Talk:United Kingdom

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Revision as of 10:39, 10 November 2007 by (talk) (The old city problem)
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Legal tender

I'm about to remove all references to "legal tender" from this document because they're misleading. The UK doesn't have much in the way of legal tender laws. The rules that do exist tend to be obsolete (e.g. it's great that I can pay with notes up to £1, except no-one uses those). Since this article is supposed to be helpful for visitors I will just point out that shopkeepers aren't obliged to accept anything (legal tender applies to debts, not going shopping) and mention the common limitations like not using £50 notes in a corner shop. tialaramex 07:29, 6 August 2007 (EDT)


Have to take issue with "(Note: homosexual displays of affection may be greeted with intolerance, disgust or even individuals' protests in general public, and around children. It is more appropriate in gay-friendly areas, however). "

Whilst that may be true in some rural areas, I think the UK is one of the most tolerant countries in the world in respect of homosexuality - vastly more so than America or many European countries, perhaps due to the lack of religiousity in the country. Seems a perculiar argument. Have removed the comment, as there is no evidence for this whatsoever.

I disagree, the point should stay in the main text. It is not just "rural" areas that will have objections. There is only central Manchester and London where people are more likely to be tolerant. In Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds, Edinburgh and Liverpool, it is very likely to attract threatening and abusive behaviour (especially under the above listed conditions). As unfortunate as it may be, not all of the UK are as tolerant or accepting as London is. I think it was perhaps a mistake to remove this, and it should at least be noted, even if in a simplified form. I'll put it back in the article until more opinions form (people who know the general UK mind set) are obtained. (That was not a dig at the previous person's opinion).
I've got to ask, on what are you basing your assertions? Do you have personal experiences that could shed light on the issue? Have you read reports that back your belief that gays are likely to be treated with hostility in Birmingham, Leeds, Edinburgh and so on? Because I've got to be honest that neither my own experience living in Birmingham, nor those of my gay friends in various parts of the country, nor any of the gay-specific travel guides I've read gel with this. --Paul. 23:05, 7 November 2006 (EST)
This is based mainly on my own experiences with (and the experiences of) friends. I did include a point about gay-friendly areas which is where your friends may have been at the time. I mean wandering the streets sight seeing you are unlikely to engage in acts of affections, whether gay or straight. Maybe the inclusion of Birmingham wasn't totally accurate, as it is more metropolitan than the other cities I named; but the point is still valid: get away from the gay-friendly areas of these towns and cities and there is a hightened "risk" of threatening, heckling and abusive behaviour. I have found this to be true escpecially in the northern cities (except Manchester) and Scottish cities (i.e. not so metropolitanised cities). Gay-specific travel guides (as any travel guides) aren't exactly known for their accurate perception of peoples' attitudes. I don't mean it as a stay away tool or criticism or what not - I only meant it to be a simple caution and/or observation; and of course as a friendly point.
I do agree that not all of the UK is gay friendly, including many parts of many major cities. However, the experience of my gay friends in Leeds is that they feel perfectly safe in public in the city centre (though this cannot extend to all areas of the city) which is very gay friendly and style-orientated. The city is very cosmopolitan/metropolitan and accepting for the most part and intolerance in the city centre (esp. obv the gay area) is almost unheard of. I can't speak for other cities as i don't know gay people living there, but i doubt leeds is alone in this (obv u have already listed London, Mcr, Bham as gay friendly but im sure there are other places)

CIA Data

So, I stripped out the CIA World Factbook 2002 import data for the UK, and moved it to Talk:United Kingdom/CIA World Factbook 2002 import. If you need it for reference, it's there. -- Evan 10:16, 3 Dec 2003 (PST)


How best to organise the ferry info I wonder? Sort first by English port? Or perhaps by foreign country? Matthewmayer 17:10, 27 Dec 2003 (PST)

My first impulse is to list them clockwise by the port on Great Britain, but there's one connecting Dublin to Douglas and another one connecting Dublin to Cherbourg, so that won't work. -phma 22:00, 27 Dec 2003 (PST)
Dublin/Cherbourg wouldn't be listed (Ireland/France) and I'd probably put tbe Douglas ferry just in the Isle of Man section. I'm tending towards the 'list by foreign country' method. eg, if I'm in Scandinavia, which ferries will get me to the UK. Matthewmayer 03:48, 28 Dec 2003 (PST)
I wonder if we really need ferry information at this level of detail on the country page. Would it be better to have general information -- name of major ports and major places ferries come from -- with more detailed information on the individual city pages? --Evan 23:36, 3 Jan 2004 (EST)
I think the country pages risk becoming too generic if we don't put any 'hard' information on them. We can have another level of information (approximate ticket costs, location of port) on the city page. But I don't believe that most people sailing to Harwich, for example, are planning on visiting Harwich. They shouldn't have to print out a page about Harwich nightlife and local attractions, in order to find out basic information about ferry services there. Matthewmayer 07:23, 4 Jan 2004 (EST)
So, say, if I want to go to Manchester, and I need info on the country as a whole, I also need to print out ferry schedules from Bergen to Harwich? People who take a ferry to Harwich are, like it or not, going to end up in Harwich. People who go to the UK aren't necessarily going to end up in Harwich. We shouldn't tune the entire page to the needs of Harwich visitors.
There's plenty of "hard" information we can put in about ferries to the UK without having a 2-page table of every single ferry time, duration, etc. on the UK page. The country page is supposed to be somewhat generic -- giving highlights and overview info. That's the whole point. I mean, we don't have every single flight into and out of the UK listed in the "By plane" section -- we give some general info on the best entry points. I don't see why ferries should be all that different. --Evan 12:32, 4 Jan 2004 (EST)
Yes, I can see your point. At this early stage in the project it's worth experimenting with different styles, but I agree there's too much information there to go on the main page. I'll start slimming it down and move the details to the city pages. Matthewmayer 15:20, 4 Jan 2004 (EST)
Wow! I just looked over the "By boat" section after a long while, and I have to say: it looks great! Excellent job, folks. --Evan 22:46, 8 Feb 2004 (EST)

Old version for reference

  • Arriving from Scandinavia
    • Bergen to Newcastle (Fjord Line/2-3 per week/20-26 h)
    • Haugesund to Newcastle (Fjord Line/2 per week/21 h)
    • Stavanger to Newcastle (Fjord Line/2-3 per week/19-26 h)
    • Kristiansand to Newcastle (DFDS/Mon and Fri/18 h)
    • Gothenburg to Newcastle (DFDS/Mon and Fri/26 h)
    • Esbjerg to Harwich (DFDS/alternate days/17 h)
  • Arriving from Germany
    • Cuxhaven to Harwich (DFDS/alternate days/18.5 h)
  • Arriving from the Netherlands
    • Umuiden to Newcastle (DFDS/daily/15 h)
    • Hook of Holland to Harwich (???)
    • Rotterdam to Hull (P&O/daily overnight/10 h)
  • Arriving from Belgium
    • Zeebrugge to Hull (P&O/daily overnight/12:30 h), to Dover (P&O/up to 6 daily/4:30 h)
    • Ostend to Dover (Hoverspeed/up to 3 daily/2h)
  • Arriving from France
    • Dunkerque to Dover (Norfolkline/up to 10 daily/2h)
    • Calais to Dover (P&O/up to 35 daily/75-90 min, SeaFrance/15 daily/70-90 min, Hoverspeed/up to 15 daily/45 min)
    • Dieppe to Newhaven (Hoverspeed/up to 5 daily/2:15 h-4 h)
    • Le Havre to Portsmouth (P&O/3 daily/5.5 h)
    • Caen to Portsmouth (Britanny/3 daily/6 h)
    • Cherbourg to Portsmouth (P&O/up to 7 daily/2.45-5 h), Poole (Britanny/up to 5 daily/2:15 h-4h:15 h)
    • St Malo to Portsmouth, Weymouth
    • Roscoff to Plymouth
  • Arriving from Spain
    • Bilbao to Portsmouth
    • Santander to Plymouth
  • Arriving from Ireland
    • Cork to Swansea
    • Rosslare to Pembroke, Fishguard
    • Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead
    • Dublin to Holyhead, Mostyn, Liverpool
  • for services to/from the Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands and Western Isles, see their 'get there' sections.
  • for services between Northern Island and Great Britain, see the 'get around' section below.
  • See

External link: London Theatre Tickets direct?

Is the external link to LondonTheatreTicketsDirect really relevent here? I don't think it is.

I agree - it should be in London, if it should be anywhere at all (I have my doubts...). I have removed it. - sjc196 15:21, 13 Apr 2004 (GMT)

Lists of Cities

Is this the place for a list of cities? The UK is subdivided into its constituent countries, and England at least is further subdivided into regions. I think that lists of cities should be more localised, so that we do not have to wade through three pages of cities to reach the useful information. I don't think we need as many as 20 cities...especially when that list (supposedly of the UK's more notable cities) includes Derby and Milton Keynes.

