The UK’s Highest Step Count Cities


Whether you’re on a day trip or a weekend break, exploring a new city is exciting, however it usually means spending a lot of time on your feet. From climbing up to historic monuments and navigating cobbled streets, to wandering through bustling tourist hotspots, these popular activities can often make you work up a sweat.

Rich in history and diverse culture, the UK is home to a plethora of scenic cities, perfect for those exploring on foot. But where do tourists rack up the highest number of steps? And which cities are best suited to those who want an easy ride?

Using Google Maps data, along with extensive research on UK city walking tours, we’ve uncovered the UK’s highest step count cities, along with those boasting the most attractions within a 90-minute walk. So, whether you are a fitness enthusiast or simply looking to see the sights from the ground up, our list has you covered.


The Top 10 Cities To Get Your Step Count Up

It’s no surprise that the UK’s capital takes the top spot when it comes to achieving the highest step count – 9,720 to be exact. Our research found that within less than 5 miles, you can visit up to 26 major attractions in the city of London. This includes top tourist hotspots like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace, as well as cultural attractions such as the National Gallery and the Florence Nightingale Museum.

Taking a trip up to Scotland is also ideal for those who want to get some steps in, with three of the top 10 cities located here. Inverness is our second highest step count city, with an estimated 9,012 steps between 19 attractions including the serine botanical gardens, Inverness Castle, and Cathedral. 

In third place, Scotland’s capital Edinburgh sees an estimated step count of 8,960. From soaking up the views from the castle and strolling down Princes Street, to rubbing the nose of Greyfriars Bobby, you can visit19 attractions in 4.5 miles. So, remember to pack those walking boots!

Cities in the North of England take the next three spots in our ranking. With 15 attractions in a 4.4-mile radius, Newcastle is the city with the fourth highest step count. Whether browsing the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts, admiring the Blacksmith Needle, or contemplating St. Mary's Cathedral, you can see the city's major sights in an estimated 8,760 steps.

Manchester comes in at number five, with 8,740 estimated steps getting you to the National Football Museum, the famous Albert Square, and the inspiring Sual Hay Gallery, to name a few. 

The birthplace of the Beatles, Liverpool, is next on the list. From the Tate to the Royal Liver Building, there's a staggering 25 attractions you can see in this riverside city, all in 4.2 miles. 

A UNSECO City of Music and reportedly one of the friendliest cities in the world, Glasgow sits in seventh place. With an estimated step count of 8, 301, you can see 14 attractions including some amazing galleries and museums, such as the Hunterian Art Gallery, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and the Peoples Palace.

Moving further south, you’ll find the medieval market town of Stratford-Upon-Avon. Shakespeare's birthplace, and more importantly our eighth highest step count city. With 20 attractions in the 4.1-mile walk, you’ll be able to watch some of Shakespeare's most popular plays at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, admire the stained glass in Holy Trinity Church, and re-enact Romeo and Juliet in Anne Hathaway's Gardens all in 8,248 steps. 

Further down the list is Birmingham, with an estimated 8,180 steps between 16 attractions – Symphony Hall and the Thinktank Science Museum are a must!

Taking the final spot in our top 10 is the seaside city of Brighton and Hove . Ice cream in hand, you can take a 4-mile stroll, (or 8,012 steps), around 16 of the top tourist attractions in the area, from the Pier to the Pavillion. 

All our top 10 cities' step counts beat the daily average recommendation of 7,000 steps a day1 – meaning these cities are an excellent choice for those that want to take in the sights whilst getting their heart rate pumping. 

Cities For A Whistle Stop Tour

Some cities had surprisingly low step counts, making them perfect for quick trips and whistle stop tours.

Once ruled by the Vikings, the quaint city of York is perfect for a jam-packed day trip. In just 6,554 steps, you could visit 26 of York's attractions in just over an hour.  Wander along the city walls, ramble around the shambles, and mosey on down to the Minster – this little city has a lot to offer. 

Famed for its world-class university, Oxford is also great for a day of minimal walking, but maximum sightseeing. In just 6,720 steps you can see some of the iconic filming spots for Harry Potter in Christ Church College and soak up some ancient history in the Ashmolean Museum. 

Cambridge’s canals and colleges are another excellent option, allowing you to explore 24 attractions, such as the Fitzwilliam Museum, Kings College Chapel, and the Mathematical Bridge in 7,350 steps.  

Nottingham came last as our 20th step count city. Robin Hood’s hometown, Nottingham, has plenty to offer in the estimated 6,260 steps around its 19 top attractions. With a haunted museum, castle, and market square, the city is ideal for a quick trip away.

Our Top Tips For a Weekend Getaway

Organising a weekend escape can be stressful, and with minimal time at your desired destination, you need to make sure you’re making the most of your visit. To help you out, we’ve put together our top 5 tips to nail your weekend break so you can maximise the time you have.

1 | Plan Ahead

Optimise your time away by doing research ahead of time. Make a list of the things you want to see and do and plan your itinerary accordingly. Try to balance your time between sightseeing and relaxation, while also leaving room for unexpected detours and spontaneity.

2 | Pack Smart

Pack light and take only the essentials for a weekend away. Check the weather forecast and pack, accordingly, including a pair of comfortable shoes for walking and exploring.

3 | Ask the Locals

As we know, research is key when planning a trip, but asking those that live in the local area is a fantastic way to find hidden gems and off –the beaten track activities, sights, and restaurants.

4 | Think about Transport

When planning a weekend trip, it’s easy to book a day of activities without considering the travel time involved. Before you book, consider looking at public transport options such as trains, trams, and buses, as some will offer 24, 48 and even 72-hour travel passes at a discounted rate. Remember public transport is your friend and can work out cheaper than taxis!

5 | Don’t Forget to Relax!

Remember, the purpose of a weekend away is to relax, recharge, and have fun. Don't stress too much about sticking to a strict itinerary or seeing everything on your list. Enjoy the journey and make some memories!

Planning a city break and need somewhere to put your feet up after a long day of sightseeing? We’ve got you covered. Whether you're delving into Scotland’s rich history in Edinburgh, or taking in the sights of the UK’s capital, London, Accor has a range of hotels to fit your needs. 

Methodology & Sources

We’ve identified the most visited cities in the UK using data, then undertaking extensive desk research we were able to identify attractions in each UK city that are most commonly included in tourist walking tours that have the highest ratings on Google reviews. Using this, alongside google maps data, we’ve been able create walking tours of each city to estimate the step counts taken per walk. *Step counts don’t include steps taken inside attractions and have been kept to a time of 60 to 90 minutes (about 1 and a half hours) for consistency. 


Our recent articles