There has long been pressure on people to couple up, settle down, and build their fairytale future with the ideal ‘one’. But in 2022, many are choosing to look beyond the fantasy of the traditional lifestyle and enjoy the benefits of being young, free, and single in the modern world.
The number of single people in the world has never been so high. A UN report documented a global rise in the number of people reaching their 40s without ever marrying. And it is increasingly common for people to choose to be childfree, which removes the pressure of needing to be partnered.
But being single is not without its drawbacks. Rents and mortgages are more expensive when paying them on your own, plus there are pricy bills for drinks and meals to consider if you are looking to mingle sociably or in the dating world.
There are many varied factors of what best suits the life of a singleton and there is no one answer to suit all. However, if you’re looking to buy a house while enjoying the singles scene, you may be wondering which cities will offer you the best in terms of socialising, house prices, average wages and cost of living. With some of those factors in mind, we are going to take a look at some of the best cities in the UK in which to enjoy the freedom of being single.
What are the best cities in the UK for singles?
There is no clear answer in determining the best UK city for singles. To compile our list we have taken a number of factors into account, including rent and house prices, the average salary, the number of bars and clubs in the city, and the cost of going out for drinks, food, and coffee.
By using these factors we can assess the most cost-effective place to live alone, which cities have the most venues for meeting other people or going on dates, and how much your salary is likely to be able to contribute to your single lifestyle.
So let’s jump in and take a look at the best UK cities for singles.
Home to some of the most famous nightclubs in the world, Liverpool has been a buzzing northern treasure of a city since the days of The Beatles in the 1960s. The cost of living is low with cheap accommodation and an average price of £2.90 for a pint of beer – which is low enough to bring most Londoners to tears!
So with cheaper prices for solo renters and an array of world-class venues to mingle with others over cheap drinks whether that’s romantically or platonically, Liverpool has got the singleton market covered.
The beautiful city of Edinburgh is famed for its cobbled streets, Gothic architecture, and of course the annual comedy festival. But did you know that Edinburgh also has one of the highest ratios of restaurants, bars, pubs, and clubs, per capita for any city in the UK? The winding streets of this fair city are lined with grimy music bars, up-market restaurants, and hipster hangouts that make it the perfect place to make new friends, meet other singles, or take dates on a night out.
Being Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh is slightly pricier than some of the other cities on our list, which hits single renters and buyers harder than those coming in pairs. However, this is matched by a higher average salary overall. So, all in all, Edinburgh is a fantastic place for sociable singles and those that are hoping to date.
An oft-overlooked treasure of the northeast, Hull was the UK’s city of culture in 2017. With very low rents and house prices, Hull is a buzzing port city that comes alive at night and has all manner of bars, pubs and clubs serving cheap(ish) drinks, with the average pint costing just over £3.
So if you are single and looking for somewhere with low house prices to buy solo, or if you’re out for somewhere with a lively, sociable nightlife to meet friends, lovers and everything in between, then Hull could be just the place for you.
Belfast is the bustling capital of Northern Ireland and has a lively arts and culture scene as well as fantastic nightlife. With everything from locals boozers to trendy music venues, Belfast is a great place to hit the town and socialise with the urbanites of Ireland.
Accommodation is on the cheaper side too, which only adds to the allure of the city for singles. So whether you fancy going to a poetry reading to meet high-brow buddies, gigs where you’ll find like-minded aficionados, or just a quiet drink alone, Belfast has got something for everyone when it comes to a fulfilling single life.
Aberdeen is another city on our list that is often overlooked as a potential home for singles. But did you know that Scotland’s third largest city is also the cheapest place in the UK to buy property as a solo buyer in search of a one bedder?
Aberdeen is also not short of things to do when it comes to socialising and it has a nightlife that caters for the busy student population in the city with the average pint coming in at around £3. There is also the added bonus of the Scottish Highlands being only a short distance away, which offers fantastic weekend trips with friends or newly found romances. So with cheap digs, cheap booze, picturesque surroundings, and a busy social scene, what’s not to be enjoyed by singletons in Aberdeen?
There are of course plenty of cities in the UK that are great for singles that haven’t made our list. Cardiff is a particular highlight if you have your heart set on Wales, as it has great nightlife and cheap accommodation. Newcastle is also a much-recommended city in which to enjoy the single life, as is Birmingham and Southampton.
Ultimately, when considering where to live as a singleton, you should settle for a place that has what you need, and you can afford to be selfish because that’s one of the many benefits of being single. Think about your budget, your career goals, your interests, and what you want and need socially. Once you’ve figured that out and have taken the plunge into a new city, you are free to explore yourself and the world around you, and the rest will come following after.