I propose that this list be specifically for the capital cities of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, and then within each of these country articles a slightly longer list is included, and then within regions (if applicable) a more exhaustive list is included. Any thoughts? - sjc196 14:03, 14 Apr 2004 (GMT)

You've hit the nail on the head (or close). In general, cities should only be listed at the most local region level. As an exception, at higher region levels, and at the country level, we list cities that are so popular with travellers that people are going to be impatient having to drill down through other pages to find them. So, the major cities and destinations go at the country level; it's just a "shortcut".
Note that a lot of people are just looking for a place to put their starter link for a city, so they just put the link where they see other links and hope for the best. Don't ascribe malice to their actions; it's great that they're sharing info, and we just need to re-arrange it a little.
Anyways: if you know where to re-locate some of these city links to, please do. Please leave some of the major non-capital cities, though. --Evan 12:02, 14 Apr 2004 (EDT)
Evan - just wanted to make sure before I went off and made someone a lot of work to change it all back again. And don't worry - I didn't think it was malicious!
I'll rearrange it a bit more sensibly and make sure that all the cities are represented somewhere within the UK hierarchy. - sjc196 10:23, 15 Apr 2004 (GMT)

The number of cities listed had gone up to over twenty, so I did some pruning. There are now four cities in England, the two largest urban centers in Scotland and Wales and the capital of Northern Ireland = 9, which conforms with the 7+2 listing rule. WindHorse 2 Feb 05

Added in Leeds - UK Visitor City of the Year and UK's Favourite City - surely very relevant to this page and UK's 3rd city

If you want to add Leeds, you need to also pick one to delete. Nine cities max to keep the list under control. Keep in mind the England article also gets to have nine cities, so it can cover England better. This article needs to spend some the alloted nine of the cities on Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. I'm going to remove Leeds, but feel free to add it back once you've decided which of the nine it is going to replace. -- Colin 18:40, 4 May 2006 (EDT)

Bristol bitten the dust - not a top tourist destination nor top 3 UK city outside London. Why does it have to be 9 - 10 is a round number

The idea is to have just a short list of about 7. "About 7" means 7 plus or minus 2. And really, if you have more destinations than that, maybe it's because someone is overstuffing the top-level region instead of just letting the extras reside in the sub-regions. It's after all just a sampler, and no one gets hurt if some cities are pushed down into England instead of UK. -- Colin 15:21, 7 May 2006 (EDT)

Maybe London should be exluded from the list of cities as it is a capital city rather than a city, and everyone in the world knows that London is in the UK, and it is mentioned elsewhere in the article.

Added in Leeds - UK Visitor City of the Year and UK's Favourite City - surely very relevant to this page and UK's 3rd city. Yorkshire (largest county and big tourist attraction) completely unrepresented in city list.

Conversion rates

So, do we really need the conversion rates for the pound sterling to other currencies to five places past the decimal point? I mean, this isn't a page for currency traders -- it's for travelers.

I think a more general range of conversions over the course of the last couple of years (e.g., 1 pound ~ 1.4 - 1.6 euro) might be more useful. We really don't need the conversion rates for more than mental math ("Lessee... 100 pounds... that's almost 200 dollars! No way I'll buy that!"). --Evan 16:34, 27 Jun 2004 (EDT)

Fair point. Rounded figures to 2 decimal places (eg. dollars&cents). Range would be even better, but not so easy to obtain. Chris j wood 05:35, 28 Jun 2004 (EDT)

List of Cities (reprise)

I have removed Liverpool from the list of cities at UK level (it is still there at the England level) because I don't think it rates inclusion. Specifically the city of liverpool is smaller than Leeds, Bradford and Sheffield, which are not listed. The metro area (normally called Merseyside) is smaller than that of Leeds (West Yorkshire). And in terms of inward tourism visits, Liverpool ranks only 15th in the UK (see

As it now stands, we have the capital cities of the UK, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, together with the largest city in Scotland and what are generally reckoned to be the largest three English cities.

I think that is enough at this level. -- Chris j wood 12:10, 23 Jul 2004 (EDT)

OK, that sounds about right. Remember, though, that the whole point of the "cities" section in the country page and in region pages with sub-regions is to make a short cut for the more common cities that people will be looking for -- not necessarily the biggest cities. --Evan 12:18, 23 Jul 2004 (EDT)
If we use the 2001 Census definitions of cities, then Liverpool is 3rd largest in England, 4th largest in the UK.

However I agree popularity with tourists is a better criterion.

Exile 07:50, 16 November 2006 (EST)

Food Quality

The article seems to conforms to a sterotype of British food from 20 or 30 years ago. Even a quick google will find articles like I think the food section needs a rewrite, while the cost point is certainly accurate the quality is better than is represented.

That's not entirely true. Yes, food aimed at the Latte-sipping upper-middle classes has improved beyond recognition, but you'll find that the poorest 50% of the population in Britain still has an appalling diet and low standards, unlike countries in continental Europe. This was illustrated by the recent Jamie Oliver campaign. Also, in my experience food in Britain is a hit-and-miss affair anywhere outside London. 10:13, 2 March 2007 (EST)

The article talks about restaurants with waiting lists. Brittain has many good points, its food and drinking culture is not one of them

Stub notice

Why is this still a stub? Has it been left by oversight?

If you feel that the article is complete, plunge forward and remove the stub notice. Many times people are nervous about removing those notices, but provided an article is useful and all sections are filled out there is no reason to keep it. -- Wrh2 17:54, 14 Jul 2005 (EDT)

Well I have gone ahead and destubbed it. I just wanted to make sure that there isn't some obscure guideline I wasn't aware of. -- Sunray Traveller 01:18, 15 Jul 2005 (EDT)

Stay safe nudity/sex

Under the "Stay safe" heading there are a couple of bullets about nudity and sex in public. They were factually incorrect and I have corrected them, but should they really be there at all? Do Wikitravellers really need advice on whether they can be nude or have sex in public in the countries they are visiting? Is this commonplace behaviour for some tourists from some cultures? -- Owl 03:30, 30 Sep 2005 (EDT)

Well, attitudes towards nude beaches might be worth a mention. Covering fornication in public does seem a little excessive. Jpatokal 03:33, 30 Sep 2005 (EDT)

'Ridiculous behaviour'

The article says that "Ridiculous as it may be, you may be judged on how you comport yourself at mealtimes". Considering that the website is intended to be read by people of all English speaking nations where this sort of behaviour may be seen as quite normal, is it fair to suggest that this is ridiculous?

Mealtime being such a ritualized behavior in most human cultures, I'm not sure if any exist where you wouldn't be judged by how you comport yourself then. --Evan 16:53, 27 April 2006 (EDT)

Mobile Phone Ownership

Is this really at 97% and growing? where does this information come from? 08:15, 7 April 2006 (EDT)

It's actually possible to have >100% mobile penetration if you just add up all subscriptions (eg. yours truly has 200-500% depending on how you count). However, Oftel estimated 75% actual ownership in 2003. Jpatokal 08:49, 7 April 2006 (EDT)

Help With Phone Numbers

I can't figure out how to write UK phone numbers according to the policy. If the number is 01865 270949 when dialed within the UK, can it be dialed as +44 01865 270949 from outside the UK? I keep seeing that first digit written as (0) and I'm not sure what I'm expected to infer from this since the UK article's Contact section doesn't tell me. I also can't find any examples which include both the country code +44 and the leading 0 which makes me wonder if that's invalid somehow. Argh. -- Colin 16:22, 27 April 2006 (EDT)

Bump. -- Colin 19:17, 28 April 2006 (EDT)
Yeah, I have no idea on this one, either. Maybe we should look over the Wikipedia article UK telephone numbering plan... I think the "0" is just a long-distance prefix, but I'm not sure how to reformat with the full international numbering. --Evan 07:22, 29 April 2006 (EDT)
OK, according to Wikipedia:Telephone_numbering_plan#United_Kingdom, you drop the leading zero and prefix with the country code. --Evan 07:27, 29 April 2006 (EDT)
Well, at least that matches what I was afraid of. We write the +44 format in our guide; travelers converting to local will remove the +44 and add the leading 0. -- Colin 13:05, 30 April 2006 (EDT)
At least for UK based mobile/cell phones (and I suspect landlines also), you can dial either number. +44 20 ... or 020 ... will both work. If you are calling the UK from abroad, you should not use the (0) - aka +44 20 ... is what you want from outside the UK. Thus +44 and ignoring the leading 0 is probably the simplest and "always right" option. However local custom (imho) would be that +44 (0) 20 is vastly more common. I agree it's confusing tho. It should be read as +44/0 20 ... (eg, +44 or 0, followed by 20 ...), but I have never seen it written that way. Almost always +44 (0) 20

Which nine cities?

