UK’s Chattiest High Streets 2021

A new UK-wide study from Metro Bank has found almost half of us (47%) are making more effort than before the pandemic to talk to people when visiting our local high street, while over a quarter (27%) say we value our local high street and community more than ever before. 

When it comes to the UK’s chattiest high streets, the nationwide poll of 2,000 people in the UK found St Albans in Hertfordshire has the UK’s chattiest high street, with Hemel Hempstead in second place.  

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UK’s Chattiest High Streets 2021:  

  1. St Albans 
  2. Hemel Hempstead
  3. London
  4. Belfast
  5. Liverpool
  6. Southampton
  7. Manchester
  8. Newcastle
  9. Cardiff
  10. Northampton

Saying ‘hi’ is a small gesture that clearly goes a long way; almost two thirds (64%) of us like a simple ‘hi’ from people – whether we know them or not, while 44% of us say that a ‘hi’ from a stranger has a positive impact on our mood. 

Conversation expert Georgie Nightingall comments; “The pandemic may have made our social skills a little rusty, but it also highlighted a shared human need for connection and how important a little chat can be.”  

“Small talk can massively improve our everyday wellbeing, make us smarter, expand our networks and create a sense of wider belonging.  Research suggests that we are happier on days when we have more social interactions, be that eye contact, smiling, or a brief chat with the barista.  Perhaps it’s time we really recognised the value of a simple 'hi’.” 

Happy community

70% of those interviewed agree that a happy community is one where people regularly communicate with each other, even strangers.  Being at the heart of the high street, Metro Bank is harnessing this new-found sense of community spirit, encouraging others to embrace the power of ‘hi’ to bring a little joy to people and communities. 

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Kat Robinson, Head of Hi at Metro Bank, said “As a bank at the heart of the high street, we know how important it is to really connect with others, be that through simple gestures or a little chat. We aim to celebrate the role the high street has played over the last 20 months or so, in bringing society together – and keeping it together.”