London Is Rude

March 15, 2010

Well the plaudits just keep on coming. I was still getting my head around receiving the dubious honour of living in the angriest city in Europe. Now less than two weeks later, we have another survey telling us we are the rudest and least helpful city in the UK. According to an article in The Travel Magazine, a survey by Jury’s Inn, the hotel group, found that London was top of the ten rudest cities, closely followed by Glasgow, Bradford and Birmingham. The top of the lovely league was Southampton, followed by Norwich, Exeter and Brighton. Now I’d have to agree with Brighton. It’s a great place, Norwich I visited once and it was nice, but not earth shattering, I don’t expect Southampton will set my knickers on fire and Exeter probably has only two people and sheep. The top five are mostly coastal areas and the bottom five are proper, big cities with all the wonders and vileness that goes with it. Surely it’s like comparing apples with oranges. Still, I can’t deny that some Londoners would stamp on a granny if they thought they’d be guaranteed a seat on the tube at rush hour. It’s a jungle out there.

There were also complaints about customer service in this survey, but if you insist on shopping in places like Oxford Street where you’ll most likely be served by surly foetuses, then serve you right. If you want to venture a little further to smaller shops on the outskirts of central London, you’ll get a personal service from people who actually want your custom. But if you want to stay central then you may find some good stores. I’ve already written about John Lewis where service is king. Selfridges is not too shabby and in Covent Garden there’s a music shop called Fopp with friendly staff that sell CDs and DVDs at very good prices. I like to think I’m one of the friendly, helpful Londoners – when I’m not fighting against people who wind me up (see my previous post, London Is Angry). In fact there are several of us dotted around the capital. We may be the civilised raisins in the spotted dick of bad attitude and bad manners, but we are there, we are visible and we are proud.

Now piss off.



  1. Again, as a frequent visitor to London, I have something to say about this.

    I had great fun in London. And while I have encountered surly teenagers working in sports shops, the majority of the sales staff I encountered were rather nice. Especially shopkeepers of second book stores. If you like the same sort of books they like, they can be quite chatty.

    Oh yeah. Employees of the fast food joints (regardless of age) tend to be surly too.

    Sales people at small shops tend to be nicer, I noticed. I was at this newsagent/bookshop/video store one time, and the staff in there spent some time chatting with me about London when they found out that I was a visitor.

    • Yes, independent second hand book shops can be a great source of information and happy service. I’m sure if I came to your part of town, I would have a similar experience.

  2. I used to live in London (1997-1998) and I loved it then! Now I live near York (North Yorkshire)and when I hear people commenting on rude Londoners I don’t quite understand what makes them say that they are more rude than people from Yorkshire? I came across so many arrogant, ignorant, narrow-minded and rude people here and no one ever mentions it in any article, just how kind, friendly and hospitable they are. Tut tut

    • Hello Monika. Thanks for having a look at my blog and for commenting. It’s much appreciated.

      I hear that Yorkshiremen are honest to the point of blunt, which could be perceived as rudeness. I’ll take the word of a person who actually lives in Yorkshire when talking about rudeness. Thanks for letting me know. I talk a lot about the things that wind me up about London (and that’s not likely to stop in the distant future), but the beauty of this city is that there are so many different types of people that you find yourself having to make the choice of either expanding your life, or leaving. It doesn’t sound like you get the chance to work that muscle where you’re living right now.

  3. Nice spotted dick analogy to end the post, Pie. I’ve never found people in London to be particuarly helpful but maybe I just haven’t met the right Londoners? But there are rude and arrogant people everywhere – as the largest city in the UK surely this is bad statistics based on population size?

    I live in the cold hard north and most people who I talk to are quite surly (particularly people in shops, although there’s a lot of pushing in queues, tut-tuts, dodgy looks because I don’t look like everyone else etc.) It’s not an isolated problem

    • You’re right, Scarlet, there are rude and arrogant people everywhere. If you look different from the rest, the aggravation increases. Good job there are open, kind people out there to balance things out. I hope you can find more of them.

  4. I have only been to LOndon, the big city, twice in my long life but on both occasions I loved it. I certianly didn’t find people rude! Though maybe it has changed a lot since then.
    My pick for rudest most awful place in the UK, well on Earth really is Dundee.
    London is a great place and I will be making my third trip soon.
    Love your blog by the way.

    • Welcome to my blog. I’m glad you like it. I hope you enjoy your third trip to London. I don’t know when you last paid a visit, but it has changed a lot. I’ve heard similar things about Dundee over the years. I think that’s one place I’ll do my best to avoid.

  5. People often say that about New York, but I found New Yorkers to be very nice in general, and always willing to help when I got lost (which was a lot lol).

    As for London, lived in Wembley 7 years and I never found it rude.

    I agree with the other poster, rude people all over the place, we have a few in this wee village in ohio.

    ps. love the name of your blog.

    • Maybe I should visit your village in Ohio to compare, using my rudeometer. In fact, I’m starting to build up a nice collection of rude places to visit thanks to the comments here. Thanks for your visit and I’m glad you like the name of this blog. Come again whenever you fancy.

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