visit for those who are interested in aesthetics, modern design, history and an educational day out.


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London

London could not go anywhere but at the top of this list. The latest addition to it’s impressive roster of incredible building is The Shard which compliments the famous skyline and maintains the city’s reputation as an international architectural powerhouse.

Bristol

It is not surprising that a city with the history of Bristol has a wonderfully varied array of architectural styles. It even has it’s own unique style of design; Bristol Byzantine was developed in the 19th century and you can still see it in buildings such as Colston Hall and the Carriage Works.

Liverpool

Since it’s it 2008 Capital of Culture renaissance Liverpool has gone from strength to strength with the iconic riverside ‘Three Graces’ being joined by the Liverpool One shopping centre and the Mann Island complex next to the historic Albert Dock.

Newcastle

Voted the best city in the UK by Guardian readers in 2014, Newcastle is enjoying a moment in the sun. And judging by the Grainger Market, the Sage and the Quayside it is well deserved.

Glasgow

As well as some impressive examples of Victorian architecture, Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall, Science Centre and the new Museum of Transport contribute to its reputation as a truly 21st century city. Glasgow is a must-see during a winter weekend in Scotland.

Belfast

With the largest dry dock in the world, a £32 million development in the form the Waterfront Hall and a vast array of Edwardian buildings, Belfast has lots to offer for the architecture fan.

Durham

Durham should possibly be top of history buff’s list of UK cities to visit. The North Eastern city claims 1000 years of architecture and is a classified World Heritage Site.

Cardiff

Cardiff boasts some truly inspirational modern architecture in the form of its Central Library, Wales Millenium Centre, the National Assembly Centre and the excellent Cardiff Bay complex. For those looking to see some more historic structures there is also Cardiff Castle.

Sheffield

The city of Sheffield stands as a tribute to the industrial revolution in which it played a defining role. More recently, the Yorkshire city has seen the development of the Winter Gardens, Millenium Galleries and Millenium Square.


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Manchester

The redevelopment of the Arndale Centre was central to the regeneration of Manchester after it was devastated by an IRA bomb in the 1996. The imposing structure of Beetham Tower (554ft in height) has been a more recent addition to the city’s contemporary architecture.