Best and worst UK cities for business travel

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Leeds Town Hall
Leeds Town Hall

Leeds is officially the best city in the UK to travel on business, according to new research carried out by hotel booking platform DayBreakHotels.

The platform researched six major UK cities (London, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Liverpool and Edinburgh) and ranked them based on the number of hotels within a mile of the airport, the average price of a single room, the cost and duration of airport transfers, and the cost of airport parking.

This table shows where each city ranked in each category from 1 – 6 (six being the highest ranking, and one being the lowest):

City No. of hotels within one mile of the airport


Average price of a single room


Average cost of airport transfers


Average duration of airport transfer


Cost of airport parking (3 days)


Total score / 30
Leeds 2 6 6 4 6 24/30
Manchester 6 1 5 6 2 20/30
Liverpool 4 4 4 2 5 19/30
Edinburgh 3 5 3 2 1 15/30
Bristol 1 2 2 4 4 13/30
London 5 3 1 1 3 13/30


Despite only having four hotels within one mile of Leeds Bradford Airport, Leeds’ hotels are cheapest overall, costing an average of £59 per night for a standard room. Leeds also has the cheapest airport parking options and the most affordable airport transfers, with a three-day short-term stay at Leeds Bradford Airport costing just £48.

In contrast, Bristol and London came out joint bottom for business travel, according to DayBreakHotels’ criteria. Taking into account the capital’s five major airports, London has the slowest and most expensive airport transfers out of all the cities assessed, which take an average of 58 minutes. The Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted express trains offered quicker transport links to the centre, but cost £19.90, £25 and £18.10 respectively. London also ranked a low fourth in terms of hotel affordability and the cost of airport parking.

Manchester came out second best, followed by Liverpool and Edinburgh. Despite the fact that Manchester Airport is the most expensive airport when it comes to hotels – costing £10 more per night than hotels near London airports – it has the most hotels to choose from within a one-mile radius, as well as the quickest airport transfers out of all the cities (23 minutes). Bristol’s score suffered from having just one hotel within one mile of its airport.

DayBreakHotels’ Chief Marketing Officer, Matteo Cellini, said: “Our research paints a really interesting picture of the business traveller landscape in the UK. London is obviously the biggest hub for business travel, yet is by far the least efficient or affordable when it comes to travelling and staying near major airports. Generally speaking, airport transfers through London take a long time and are extremely expensive, which is less than ideal for business people on a tight schedule with minimal time to waste.

“A business traveller’s experience and expenses in London will vary greatly, depending on the airport they’re flying from and how they wish to travel from the airport to the city. It isn’t a straightforward story.

“Ultimately, business travellers flying from airports further north will save time and money getting to and from the airport and during any layovers. Perhaps it’s time businesses started looking beyond the UK’s capital city when arranging meetings with overseas clients and partners, for more affordable and efficient business trips.”

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