Manchester’s gritty-cool Ancoats takes the highest UK spot on TravelSupermarket’s ‘UK Hip Hang-out Neighbourhood Index’, with Edinburgh’s Leith taking second spot and Digbeth in Birmingham coming third. 60% (12) of the top 20 UK hang-outs are in the North, with areas in Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham and Liverpool all ranking ahead of established London hip-hubs like Peckham and Dalston.
Looking at the hippest districts across Europe, Berlin’s Kreuzberg area comes out on top, just pipping Riga and Ancoats to the post. Eastern Europe posts impressive rankings in the European list, with three of the top five places taken by Miera Lela in Riga (2nd), Warsaw’s Praga (4th) and Slovenia’s Ljubljana (5th); all beating trendy districts in established city break destinations like Paris and London. In fact, ten out of the twenty hippest hang-outs are based in Eastern Europe. For travellers who want to stay in one of these areas, Warsaw’s Praga scored the best for value.
‘Scandi-cool’ also takes a commanding position in the European rankings, with three out of the top 10 hot spots taken by Stockholm’s Södermalm (joint 5th), Copenhagen’s Nørrebro (10th) and Oslo’s Grünerløkka (7th).
The Indexes looked at the ratio of trend-setting and creative industry indicators such as independent coffee shops, vintage fashion stores, vinyl record shops, vegan cafes, independent bike shops, co-working spaces and art galleries/studios to the number of residents. Penalty points were subtracted for areas that had high numbers of big chain brands such as Starbucks, Costa and Pret a Manger etc., which would indicate that they had reached “Peak Hipster”.
If you’re looking to discover buzzy areas in the UK, London, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow are the best UK city breaks for trying out a clutch of food and independent hang-out spots, with each city snatching more than one place in the top 20 list. 1 in 5 (4) of the top twenty hippest UK spots in the index are in the English capital, with Deptford/New Cross (18th) and Clapton (13th) also making the rankings, alongside Peckham (5th) and Dalston (joint 8th). Manchester took three of the top 20 slots with the Northern Quarter and Monton also making the hip list, alongside Ancoats. Liverpool (Baltic Triangle (4th) and Ropewalks (15th) and Glasgow (Finnieston (6th) and the West End (joint 15th) took two places in the charts apiece.
It’s not just the main cities but also coastal towns that are offering hip escapes these days, with Margate’s Cliftonville/Old Town (7th) and Hastings (20th), best known for the battle of 1066, trending its way into the index. Wales is also making waves, with Cardiff’s Pontcanna and Canton coming in at 13th and Swansea’s Uplands making 14th place on the list. Established destinations such as Bruton and Hebden Bridge have also indexed due to their hip independent edge.