We try to keep the number of cities/country to nine. This seems to work pretty well (if it doesn't, please try to change the policy on the appropriate page). The text of this article says we have "four in England, two each for Scotland and Wales and one in Northern Ireland". I think that's a pretty good breakdown -- but I just had to trim the six English cities back down to four. Maybe these aren't the right four...but please discuss that here, rather than just editing the page w/o comment. The current four are:

The two I deleted are:

If you think these are of more interest to the travel(l)er, please explain why, and which of the four above (hint: not London) should be excised to make room. -- Jonboy 11:41, 30 April 2006 (EDT) Added Leeds - UK's 3rd city, Uk's favourite city and UK visitor city of the year

  • Maybe Birmingham as the UK's second city is a better choice than Bristol, though it is a tough decision as the latter definitely has more attractions.
  • The north of England is already represented by Manchester and York, so I think Leeds, as interesting as it is, should be represented at the England page level, rather than at the UK level. WindHorse 15 May 06
  • Why Leeds rather than Manchester? Liverpool is more of a tourist destination in the NW than Manchester...
Swansea seems an odd inclusion to me, especially when there could be, say, Bristol, Liverpool or Newcastle in its stead. Also, I've (I hope!) improved the wording the cities section, removing an inaccuracy (Manchester's not yet the UK's second city, despite the apparent collective Mancunian chip on the shoulder about this - refer to any objective reputable source and it will still be using Birmingham as the second city, though also stating that Manchester is encroaching upon this position), and adding in a bit of detail (e.g., Glasgow is Scotland's largest city and former European Capital of Culture). 07:56, 23 July 2006 (EDT)
The Gower Peninsular, the UK's first designated area of natural beauty and home to two of Britain's top ten beaches/coastal views, is in Swansea. The city is also home to the National Waterfont Museum, a car ferry port and in addition hosts many festivals for tourists. While there are many cities that undoubtably have the credentials to be listed on the front page, unfortunately only nine can be. As a major tourist center in Wales (and one of only two places in Wales listed), I believe that the inclusion of Swansea is both valid and useful to travelers. WindHorse 2 Aug 06


Why is Newcastle not listed its the most important city in the northeast, its also roughly the half way point between Machester (which is strictly upper-midlands) and Edinburgh. Why has the true north of england been neglected, by excluding the a northeastern city are you giving the impression that there's nothing to do there? Newcastle is THE only ferry terminal on the north english coast, I think its worthy of being listed as one of the nine cities. Afterall, when asked to name a city from the north I'm confident that around 4 out of 10 would say Newcastle (accoutning for those likely to see Leeds, Manchester etc. and 4 out of 10 therefore being majoritive).

I suggest therefore, that either Leeds or Manchester be swapped for Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

I thought Hull was also a major ferry port?

Yeah Hull is a major port, but its more industrial, Newcastle is more a traveller port. Hull doens't have ferries departing for as many places as Newcastle.

Electricity/Plug Information

I think it is worth mentioning to travellers the type of plugs that are used in the UK. The Israel page details that a two or three pronged plug may be used depending on regions, I think it is worth mentioning somewhere that the UK uses a three pronged plug (unlike the majority of the world).

The Map

I think the map used for this page tells the user very little. Where is York? Birmingham? Bath? Leeds? Surely this is better or atleast a map with a few more cities on it:

  • I have added Birmingham to the list. It is Englands second city and deserves to be on there.
  • Deserves to be on there because a lot of people live there? I've added Leeds - voted UK's favourite city, visitor city of the year, voted best city for clubbing, close to Yorkshire Dales and Moors etc etc

Warning box?

Should there be an info/warning box regarding the special travel restrictions for flights departing from the UK? Maj 23:29, 12 August 2006 (EDT)

The old city problem

Sorry for bringing up this old chestnut but it there's some oddities in the list of cities on here. It seems that the list was arrived at essentially on the basis of the national capitals plus whichever cities people argued for the most (that's the only possible reason I can think of for listing Swansea as one of the 9 most important cities for travellers; no disrespect to Swansea but I doubt the vast majority of visitors to the UK have even heard of it much less visited it). Leeds ahead of Birmingham, Liverpool or Newcastle is another oddity. Anyway, to get to the point it seems the problem is that everyone has different ideas of what makes an important city (often influenced by what city they're from). It might be an idea, then, to rely on objective rather than subjective criteria. To that end I found a page listing the most popular destinations of overseas tourists from 2000-2004 [1]. Taking only those cities that appear in all 4 years the total number of visitors from 2000-2004 breaks down as follows:

City Visitors (thousands)
London 47900
Edinburgh 3380
Manchester 2440
Birmingham 2360
Glasgow 1650
Oxford 1520
Cambridge 1220
Cardiff 1020
Brighton/Hove 1000
York 990
Bristol 946
Bath 930
Newcastle-upon-Tyne 800
Liverpool 780
Nottingham 740
Inverness 730

On that basis it would seem that after taking out the 4 capitals (London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast) the 5 most visited cities are Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Oxford, Cambridge and Brighton. Personally I'd be tempted to either lump Oxford and Cambridge together or drop one of them (as it doesn't really make sense to have two cities which offer pretty much exactly the same kinds of attractions) and make room for York. That list of cities covers a lot of bases and the cities are all pretty much what you'd expect, with the exception of Brighton (whose high ranking I must admit came as a surprise to me, but at least it gives a seaside option). Does anyone have any real objections to changing the list to London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Oxford/Cambridge, Brighton and York? --Paul. 08:02, 12 October 2006 (EDT)

Well argued! I like it. -- Jonboy 08:44, 12 October 2006 (EDT)

The only figures I can find regarding tourists visiting Swansea were from a government panel established to determine the best places to locate regional casinos. Here's the result: The latest available data estimates that in 2004 there were 3,187,000 tourists spending 5,869,000 tourist days in Swansea and generating revenue of £192 million. This represents a 5 year growth of 12.7% in the number of tourists, 5.4% in tourist days and 9.2% in revenue.

I cannot say how many of these tourists were from overseas, but from my knowledge, the Gower Peninisular, which is part of Swansea, is certainly very popular with domestic tourists. However, as Paul points out, the peninsular and city are probably less well known overseas.

Brighton is another town that attracts a lot of native British tourists, especially from London. In fact, I think when I was in the UK I heard it jokingly referred to as 'London on Sea'. So, its position in the above list would probably be even higher if British tourists were factored in.

I would guess that due to Robin Hood fame, Nottingham probably gets relatively more overseas visitors than domestic. Liverpool maybe in the same position, due to the international fame of the Beatles. Therefore, they would probably rank lower on an complete list taking into account all visitors.

Anyway, I have no objections to changing the list as suggested, though as York is already listed on the 'Other destinations' section, maybe somewhere else (possibly Bristol as that is the next popular city on the 'Star UK' list) could take its place. WindHorse 12:53, 12 October 2006 (EDT)

Sounds good, and if we're going to keep York in "Other destinations" it might be an idea to move Oxford, Cambridge and Bath there too (on the basis of size) and add Newcastle to the cities list. --Paul. 17:13, 12 October 2006 (EDT)
HI Paul, Bath is actually already listed in "Other destinations". However, places listed in this section are there in respect to a landmark building, not as towns within their own right. Please take a look. So, Oxford and Cambridge could be added to this list if they have (a) landmark building(s) that are considered worthy tourist attractions - I guess possibly the university buildings themselves or the dreamy spires (is that Oxford?) would meet this criteria. Sorry, I'm really not very familar with these towns, so I am afraid that I'll have to leave that up to you. Apologies. WindHorse 20:54, 12 October 2006 (EDT)
Oxford and Cambridge are indeed similar, but I'm not sure you could exclude one in favour of the other on that basis. They certainly have tourist attractions as the relevant pages show. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 25 October 2006
Sorry it took so long to get back. I had looked at the "Other destinations" (I remember making a mental note to add Warwick in, give the photo of the castle) but somehow managed to miss that Bath was there. Regarding Oxford and Cambridge, though there may be other attractions in the cities, the universities are by far and away the major attractions (the "dreaming spires" of Oxford are in fact the spires of the university colleges) so they could both be added as one "other destinations" listing. With that in mind I'll go ahead and change the 9 cities to London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Brighton, Bristol and Newcastle, and add Oxford and Cambridge to the "Other destinations". If anyone really dislikes it they can always change it back. --Paul. 20:53, 26 October 2006 (EDT)

How many of these 'foreign tourists' are actually visiting the city though? EG take Manchester - how many of these were football fans/people visiting the airport... I cannot see that Manchester is higher on the list of a foreign tourist than York or Bath...

