The UK’s noisiest and quietest towns and cities revealed

Manisha Mehta

5-minute read

13th Jan 2021

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When you’re choosing somewhere to live, you might be focused on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, but, spare a thought for those noisy neighbours…

While every town and city has its more lively areas, and also those that are more peaceful, it’s important to do your research into the local area – and that includes who you’re going to be living next door to.

From loud music and raves to loud sex and barking dogs,we’ve revealed the UK’s noisiest (and quietest) neighbourhoods to help you along the way.

Finding the noisiest neighbourhood in the UK

We submitted Freedom of Information requests to the local councils of each of the UK’s major towns and cities to find out which dealt with the most noise complaints and what these complaints consisted of.

Please note that each council has its own way of recording complaints, so results may not always be directly comparable. In addition, only a handful of council’s didn’t get back to us in time, and that’s why Edinburgh,Nottingham and Brighton have been omitted from our list.

The 10 noisiest towns and cities in the UK

London – 261,500 complaints
Glasgow – 13,517 complaints
Belfast – 13,449 complaints
Birmingham – 10,990 complaints
Aberdeen – 10,251 complaints
Manchester – 9,554 complaints
Coventry - 8,110 complaints
Cardiff – 6,665 complaints
Swansea – 6,519 complaints
Liverpool – 5,964 complaints

The 10 quietest towns and cities in the UK

Norwich – 945 complaints
Norfolk – 1,013 complaints
Oxford – 1,049 complaints
Peterborough – 1,330 complaints
Bristol – 1,689 complaints
Derby – 1,906 complaints
Sunderland – 1,940 complaints
Hull – 2,215 complaints
Stockport – 2,341 complaints
Leeds – 2,400 complaints

Noise complaint trends

Whilst we may be a dog loving nation, the sound of dogs barking seem to be sending people barking mad, with this category of complaints coming out as the most popular noise to complain about.

General ‘people’ noise is the second most common noise complaint, which is then followed by music and parties.

The weird and the wonderful complaints

When it came to the weird and wonderful complaints, ‘sexual noise’ was cited as an issue in the London Borough of Greenwich. Whilst over in Glasgow, ice cream van chimes were an issue for some of the city’s residents.  In Belfast, banging doors and gates, as well as singing in the streets were some of the most popular complaints, aside from barking dogs and music.

For the full list of towns and cities, along with the number of complaints, see the below table.

City Noise Complaints
London 261,500
Glasgow 13,517
Belfast 13,449
Birmingham 10,990
Aberdeen 10,251
Manchester 9,554
Coventry 8,110
Cardiff 6,665
Swansea 6,519
Liverpool 5,964
Leicester 5,401
Newcastle 5,262
Sheffield 4,781
Portsmouth 4,659
Bradford 4,623
York 4,523
Cambridge 3,571
Stoke-on-Trent 2,441
Leeds 2,400
Stockport 2,341
Hull 2,215
Sunderland 1,940
Derby 1,906
Bristol 1,689
Peterborough 1,330
Oxford 1,049
Norfolk 1,013
Norwich 945

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