Which UK Cities Need a Spa Break?

A woman in a green coat sits on a wooden dock by a lake

You deserve to get away from it all and escape when life gets tough, but it seems that some UK cities need a break more than others. Here at Aqua Spa and Leisure, we analyse Google search data and trends to find out which cities in the UK need a break the most.


For the cities in need of a spa break, we used Keyword Planner on Google Ads to identify the number of impressions for “spas near me” from 61 of the 69 official cities in the UK. After collating this information, we then added the population of each city, dividing the number of impressions for each location by the population before multiplying it by 100 to work out the percentage of the population searching for “spas near me”.

For the best spa cities to visit, we analysed search data from Ahrefs to identify the UK cities with the highest search volume for “spas in [location]”. This then showed us the locations around the UK most searched for spa breaks.

The full data set of UK cities search results for spas can be viewed on Google Sheets.

The cities most in need of a spa break

1. Ely

The cathedral city of Ely lies in Cambridgeshire. It has an estimated population of 20,112 and a rich history, yet it seems that residents in Ely are the most likely to search for “spas near me”. 4.3% of the population have used this search term, making Ely residents the most in need of a spa break across the UK.

2. Chichester

Next up is Chichester in West Sussex. It is the only city in West Sussex and it seems that this has left the population feeling stressed. Over 3.96% of residents have looked for spas in the area, making them the second city in the UK most in need of a spa break.

3. Bath

Bath’s rich history as a well-being destination in Roman times may have influenced their placement in the list, but it seems that 2.6% of residents have been looking for local spas. With over 2,300 impressions, it could be that tourists to the area are in search of the best spa experience, but it could also mean that residents are feeling stressed and in need of some relaxation.

4. Truro

Truro in Cornwall is another popular tourist destination, but it seems that those living in this cathedral city need a little “me” time. 1.9% of residents have searched for “spas near me”, suggesting that they want to relax and unwind in their beautiful surroundings.

5. Bristol

Along the River Avon, you’ll find the popular city of Bristol. Sitting close to the city of Bath, residents here have been searching for local spas, with 1.7% opting to search. With almost half a million in population, these are a significant amount of searches.

The UK cities most in need of a spa break - Aqua Spa and Leisure

The cities least in need of a spa break

57. Cardiff

At position 57 out of 61 cities sits Cardiff. With over a quarter of a million residents, surprisingly only 0.17% are looking for spas in the area. It seems that Wales is perhaps one of the best places to be for your mental health and wellbeing.

58. Aberdeen

The majority of Scottish cities seem to fair well on this ranking, and Aberdeen is number 58 on the list. Only 0.13% of the population have searched for “spas near me”.

59. Perth

Another Scottish city doing well for mental health is Perth. Lying in central Scotland and on the banks of the River Tay, residents have stunning surroundings to enjoy, which could be why only 0.1% of residents have tried looking for local spas.

60. Canterbury

As a cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Canterbury has a lot going for it. It’s a popular location to visit and live, with over half a million residents, but only 0.07% of them have wanted a spa break.

61. Chester

Chester is considered to be an affluent area with a number of tourist attractions to keep residents entertained. This could be why it sits so low on the list, as only 0.04% of residents have looked for “spas near me”.

Map showing the cities least in need of a spa break

Where do the most populous cities sit?

52. London

As the most populous city in the UK, we were expecting London to be a lot higher up on the list. However, they placed 52 out of 61 cities in the UK with 0.29% of residents searching. It seems that people living in London don’t want to look for “spas near me”. We suspect that they might be travelling further afield instead.

28. Birmingham

Birmingham sits higher on the list at number 28, with 0.68% of residents searching for nearby spas. The city has one of the top 100 universities in the world there, as well as a large convention centre, but it is also known for being the most dangerous major city in the West Midlands. Perhaps this is why locals are looking for spa breaks?

38. Leeds

The largest city in West Yorkshire, Leeds sits at number 38 on the list. Considered the unofficial capital of Yorkshire, it is a thriving hub of activity, but is known as a student city, which might be why 0.51% of residents are in need of a spa break.

26. Glasgow

Glasgow sits pretty high on the list, and while it isn’t the highest Scottish city, it is the most populous. Despite its reputation as the friendliest city in the world, 0.7% of residents have been searching for a local spa they can visit. It could be that the number of people there has left residents feeling stressed out.

32. Sheffield

The fifth most populous city (not already analysed in this data) is Sheffield. The area is often voted as the safest city in the UK, and the Steel City has a great reputation for being friendly, thanks to the locals. It sits in the middle of this list, with 0.61% of residents looking for nearby spas.

Map showing the most populous cities in the UK

The most popular spa cities

Certain cities around the UK are recognised as spa destinations. Unsurprisingly, these make for the most popular searches for “spas in [location]”, with thousands of searches from UK residents looking for the perfect getaway destination. Which cities are the most searched?

  • Bath
  • Liverpool
  • Brighton
  • Birmingham
  • York

Bath has a reputation for being the ultimate well-being location to visit, thanks to the Roman baths, so we aren’t surprised that over 11,000 people have searched for “spas in Bath”. The rest of the top five are historic and thriving cities, making them ideal locations for a spa break.

Map showing the best UK spa cities to visit

What if you can’t get away?

The previous 18 months have been very stressful for everyone, and not all of us can get away for a long weekend spa break. Thankfully, you don’t have to go away from home for a relaxing time. Why not treat yourself to a staycation instead?

Here at Aqua Spa and Leisure, you can hire a hot tub. We offer the complete package, helping you with positioning, filling, demonstration, and more. Contact us today to find out more.