I don't think these figures are compiled from airport numbers. Otherwise, places like Bath which doesn't have an airport wouldn't be on the list at all. I'm sure, however, that you are correct in your assumption that lot of foreign visitors going to Manchester and probably also Cardiff do so to attend sports meetings, but they are still visitors and therfore need information about the city where they will be staying/visiting. The info is not only for tourists, but also for business people, sport's fans or basically anyone who is traveling. WindHorse 21:23, 5 November 2006 (EST)

Not suggesting numbers from airport numbers, but probably include people spending one night in Manchester before/after flying, skewing the numbers. Realistically how can there be more tourists to Manchester than York/Bath?

I think the point WindHorse was trying to make is that though more tourists may go to Manchester than York, Wikitravel is not just for tourists and so business travellers and others also need to be taken into account. Even someone just flying to and from a city and staying one night would benefit from information on hotels, restaurants, bars and so on. In any case, this really is the only objective measurement we have; everyone will have different opinions as to which cities are "most worthy" so it's better to rely on which cities are most visited. If you can find statistics which take account of length of stay as well as number of visitors, however, then they could certainly be taken into account. --Paul. 16:07, 7 November 2006 (EST)
Also if you look at the bottom of the Star UK page linked to in the first post you'll see that it says clearly at the bottom that day visits are excluded. --Paul. 16:13, 7 November 2006 (EST)

There is really no arguement for Brighton to be included in this list. Okay so its got a bit of an off-beat (if over gentrified) vibe, a thriving gay community and an ironically tacky pier, and its "cool" but really its not a very attractive, interesting or big town and i can't imagine very many foreign tourists, except those misguided by lists such as this, or those on a day trip from London will really visit the place. It is taking up space that could be occupied by beautiful historic and interesting cities like York, Cambridge, Oxford, Bath, etc or dynamic, interesting big cities such as Leeds and Liverpool which have loads of culture, architecture, shops and nightlife to offer the tourists - far more than Brighton - and increasingly so! Also, I know its the second city and everything but Birmingham ain't that great...and Newcastle doesn't have huge amounts beyond nightlife, waterfront and a collection of historic buildings. Cardiff is quite a dull, generic city, the waterfront apart...I know Wales 'needs representing' but it counts for a very small proportion of the population, compared to somewhere like Yorkshire with a far larger population and far more diverting cities of Leeds and York.

Ultimately whether you, or I, think Brighton deserves to be on the list is irrelevent. Clearly many people do, as more people visit there than visit Liverpool or Leads. Again, I'll stress that we could argue on here from now until the end of time about what exactly makes a city "worth visiting" and we would probably never reach agreement. Everyone has their own favourite cities they want to see on the list and would choose whatever criteria best suit their city. That's why we've chosen to rely on the objective measure of which cities are most visited. And unfortunately Leeds isn't one of them. If you can think of a clearly objective criteria that's better then feel free to suggest it, but arguing over which city has the best history, or is the most interesting will get us nowhere. --Paul. 16:46, 7 November 2006 (EST)

So if "Wikitravel is not just for tourists and so business travellers and others also need to be taken into account" why are we only counting foreign tourist visits? Also surely staying at airport hotel overnight = 2 day visit not a day visit?

I don't think the list above is only foreign tourist visits, despite what the top of the Star UK page says I think the International Passanger Survey takes all visits into account. You may be right on the 2 day visit thing, but as I said it really doesn't make a difference. Again, though, if you have access to figures that take into account types of visit and/or length of stay they can definitely be taken into account. --16:30, 8 November 2006 (EST)

"Top towns visited by overseas residents"

Nights spent by tourists 2003: West Yorks (main city Leeds)9.8Mil Greater Manchester (main city Manchester) 8Mil West Mids (main city Birmingham) 10.8Mil

Two things: firstly, those figures only cover UK residents, they don't include foreign tourists. Secondly, the figures you posted are 2004 only. If you add the 2000-2004 figures together the total becomes:
West Yorkshire 38.6 million
Greater Manchester 42.1 million
West Midlands 51.4 million
I personally wouldn't say, then, that we can use those figures to conclusively show that Leeds is more visited than Manchester or Birmingham. --Paul. 20:28, 8 November 2006 (EST)

So we can use figs that excl UK residents and incl foreign, but not the other way round? Also who is to say we should base it on the average (upto 6 yrs old) and not the most recent data available (only 3 yrs old)?

I'd argue that it's preferable to use overseas figures as it's overseas tourists that are more likely to need guides, but I'd accept that it's not a major factor so I won't argue too hard on that point. As for using the average, it simply gives a more accurate overall picture. In any given year one area may have a sudden change in popularity, up or down, for any number of reasons (from bad press to festivals). Taking a spread of years evens things out more. --Paul. 17:32, 9 November 2006 (EST)

Why not change the wording from "Many cities and towns in the United Kingdom are of interest to travellers outside the capital city of London." to "Many cities and towns in the United Kingdom are of interest to travellers outside the capital cites of London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff." This then allows a more varied list of 9 cities. Listing London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast separately is pointless, as everyone knows what they are about anyway...

I really don't quite follow the logic here. Because cities are well known and popular they shouldn't be listed? In any case, as far as I'm aware all other country pages list capitals in the cities section, and listing some cities in the paragraph and some separately would kind of defeat the purpose of limiting the list to 9 cities. --Paul. 17:32, 9 November 2006 (EST)

What purpose does listing the capital city of a country serve. How many people visiting England/Scotland/Wales will see London/Edinburgh/Cardiff in the list of cities and think "I'm glad they put that city in the list - I wouldn't have thought of visiting there if it hadn't been listed out separately". The list is of more use to the visitor if it lists regional cities that they know less about. Information for tourists is only useful if it tells them something they didn't know already. It would be like listing 9 things you should bring when travelling to the UK, and including suitcase, shoes, passport etc on the list instead of UK plug adapter, warm clothes for winter etc.

The cities listing isn't supposed to be a suggestion of interesting places to go, it's supposed to be a quick and handy way of getting to the major city articles from the country template. I think you might benefit from reading some of the help pages, in particular Wikitravel:Country article template, to get a fuller understanding of how Wikitravel works. --Paul. 17:59, 9 November 2006 (EST)

Just seems odd that in a list of "prominent cities" (see Wikitravel:Country article template), that Bath, Leeds, Liverpool and York are missing. Remember that this article is effectively covering 4 countries rather than 1 as the template is for. Maybe this gives scope for changing the template slightly?...

If you still find it odd that Bath, Leeds, Liverpool and York are missing you really need to re-read all the posts on here about the subject. Leeds and Liverpool simply don't attract as many visitors (according to the best stats we have) as Britstol or Newcastle, while the Roman baths in Bath and York Minster are covered in "other destinations". Finally this article isn't covering four countries, it's covering one: the United Kingdom. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own articles, and the major cities of those countries are listed in those articles. --Paul. 19:54, 9 November 2006 (EST)

Best stats we have = data upto 6 years old and exluding UK based tourists, who actually make up the bulk of tourist trips to UK cities.

Do I have to explain why taking the total over a range of years is better again? In any case, as you admitted they're still the best stats we have. Even if we take the stats you (I assume it was you, it would really help if you got an account) posted earlier, the results still come out the same way. Please, either post better stats that show that Leeds is more visited than any of the cities listed above, or stop complaining about the stats we do have. ---Paul. 12:01, 10 November 2006 (EST)

Quoted rather than admitted... The stats we have are very weak indeed is my point, and although an average does remove fluctuations in visitor numbers over a number of years, it is the most recent data that indicates tourist trends. IE Between 2000 and 2003 Birmingham and Manchester were more popular with British tourists, but most recently Leeds has outperformed them. Or if you prefer we could graph them, and add a line of best fit, showing downward trends for Manchester and Birmingham with upward trend for Leeds. And if we are talking about fluctuations, the prescence of Manchester United being in the Champions League in recent years has massively boosted visitor numbers. Were they not to qualify numbers would be down. Similarly the Commonwealth games were a fluctuation that boosted visitors in one year. Not to mention, separately of visitor numbers Leeds has won Conde Naste Travel magazine "UK favourite city" and Good Britain Guide "Visitor City of the Year".

