While it’s nice to, you don’t always have to jump on a plane for several hours to see some pretty cool, amazingly creative, and weird and wonderful things that are out there. Creativity oozes its inspirational juices on our doorstep here in England, so head to one of these great creative cities to explore it.
Article by Maria S.
Image by RuaraidhG
Named the European Capital of Culture in 2008 and notoriously home to musical legends The Beatles, vibrantly colourful Liverpool undoubtedly has a dominant creative side.
Aside from over 7,000 creative and digital firms in the city, The Museum of Liverpool tirelessly hosts exhibitions and workshops from photography and art to architecture and history, celebrating all aspects of its people and the legacies they have left. With Liverpool’s rich history in maritime, trade and slavery and its numerous festivals and fairs throughout the year, you’re bound to roll in inspiration. There’s even cirque du soleil for you to sink your creative teeth into.
Image by quattrostagioni
Often hailed the mini-London, Bristol is known for its innovatively creative culture. Home to unpredictably controversial street artist Banksy, the city’s street art culture has boomed, bringing the rest of the city’s creativity with it. With festivals and carnivals in almost everything you can think of from puppetry to Thai culture, kites to Carribbean culture and tons more, Bristol truly celebrates every kind of creative.
Through embracing the weird and whacky in every sense, in Bristol even the most outlandish fits right in. It would be wrong to neglect the fact that it was in Bristol that artists Massive Attack and Tricky were born, not to mention comedians Russell Howard and Justin Lee Collins, and actors McKenzie Crook and Stephen Merchant.
As well as street art, Bristol constantly looks to discover undiscovered young talent in photography and many other art forms, frequently running competitions and open exhibitions to showcase all ends of Bristol’s creative talent.
Image by Torcello Trio
As the country’s Capital City and hailed the World’s most creative city, London could not get away without a mention. With famously edgy and alternative streets like East London’s Brick Lane, home to uniquely quirky art stores, fashion markets, and food from around the world, something is bound to jump out at you.
London’s majestic buildings and architecture too, stretching right out to Windsor show its diversity, if that wasn’t clear enough already. Art and creativity is crammed into the street’s walls through the huge street art scene the capital takes pride in, and is thrown effortlessly together in the outfits of the trendy city dwellers that crowd the streets. Notting Hill Carnival cannot be ignored, and is a hub of creativity in itself, August after August, year in year out.
Image by dullhunk
Manchester, being the new home of BBC’s headquarters, is notable for its media links and thriving tech scene. The city encourages the active community of creative bodies of Manchester, through creative meet-ups such as Draw North West and TechHub Manchester, who have regular get-togethers to encourage and learn from one another. As the UK’s 2nd most populated urban area, Manchester has a hugely booming theatre, opera and dance scene boasting several large performance venues, leaving you spoiled for creating viewing choice.
The city’s music scene has always had a prominence in the North of England, since the dominance of the ‘Madchester’ scene during the 80s, and with the aid of the Royal Northern College of Music and large music venues to showcase the ever emerging talents – almost unrivalled in other creative cities.
Image by Hi I’m Santi
As creative cities go, Newcastle’s stock is growing so rapidly that it seemed only fair to include them in this list. The city’s community of digital activity is expanding and hugely active with companies like Thinking Digital who hold annual innovate conferences and have a huge presence in the city and Made in Newcastle, a local community of internet and website companies constantly looking to evolve the digital face of the city.
Newcastle has a great appreciation of the arts too, with the quirky AV Festival of International Electronic Art held annually in March, and the yearly North East Art Expo in May celebrating the city’s uniquely creative culture.
Image by El Toñio
Yep, usually it’s Top 5, but how could we miss out Hull when today they were crowned 2017’s City of Culture in all its glory. Hull’s architectural diversity across the city, giving it its iconic nature, and its traditions in theatre, including the Hull Truck Theatre Company, makes it naturally creative. They won the cultural award by showing “evidence of community and creative engagement”, and their Museum Quarter and nationally recognised art galleries have surely helped and continue to draw in tourists from around the country.
This list doesn’t by any means cover all of the UK’s wealth of creativity, and there are many more city’s perfect for us creative out there. What is the most creative city you have ever lived in or visited?
Maria is from Bristol and loves going to all its events. She also enjoys exploring other cities and discovering all that they have to offer.