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Cambridge is 11th most cultured UK city says web comparison site - behind Oxford and Portsmouth

By Ben Comber

At the Fitzwilliam Museum are its 2017 supporters with director Tim Knox centre right front. Picture: Keith Heppell
At the Fitzwilliam Museum are its 2017 supporters with director Tim Knox centre right front. Picture: Keith Heppell

Do you agree? Take a look at the cities that beat Cambridge to the top 10.

View of the city centre of Cambridge seen from a church bell tower
View of the city centre of Cambridge seen from a church bell tower

A new guide looks at the country’s most popular tourist destinations, investigating the number of theatres, museums, art galleries, Michelin-starred restaurants, concert halls and more to find the cities with the most to do, see, and experience.

Cambridge was placed 11th in the UK behind, of all places, Oxford, in the TotallyMoney.com research.

The study took account of Cambridge’s 37 theatres, 14 museums, two art galleries and two Michelin Star restaurants. It also revealed 135,000 holiday trips to the city every year and a yearly holiday spend of £24 million.

So how did they work it out?

TotallyMoney.com selected the 30 cities in England with the highest number of tourism visits (as described by VisitBritain). For each of these, they found the population then, using TripAdvisor, found the number of theatres, museums, art galleries, and concert halls and cross-referenced these against local tourist websites.

Where TripAdvisor required a distance (ie for theatres), a range of 25 miles from the city centre was used.

Michelin star restaurants were found using the Michelin Guide, while the annual tourism spend was drawn from the VisitBritain source on tourism.

Data was assigned a score between 1 and 10. These scores were then included in a calculation that assigned different values to different metrics, based on how valuable TotallyMoney.com considered them to their final result.

This valuation and their score formed an overall score out of ten across all metrics. This was then used to rank the locations.

“International visitors don’t always realise that there’s so much more to England’s culture than just London,” said Joe Gardiner, TotallyMoney.com’s Head of Brand and Communications, “Durham and Exeter are at the top of the list, but we found that every city we looked at had something unique to offer – whether art, or food, or music.”

All research was accurate as of December 6, 2016.

The Top Five

1. Durham – taking first place for England’s most cultured city, Durham’s success lies in its extensive number of theatres for its small population, showing a local love of the stage.

2. Exeter – matching Durham’s theatres with its number of museums, Exeter is a beautiful, green city, centred on its vast cathedral, and with cobbled streets around the quay.

3. Norwich – Norwich’s outstanding feature is its art galleries, with the most per person in England. The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts is a highlight, but while there, visitors should also be sure to have a look at Norfolk Castle.

4. Oxford – as well as being home to one of the world’s finest and most attractive historical universities, Oxford offers the Holywell Music Room – the oldest custom-made concert hall in Europe.

5. Brighton and Hove – Brighton is a key destination for anyone with a love of modern and alternative art, and you’re as likely to find it on the streets or in the local shops as you are in the many local art galleries.


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