Your claim that "between 2000 and 2003 Birmingham and Manchester were more popular with British tourists, but most recently Leeds has outperformed them" is simply not true according to the stats you yourself posted. Assuming that visits to the West Midlands/West Yorkshire/Greater Manchester broadly reflect visits to their main cities (which is not an assumption I'm 100% comfortable in making), the fact remains that there were more nights spent in the West Midlands in every year from 2000-2003, while Greater Manchester was more popular in 2001 and 2002 and West Yorkshire more popular in 2000 and 2003. That does not to me translate to anything even close to conclusive proof that Leeds is now a more popular destination than Manchester. Furthermore, both Greater Manchester and the West Midlands had a greater number of visitors than West Yorkshire in every single one of the years covered.
As to Leeds' awards, they're very nice, but every city will no doubt have its own awards to point to as a criteria for inclusion, which is why I still think number of visitors is a better criteria. The simple fact is that you clearly desperately want Leeds to be in this list, and I suspect that no statistics that do not show Leeds as being one of the most popular cities will ever be satisfactory to you, nor will any criteria that exclude Leeds. I personally have no preference either way, and I accept that there are limitations to the statistics posted here. As such I remain open to other statistical sources, but I'm not willing to accept one narrow set of statistics which are cherry picked in order to bolster the case of your prefered city. I have tried to calmly explain my own reasoning on this issue, but at this point I'm going to have to bow out of the discussion as I do not believe there is anything I or anyone else can say that will change your view that Leeds should be in the list. I personally remain unconvinced, but am willing to change my mind if either conclusive statistics are posted or there is a clear consensus supporting Leeds' inclusion. I hope you will be willing to do the same. --Paul. 17:48, 10 November 2006 (EST)

Brighton attracts absolutley loads of foreign visitors and students, how can you say that it doesn't? There are so many language schools for european students who choose to learn english there because they love the cosmopolitan atmosphere, and the city feels very european so they feel right at home. Brighton is a fairly large city (unlike Cambridge, Oxford etc) that has many top attractions, like it's beautiful seafront, regency architecture, Royal Pavilion, pier, excellent and unique shopping, year round cultural events like England's largest arts festival in May, the largest gay pride event in the UK, I could go on... It also has the most amount of bars/clubs/restaurants per head than anywhere outside London, so is a top night out. Brighton is also developing fast with some world class developments planned for the future including a brand new concert arena, the UK's tallest observation tower, redevelopment of the marina area with a stunning 40 storey skyscraper with bars/shops surrounding it, a brand new Brighton conference centre, an extended shopping mall leading down to the seafront, and that is not even half of what is planned. So is it really hard to see why Brighton beats the likes of rather average and pretty dull cities like Leeds, Nottingham etc.?

See Leeds page to see why it beats Brighton on foreign student numbers, museums, shopping, music festivals, nightlife, skyscrapers (52 storey tallest outside London). This page is SO anti-Leeds that it doesn't even appear on the map!

Actually the CIA made that map, so you might want to complain to them. Probably best not to do it in person, however. --Paul. 19:59, 13 November 2006 (EST)
Much as I like Leeds (my spouse comes from there) it is not one of the top 9 tourist destinations by any measure. The top 9 for foreign visitors are

London Edinburgh Glasgow Birmingham Manchester Glasgow Oxford Bristol Cambridge

For domestic visitors (excluding business travellers) I'm not sure we have any reliable stats but I would guess Blackpool beats all except London, and I'd expect maybe Torquay, Scarborough, Bournemouth, Brighton to feature with York, Oxford, Cambridge and Chester representing the non-seaside English towns.

I suspect the reason Bristol is in there is for visitors to Bath (which is short of hotel accomodation). And Birmingham - for Stratford on Avon and Warwick.

Thanks for your input. However, don't forget that vistors does not only mean tourists, but business people, sports fans - basically anyone that is visiting a city and needing information. WindHorse 11:02, 16 November 2006 (EST)

Exile 08:04, 16 November 2006 (EST)

A new map, another denial that Leeds exists!....

I would also like to point out that surely the quality and quantity of information available on the city destinations on wikitravel (a) shows something about the quality of the city and the quantity of its attractions and (b) should be taken into account when assessing whether a city should make this list - for example the guide to Brighton is around a fifth of the size and with nothing like the depth of information of the Leeds guide

Obviously the amount of information on a Wiki-style article is not necessarily a clear indication of the amount of attractions in a given city. It could just be that someone has been more active in adding information for one place than for another. Sorry, man, I like your article. I think its great and Leeds also seems like an interesting city, but I'm afraid that I come out in full support of Paul on this one. However, everything is impermanent, so I suggest we let the subject drop and check the tourist figures for UK cities again next year. And, who knows, maybe Leeds will be in the top nine. If it is, I'll be one of the first to support your request to include it on the UK front page, OK? WindHorse 11:29, 23 November 2006 (EST)

Why not use number of hotel beds available as an indicator of the popularity of any given city (to overseas tourists/uk tourists/business visitors? The hotel beds would not exist if there were not the demand, and the majority of visitors will stay in hotels? If I could provide data on this - would other Wikitravellers accept this as a more relevant measure than average number of overseas visitors?

If the data's available I'd have no problem using it. One slight possible note of caution is that it's possible that using hotel beds as an indicator of popularity might skew things in favour of places that have huge numbers of visitors for a short period every year and against places which have a more consistent flow of visitors, but I don't think that will be too big an issue with the cities we're looking at. --Paul. 01:35, 6 December 2006 (EST)
I agree with Paul. However, if we are deciding which cities to include on the front page list based on the number of people visiting these places, then obviously visitor figures provide the most reliable and up-to-date indication. For example, some traditional sea-side resorts may still have a high number of hotel beds, but in recent years they may not reach capacity. Therefore, I still believe that using visitor figures is the most accurate way to decide this matter. However, as I said above, everything changes, so these figures should checked again in a year and the lists amended accordingly. WindHorse 02:00, 6 December 2006 (EST)

The data I have doesn't have any old seaside towns in the top 9 - so this isn't a problem. Go to Select Culture and recreation > Number of available beds> United Kingdom > Score descending > 2001. Leaving in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast, the top 6 cities from this data are Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle & Bristol. I believe this is the best indication we have since hotels serve UK and foreign tourists, business travellers etc etc. The supply is there to meet demand - if there were no demand then there would be hotel closures. The stats we are currently using exclude UK tourists and business travellers. "The Urban Audit collects information on the living conditions in 258 large and medium-sized cities within the European Union and the candidate countries (EU27)."

I checked, but it only has info up to 2001. Also, it obviously has not factored in all places. For example, for the UK visitor figures it has Belfast first and Derry second ?!? Then, for the bed availability it lists Stevenage, Worcester and Graveshead in the top twenty but excludes places like Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff, Southamton, Bournemouth, Swansea and Aberdeen. Based on this information, do you honestly think we can trust these statistics - be honest - I mean Derry number two for visitor figures in the whole of the UK and Stevenage above Edinburgh!!! I think we should stick to the official government recognized stats. Anyway, thanks for searching out this info. It is always good to have new sources. Take it easy. WindHorse 22:54, 6 December 2006 (EST)
I agree that the years and limited number of cities mean that the use of that particular list is limited. However, the site in question did lead to Eurostat which does have more useful data, albeit a horrible interface to navigate through. I finally managed to pull off the data from their site, but there's a large amount so rather than show it here I've created a special page for it, the StarUK data and anything else we might find at User:Paul./UK Tourism Data. --Paul. 03:40, 8 December 2006 (EST)

So why can't we use the Eurostat info on hotel beds that Paul has kindly given (includes all top cities)? Surely a more realistic indicator of visitor numbers? The stats we use exclude UK tourists and business tourists. Also there is the simple fact that the hotels only exist if there is demand... As pointed out by Paul the seaside towns have skewed stats. Anyone agree?

Using those stats is fine with me, though as our Leeds friend has pointed out there is a problem with the sea-side resort stats. If their bed capacity rates are high, then they should be duly considered because whether visitors come in a slow stream throughout the year or on mass at specific seasons is not relevant. They still need information about the places they are staying. However, there is probably no way easy to find out a specific place's bed capacity rate. Obviously, the most reliable stats are actual visitor figures, but it seems that Eurostat only has numbers for overseas visitors. So, let's see what the consensus of opinion says. Then, whatever is agreed upon can be used in the future, which hopefully make the majority of British contributors happy. WindHorse 20:02, 8 December 2006 (EST)

No one seems to disagree - go ahead and update the city list?

I suggest leaving it. I think the present list for the UK is pretty representative taking into account hotel bed numbers plus foreign tourist stats. If it is changed using the bed numbers alone, then Torbay and Bournemouth (which I believe to be comparatively small places) will be in the main list at the exclusion of some major cities, and we have no way to know the hotel capacity rate for these sea-side places. However, I have less opposition to a review of the England list. WindHorse 21:08, 12 December 2006 (EST)

Oh and don't forget, using hotel beds would include Leeds in the top 10, which isn't in keeping with the UK Wikipage. Obviously Leeds has all those beds for no good reason.

