Top UK places to visit in 2023 revealed – and there are some real surprises

  • The top UK cities and towns to plan a trip to in 2023 have been revealed

  • Eastbourne has been named the top destination, followed by Birmingham and Cardigan

  • Time Out, who conducted the poll, wanted to highlight "ludicrously underrated" places rather than usual hotspots

  • Read on to see the full list of 15 places and why they were chosen

The Towner Gallery in Eastbourne, the Opheem restaurant in Birmingham and Cardigan town to show the best UK places to visit. (Getty Images)
The Towner Gallery in Eastbourne, the Opheem restaurant in Birmingham and Cardigan town are among the best UK places to visit. (Getty Images)

The best places to travel to in the UK next year have been revealed, and they might not be what you expect.

Eastbourne has been named the number one place to visit for a day or overnight trip in 2023, according to the list compiled by Time Out.

The East Sussex coastal town has been chosen not for its beach alone but for its rising status as a creative and cultural hub, with things to look forward to including Towner Eastbourne gallery hosting the 2023 Turner Prize (from September), The Screen International Film Festival and Beach Life Music Festival, along with live music, independent shops and eating haunts signposted.

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A man overlooking a view of Beachy Head from cliff edges in Eastbourne. (Getty Images)
Don't miss out on views of Beachy Head when in Eastbourne. (Getty Images)

Coming in second on the list is Birmingham, which has more than just the Bullring shopping centre and Cadbury World on offer (though both may appeal of course). It's been recognised as the "most underrated food scene in the UK", according to Time Out's experts. Apparently British-Indian restaurant Opheem, affordable fine-dining spot Harborne Kitchen and sky-high French restaurant Orelle are ones to check out. Plus, the Ashes are returning to Edgbaston Stadium in June.

Completing the top three is the humble town and community of Cardigan in west Wales, which "remains criminally under-appreciated". It's credited for being a traditional market town with a creative side, full of independent business, as well as its beauty and rich history. The renovated Cardigan Castle and Guildhall Market are just some of the places to swing by.

Read more: World's 50 best places to visit from Devon to the Galápagos Islands

A canal basin in the centre of the town of Birmingham, with people eating outside a restaurant in the background. (Getty Images)
There are many foodie spots waiting to be discovered in Birmingham. (Getty Images)

“Rather than the usual hotspots, we want to highlight places, many of which are ludicrously underrated, which people don’t automatically think to go to," says Huw Oliver, Time Out’s UK editor.

"In all of the places on the list, you will find interesting things to see and do, eat and drink during the day and night, a friendly welcome and a community spirit which enables you to connect with locals and really get to know a place."

Completing the top five best destinations across the nation to pay a visit to next year are Manchester – with highlights including the reopening of Manchester Museum in February and the opening of Factory International's new arts centre in June – and Scarborough – with suggestions including the February Dark Skies Festival, the revival of Scarborough Fair, and the many independent businesses and local ale scene to make the most of.

Read more: Top 30 takeaways of 2022 revealed – is your favourite dish on the list?

View on the town Cardigan and the river Teifi on he coast of  Pembrokeshire, in Wales, UK. (Getty Images)
Soak up the view on Cardigan and the river Teifi on the coast of Pembrokeshire, as well as all the town has to offer. (Getty Images)

Glasgow (the place everyone seems to be talking about at the moment), Dorset, Padstow, Orkney and Margate, also feature in the list of 15 places.

"We recommend that you definitely put one or more of these destinations on your travel list for next year," adds Oliver.

Best places to visit in the UK in 2023:

  1. Eastbourne

  2. Birmingham

  3. Cardigan

  4. Manchester

  5. Scarborough

  6. Glasgow

  7. Dorset

  8. London

  9. Edinburgh

  10. Liverpool

  11. Padstow

  12. Orkney

  13. Margate

  14. Sheffield

  15. Cheshire

Watch: 2022 top travel destinations