OK. I think I/we need to make a decision and clear statement on on this. Otherwise, it is not fair to continuously waste the time of our Leeds friend. I vote to retain the current list of cities on the main UK page, because based on a combination of figures I believe it offers a good representation of UK cities. From what others have said earlier, this also seems to be the general consensus. Therefore, I propose retaining the current list of cities as it is, but to review it in a year or so when new stats are available. However, I am open to discuss the list of cities on the England page. I should add that as I have not visited the majority of these UK cities, my opinion is objective and based on the facts presented only. I hope this decision is satisfactory to most people. And, to my Leeds friend, keep up the good work on the Leeds and Yorkshire articles. They are looking great. Cheers. WindHorse 22:10, 13 December 2006 (EST)

Hardly a 'combination of figures' - it comes from one data source, which uses data 3-6 years old, and includes only one visitor group (foreigners). The hotel data is only 2 years old and the simple fact is cities have more hotel beds because they have more visitors. Torbay and Bournemouth can be excluded as it is clear their capacity is seasonal. Can you give a good reason why, if Leeds (or any other non seasonal visitor destination) has a top 10 number of hotel beds in the UK, wouldn't be in the top 10 visited by foreigners, UK residents and business people? Windhorse: "don't forget that vistors does not only mean tourists, but business people, sports fans - basically anyone that is visiting a city". Paul: "post better stats that show that Leeds is more visited than any of the cities". Yes, total visitor numbers would be the 'ultimate' measure, but we don't have this. Hotel bed numbers are a clear indication of total visitor numbers according to the laws of supply and demand.

OK. This is the final word on this from me as we are beginning to go round in circles on this issue to no benefit. If we exclusively use bed figures, Leeds is number number 10 - this list of cities is nine only. We will have Torbay and Bournemouth, but not Leeds. If we look at the figures for overseas visitors (note, these numbers cover all visitors, not only tourists), Leeds is not listed in the top twenty-five. So, again, sorry but based on this information I believe that the present list is fine, and I am not in favor of changing it. However, as I said, we should review the list in a year or so when new stats are available. That's it, my friend. Keep up the excellent work on the Leeds and Yorkshire articles. They are looking great. Cheers. WindHorse 22:08, 14 December 2006 (EST)

1. The list is 9 cities outside London 2. Torbay and Bournemouth are obviously seasonal destinations and can sensibly be excluded 3. Overseas visitors are a smaller % of city visitors than UK visitors, how can you sensibly ignore UK visitors - Leeds has a high number of hotel beds for a very simple reason - it has a high number of visitors - can you deny this? 4. Would there really be such a problem for Leeds to be in the list, given that it has such a high number of hotel beds, clearly there to meet demand?

So what does 'reaching a consensus' mean? Convincing Windhorse, gatekeeper of the city list? Surely it can't be denied a non seasonal destination has a high number of hotel beds to meet demand from the high number of visitors?

I agree that Leeds clearly should not be listed. I'd also like to see London re-integrated into the main list instead of being listed in the intro. -- Colin 16:39, 16 December 2006 (EST)

But the current list is based on stats, not opinion. The statistics on hotel beds shows Leeds as having a high number of hotel beds - to meet high visitor numbers perhaps?

Listing London as an interesting city to visitors whilst in the UK is like listing a passport as a useful item to carry when travelling between countries. I can't imagine there's many people who will find the listing of London as useful, not like they won't be well aware of it.

"Please, either post better stats that show that Leeds is more visited than any of the cities listed above, or stop complaining about the stats we do have" "If the data's available I'd have no problem using it. One slight possible note of caution is that it's possible that using hotel beds as an indicator of popularity might skew things in favour of places that have huge numbers of visitors for a short period every year and against places which have a more consistent flow of visitors, but I don't think that will be too big an issue with the cities we're looking at." "If we exclusively use bed figures, Leeds is number number 10 - this list of cities is nine only. We will have Torbay and Bournemouth, but not Leeds." "1. The list is 9 cities outside London 2. Torbay and Bournemouth are obviously seasonal destinations and can sensibly be excluded 3. Overseas visitors are a smaller % of city visitors than UK visitors, how can you sensibly ignore UK visitors - Leeds has a high number of hotel beds for a very simple reason - it has a high number of visitors - can you deny this?"

It seems according to that the list needs to be rejigged to include London and one city lost from the existing list...

New Data for 2007 - New concensus required for changes in light of new data

The decsion on which cities to include in the list of Nine has been based on visitor numbers/tourists. Using the latest 2006 ONS overseas visiter tables from the government, and the 2007 National Tourism Agencey uk visitor numbers, it appears the list of 9 cities chosen is now inconsistent with the most comprehensive and up to date data on tourist numbers of UK cities. Here are the findings below:

The data shows that places such as cardiff do not receive as many visitors as numerous cities that are not included in the list. However, London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, and Belfast need to be included by default given that they are capitals.

The next noteworthy find with the new data is the combination of adding total overseas visitor numbers to total UK visitor numbers:

Leeds 1,436,000 uk visitis + 292,000 overseas = 1,728,000

Newcastle 1,298,000 visits + 317,000 overseas = 1,615,000

York 1,247,000 uk visits + 253,000 overseas = 1,500,000

Brighton [not in top 10 therefore <1,247,000 uk visits] + 265,000 overseas = <1,500,00

This means according to the criteria for choosing, for which a consensus has *already* been found, Newcastle & Brighton fail to meet this criteria as there are clearly other cities that have more total visitors. This means, to make the list more representative of the cities that are visited in the UK based on the most up to date visitor data from the government's ONS and National Tourism Agency it would be necessary to remove brighton and newcastle from the list and replce them with Leeds & York. I hearby propose to make this change. If people can voice their opinions regarding this proposal so that a concensus can be made. It is also noteworthy to point out that a concensus to change *how* we choose the list of nine is not being asked here - a concensus on how to choose the nine has already been made - that being Visitor Numbers. My proposal is to actually make the list consistent with the most up to date and most comprehensive visitor number data available from the government, rather than relying on old and patchy data.

Sources: Gov ONS data 2006: National Tourism Agencey: :) --Daniel robinson 20:35, 1 November 2007 (EDT)

Can people please voice their opinions on this proposal, before a motion to change the anomaly in the list is made. --Daniel robinson 21:45, 1 November 2007 (EDT)

I would completely agree, based on these stats, there is no reason why we shouldn't make the changes.

These statistics together with many other reasons show that a change must be made. Leeds is consistently underrepresented and maligned on here.

If Leeds is that well visited as PROVEN on here, then it deserves it's place on the list, regardless of the pathetic agenda to keep it off. Wikipidia is SUPPOSED to be a source of accurate information...Lenny Henry

Not to rain on the Leeds (a city I happen to like!) parade, but the number used for domestic visitors seems to be incorrect. If my reading of the article is right, then the 1.436 million is the number of website visitors who said they had been encouraged to visit Leeds, presumably because of the campaign. Hardly a reliable statistic for anything, let alone indicating actual visits to the city.--Wandering 14:54, 2 November 2007 (EDT)
Hi Wandering. I do feel you have misinterpreted the data. They are overnight stays by UK visitors. The data of 1.4 million incidently coincides with the the leeds city council website. If your asertation were true, that the data is just visitors to the website who have said they had been encouraged to visit respective cities, that would be over 30 million people doing the survey - lol. . --Daniel robinson 15:07, 2 November 2007 (EDT)
This website source below further confrims that the Data from the 2007 national tourism agencey is infact offcial data and not a survey: --Daniel robinson 15:18, 2 November 2007 (EDT)
I think the bickering over which cities to list is a waste of energy. There are loads of articles out there which are crying out for more content adding, their English and grammar improving or their formatting tidying-up. Let's spend our time usefully rather than pursuing our own hobby-horses in trying to get our pet cities listed. I say leave the cities list alone and move on. Andyfarrell 15:24, 2 November 2007 (EDT)
but this is not about bickering. This is about making the data consisent rather factually incorrect. The list has been formed from visitor numbers, however there is clearly an inconsistenty. Wikiptravel is about being able to edit articles to make them more accurate. If someone wants to edit to make something accurate (that isnt based on subjectivity) realisticly there should be no problems doing this - as the "plunge forward" motto points out. If this was a subjective issue, than fair enough. But its not. A concencus has already been made on making the list representative of visitor numbers, and so removing an error should not be an issue. --Daniel robinson 15:55, 2 November 2007 (EDT)

It would seem completely ridiculous that Leeds is not included as it is, considering that it is one of the largest and most important cities in the United Kingdom, and a massively important tourist base for the region and indeed the north of England. As a tourist destination, it carries alot more weight than some cities included. It is therefore crucial that Leeds is on this list, to give Wikipedia more credibility in recognising official statistics rather than random enthusiasts views.Jcl 18:47, 2 November 2007 (EDT)

Yeah, but guys, this isn't Wikipedia, there is a different approach here. Those random enthusiasts' views have a place here in creating a colourful guide. The purpose isn't as Dan says about being able to edit, the purpose is to create practical travel guides. The UK article is already very useable, and swapping Newcastle for Leeds on a technicality doesn't add significantly to that. Furthermore it saps our time and energy if we dedicate ourselves to ongoing back-and-forth arguments.
I've only spoken up because Dan was touting for comments to get a new consensus - so you've had my opinion. Sorry if you don't like it. :-) Now I'm off to make some real edits, and I warmly invite you to join me. Andyfarrell 03:44, 3 November 2007 (EDT)
This issue has been discussed well and thoroughly, and I commend all involved. One result of such a massive discussion is that the current status quo is not just a random status quo, but a thoroughly worked-out status quo with plenty of consensus. To alter this outcome now will take more than just a few objections to the outcome. I would want to see a significant uprising against this worked-through consensus before allowing it to change. Or in other words, I support the status quo because of the sheer volume of good-faith effort that has been put into coming up with this consensus. -- Colin 15:13, 3 November 2007 (EDT)
Hi there, I appreciate your concerns in that changing this would change the status quo, however, there appears to be no-one actually objecting to this on any valid grounds other than "we should be putting our effort into other things". I dont feel this is a good enough reason for not changing a glaring anomaly. Interestingly, scrolling thru this whole disccusion, there hasnt actually been any consensus at all on what cities to include. The only loose consensus is that the list should reflect visitor numbers. However, the most up to date data shows that the list doesnt actually reflect visitor numbers. There has never been a hoard of people insisting Newcastle should be on the list, however there is clearly many people on here insisting Leeds should be on the list - and ironically, the number of people in favour of leeds being on the list is *more* than the number of people who formed an original shaky consensus - and this new data for 2007, even backs the old consensus of basing it on visitor numbers, so it seems very odd that a small number of people want to stifle what should be on wikitravel - despite wikitravel being open to everyone to contribute. --Daniel robinson 15:27, 3 November 2007 (EDT)

Windhorse also indicated he would support these changes based on the more up to date info.

I completely agree with Daniel Robinson, and would like to point out the arbitrary, dismissive and offensive nature of Andyfarrell's last post. There seem to be no valid reasons for not replacing Newcastle or Brighton with Leeds on the list. I have previously argued on the grounds of being a "colourful enthusiast" who completely overhauled the Leeds article (though bizzarely and somewhat suspiciously bits of it were later edited out on dubious grounds to make the article less appealing), and pointed out the numerous attractions and sheer size and importance of Leeds compared to these two cities, though this was completely dismissed at the time - and it is now being clearly shown that tourist figures indicate Leeds merits a place on the list as well. So what possible grounds are there for maintaining the status quo other than a negative attitude towards Leeds or some strange deep-rooted conservatism?

Map completed, sort of

After a lot of effort and occasional intense frustration I've finally completed version 1.0 of my UK map (Image:UK map.svg, be warned it's a 5 meg file). Included in the map, as well as a basic outline of the UK (plus the Isle of Man, Channel Islands and parts of France and Ireland), are:

  • Constituent country borders.
  • Country region borders.
  • County borders.
  • Important cities (marked with a square and bold text), towns and villages (marked with a circle) for each level.
  • UK rail network, with colour coded lines for the different operator, separated into major and minor routes.
  • UK Motorway network
  • Major UK airports

Things to still be added include ferry ports and routes, more inland waters, important sights and possibly geographical features and major A roads. Anyway, I thought I'd upload what's been done so far so it can be made use of and also so others can check to see if there's any mistakes or other issues. I think everything's in order, but it's always possible some things are in the wrong place or something important was left out. If there are any problems either let me know or else just fix it and re-upload it. --Paul. 21:18, 26 October 2006 (EDT)

Ferry routes added, has anyone had a chance to take a look yet? --04:29, 2 November 2006 (EST)
If nobody has any objections to the map I'll start incorporating parts of the map into country, region and county level articles in the next couple of days. --Paul. 17:49, 10 November 2006 (EST)

Where are major cities like Leeds and Liverpool on the map?

I only included the nine major cities at each map level. Liverpool and Leeds aren't listed on the cities list here, so they're not listed on the map, though they will be listed on lower level maps. It's not a product of any evil anti-Leeds conspiracy, it's simply the best way to make the map match the article content. --Paul. 08:03, 20 November 2006 (EST)

Illustrating the weakness of the list of cities - not a single city in the whole of Yorkshire!

Or East Anglia. Or the East Midlands. Or North Wales. Or Mid Wales. Or the Borders. Or South-West Scotland. Or the Highlands. Or North East Scotland. There's 9 cities, and 17 regions in mainland Great Britain alone. Elementary mathematics means that, yes, some regions won't have a major city listed. For what it's worth, however, the next version of the map will also include places listed under "Other Destinations", so York, at least, will be there. --Paul. 09:12, 20 November 2006 (EST)

A map with detail similar to this would be of more use to tourists (as the somewhat experienced Rough Guides agree with). I'm sure anyonre looking at this page will be able to match the list of cities to where they are on the map too:

Well, I disagree, I think it's better to put only those cities listed in the article on the map and save other cities for lower levels. That being said if you wish to draw a map with that level of detail, maybe with Leeds at the centre in bolded, capital leters 3 times as large as any other city and with flashing arrows pointing at it, feel free. --Paul. 20:01, 20 November 2006 (EST)

Given that you then must obviously have a better know how and understanding of useful country guides than Rough Guides (oh and Lonely Planet ) then I can only concede that they have established their leading reputations is spite of the fact they don't know how to make a useful map. Maybe you should write to them to complain that they place 'too many' major destinations on their country maps, since you disagree?

I don't disagree at all with how Rough Guide and Lonely Planet design their maps, they have their own aims and guidelines and I'm sure they have good reasons for adopting them. Wikitravel is different in a number of ways due to its online, open nature, one consequence of which is limiting the number of cities in each region article to stop people just adding their particular favourite city for no good reason resulting in a horribly long city list. The main map at the top is designed to be a simple way for people to see where the major cities are, while the maps in the "get in" and "get around" sections are more comprehensive and do include your pet city. I think that is the best way of doing it, but that's just my take. If you really hate the way I did it you (like anyone else) are free to change it, but please try to consider a motivation other than Leeds, Leeds, LEEDS, LEEEEEEEEEEEDS. --Paul. 05:30, 21 November 2006 (EST)

My complaint isn't that Leeds in particular isn't featured, it is that there are a host of places not even featured as a dot on the map, or a word in the article. As a first time visitor to the UK, looking at the UK Wikitravel page it is as if Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, York etc etc don't exist. Surely RG and LP aims and guidelines aren't that different. The use of a map is so that when planning a tour of the UK, you can look at potential paths to take, using the map as a point of refence before reading the city articles. If I want to visit say London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Cardiff, Liverpool there is no map as a reference for people to work out a good path to take might be London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Edinburgh for example.

Yes there is. Besides, if you want to know how to get to Liverpool there's plenty of comprehensive information on the Liverpool page. --Paul. 07:22, 21 November 2006 (EST)

So if there is this map already, why do we need another duplicate map with less detail? Also my point is more that if I was planning to visit Manchester, and Liverpool was on the map reasonably nearby but I was unaware of what Liverpool was like, I would be more likely to look up Liverpool on Wikipedia to see if it is worth a visit. However as it is not on the map of 'main' cities, I might not know it is reasonably close to Manchester, and never think to look it up.

I just want to chime in and agree with Paul. At the country level I really think we have to just give people a taste of the possible destinations. They can then choose to take a closer look at the region and city guides to plan their trip. No offense, Leeds is a lovely place and I have plenty of friends from there, but it's really not one of the "must see" destinations for a first time visit to the UK... Maj 20:06, 21 November 2006 (EST)

"My complaint isn't that Leeds in particular isn't featured, it is that there are a host of places not even featured as a dot on the map, or a word in the article." "The use of a map is so that when planning a tour of the UK, you can look at potential paths to take, using the map as a point of refence before reading the city articles." "if I was planning to visit Manchester, and Liverpool was on the map reasonably nearby but I was unaware of what Liverpool was like, I would be more likely to look up Liverpool on Wikipedia to see if it is worth a visit. However as it is not on the map of 'main' cities, I might not know it is reasonably close to Manchester, and never think to look it up."

So until we get statistics that prove it otherwise (and i know for a fact they exist for the most recent years) Leeds and other cities will be left off the list. Fair enough, as statistical evidence, whatever I or other people may think or an objective look at the draws of each city may show, is actually the only fair way of doing it. However, the map is somewhat ridiculous. If you want to highlight the nine 'main tourist cities' in a larger/different/bold font that wouldn't be a problem, but to completely miss off major major cities such as Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield (bigger than most of the cities included) and even Nottingham, Leicester, etc and geographically important centres such as Aberdeen/Inverness, Norwich, Dover, Southampton/Portsmouth and Plymouth/Exeter as well as the main attractions (eg York, Oxford, Bath) listed below is just ridiculous and doesn't accurately represent the UK in any shape or form.

Hey Paul - the maps look great. Thanks for your efforts. Frequenttrekker 01:18, 8 December 2006 (EST)

My happeths worth: Cities should be graded on size alone. Rough guides, Lonely planets etc., are read by a lot of people as is the wikiweb. If you say that Solihull is the cultural hub of the UK, it WILL get more visitors. It's a vicious circle. Many places get loads of tourists simply because they are famous for getting lots of tourists. All tourists are not the same. If travellers want historical places there are thousands of these, and it's best not to try and discuss this in a brief overview of UK, likewise areas of natural beauty are not generally near big towns and are best in a separate section. Big cities will usually have more culture to offer to the casual visitor than small places (but smaller places can be linked to sections on music, art, history, vibe etc.) People are on business trips etc, need to know about boring places. People into geneology need to know how to get to Little Piddlehampton churchyard.


I have removed the castles from 'Other desinations' (as great as I'm sure they are) as there are far too many worthy candidates in the UK for a front page listing, and very soon we'll be overwhelmed. Instead, I propose listing castles on a seperate page similar to the list for National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Here, they can be sub-divided geographically for easy reference. Although, I'm not very familiar with this subject, if there are no objections I'll start it in a few days. Comments? WindHorse 22:27, 26 October 2006 (EDT)

Sounds fine to me. I added Warwick partly because it is a major tourist attraction, but mainly because there's an image of it on the page already, but it seemed to me odd to have two castles. I contemplated deleting the Stirling entry but there's not a huge amount to choose between the two castles. Anyway, to help a bit of the top of my head some of the most famous/best preserved castles in the UK are the Tower of London, Windsor, Warwick, Durham, Dover, Leeds (in Kent near Maidstone), Caerphilly, Caernarfon, Harlech, Edinburgh, Stirling, Eilean Donan (in the Highlands near Dornie) and Glamis.

Population Update Needed

The population of the United Kingdom has exceeded 60,000,000 and is now about 60,300, 16:05, 1 November 2006 (EST)

Please plunge forward and edit the article to correct any outdated or incorrect information. -- Ryan 16:12, 1 November 2006 (EST)

Rough North?

"Some towns, particularly in the North have a reputation for being somewhat 'rough'." This is an unfair generalisation, and also wrong. I was born in the South, but I've lived for most of my life in the North, where the locals do seem to still fall for the myth that the South is somewhat 'posher'. Now I have moved back South, and can honestly say that I have never lived amongst such human shite in all my life. Whoever wrote that line has never been to Reading or Portsmouth!. 03:09, 2 November 2006 (EST)

"Have a reputation for being" doesn't mean the same thing as "are". --Paul. 04:27, 2 November 2006 (EST)
He makes a good point actually - people in the north are generally more accepting of Americans/Europeans/Australians than the south. I'm not sure why.. but you seem to get more Southerners making anti-US comments than in the north... MiddleEastern 09:57, 11 February 2007 (EST)

I agree. How is it fair to generalise about half of the country? If having a reputation isn't the same as being, why is it even mentioned? Typical lazy journalism about the north.

Ten cities

The Cities section seems to contain London plus a list of nine cities. Or put another way, ten cities. I've started a discussion about this issue at Wikitravel talk:Region article template#How many is nine. If you have an opinion on this, please join us there. -- Colin 13:53, 15 December 2006 (EST)

Emergency contact template

I propose a template, with wording like:

In any emergency, anywhere in the UK, call 999 or 112 (from a land-line if you can) and ask for Ambulance, Fire or Police (or Coastguard, if applicable) when connected. There is no charge to call the emergency services, even from from payphones.

which could be included at the start of the "stay safe" section of any article about a place in the UK.

Would people be happy with that? Is there a naming convention, for templates, which I should follow? Andy Mabbett 10:27, 29 December 2006 (EST)

That seems like a reasonable idea. When including it, you might want to put a comment to explain what it is, so it doesn't get trampled by newbies. -- Jonboy 10:47, 29 December 2006 (EST)
Why "from a land-line if you can"?, 999/112 are free from all operators. --MiddleEastern 09:55, 11 February 2007 (EST)
Because every household land-line emits correct caller ID that pinpoints the location of the line, and it will work during a power cut or most other emergencies. So there's a much reduced chance that you'll be cut off, and a better chance that they'll be able to find you. Mobiles don't always have location information available to the emergency operator and can run out of battery or their cell tower may lose power during the call if something terrible has happened (e.g. flood waters suddenly rise). This is the standard advice from the appropriate agency. tialaramex 07:25, 6 August 2007 (EDT)

Limited visa rights for Romania and Bulgaria

Doesn't Romania and Bulgaria, newcomers to the EU have restrictions on working and immigration to the UK? -- 23:08, 2 January 2007 (EST)

debit/credit card acceptance in the UK

The article says that credit cards are widely accepted. In the UK, is there usually a minimum required purchase amount in order to use such cards? Can they be used in fastfood chains (eg McDonalds, KFC) without a minimum required purchase amount? --Jr traveller 02:50, 3 January 2007 (EST)

Passports and internal borders

This will sound daft to anyone English, but it's a legitimate concern that an Indian friend had before arriving, and I can see the confusion: do you need passports to move between England and Scotland? It's easy to see how the confusion arises since the UK is, almost uniquely, a country comprised of countries.

I've added this as a comment because I can't see how to incorporate it into the page such that someone looking would find it easily.

-- 09:41, 11 February 2007 (EST)

No, it's passport free as England, Scotland, Wales are just administrative areas, not separate entities MiddleEastern 10:00, 11 February 2007 (EST)
Added the following sentence under the section titled "Home Nations." Hope it is clear and will allay your Indian friend and other's concerns: Note that a UK visa is valid for traveling in all parts of the country and there are no internal border controls between the four 'home nations. WindHorse 10:02, 11 February 2007 (EST)

However two points connected to this. There are customs control between the UK and Channel Isles. I don't recal however there being customs control between UK and the Isle of Man, (something to do with VAT rates in the IOM being same as UK, but CI are different???). Also even using domestic flights require travellers to provide photo ID, this is probably not unusual in other countries either, but for many people a passport is probably the most convenient form of photo ID- although other forms are often accepted, e.g. new style driving licences. User:Voyager Added 13 Feb 2:35 GMT

Thanks for the feedback. I've never flown in the UK, and in fact my knowledge of the country is pretty much confined to one corner. I can't add anything about the Channel Islands because we are not sure what documentation is required. However, as they are part of the UK, I doubt very much if a passport is required, because presumably not all UK citizens have passports, and those that don't would effectively be banned from visiting a part of their own country. As for the ID requirements for internal flights, this info can be included under 'get around' as this is not specifically related to the question of documentation requirements for traveling between the four home nations, as presumably an ID is still required on a flight from, say, London to Manchester which are both in England. Anyway, I'll add that info. WindHorse 22:49, 12 February 2007 (EST)

UK terrorism

So do the recent terrorist incidents constitute a warningbox? The UK has raised it's terror alert level to "Critical", about which MI5 says: "The current threat level is assessed as CRITICAL (as of 30th June 2007). This means that an attack is expected imminently and indicates an extremely high level of threat to the UK." Typically, I don't buy into the hype, however, seeing as UK security forces have found two bomb laden cars in London, then some loons try to destroy the front door at Glasgow International Airport, and the UK government is now expecting further terrorist related incidents to occur in the UK I'd support a warningbox, preferably one that reads similar to the warning on Glasgow. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 00:28, 1 July 2007 (EDT)

I think it is fair to put up a warningbox, but I would prefer that it stays for only a very short time. "Terrorism" in my view is about as big a threat to travelers as lightning, but I suppose it is best not to go outside during a severe thunderstorm. In the long run, however, the real threat terrorism poses to travelers in the UK comes in the form of the tough questioning at Heathrow—my family was living in London, but I honestly thought they were going to bar me from entry for looking disheveled! --Peter Talk 00:48, 1 July 2007 (EDT)
I thought that it might be useful to include this information on the front page 'Travel News' as Glasgow Airport is/was closed and I'm sure that increased security will mean delays at the larger British airports and also result in longer lines waiting to enter concerts and other facilities where crowds congregate. I cannot add the info myself as the front page is locked, so I am just making a suggestion. WindHorse 02:29, 1 July 2007 (EDT)

Internal flights section

I've just hacked a lot out of the Get Around by plane section as it had grown into a big expanse of text. I've tried to remove duplicate info and unimportant things like the formal names of airports, without sacrificing useable content. As I realise someone went to some effort putting it there in the first place I wanted to mention here that things like the listings of what airlines operate to where are valued detail, they were just unwieldy in their longer form. Andyfarrell 07:36, 25 October 2007 (EDT)