Weekly top five of five -- the United Kingdom

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The Independent Travel

London Fashion Show begins in the British capital this week, whilst Manchester's MEN Arena hosts Lady Gaga's international tour The Monster's Ball.

It's a busy week on the international stage for Britain, which has been given an unexpected boost by the recession. The fall in the value of the pound has made the country 21 percent cheaper for people travelling to the UK from the Eurozone and 27 percent cheaper for those from the USA, according to the industry body Tourism Alliance.

This weakness in the pound seems to have boosted arrivals - according to the most recent Top City Destinations report from analyst Euromonitor, London was the world's most visited city in 2008. Over 15 million people visited, dwarfing the international arrivals to Britain's next most popular city, Edinburgh (1.33 million). 1.2 million visited Manchester, Britain's third most visited city.

This is good news considering that international arrivals to the country dropped by 9 percent year on year in the twelve months to November 2009. 21.8 million Europeans made the journey last year, compared to 24 million in 2007-2008. 10 percent fewer North Americans also made the trip. British overnight accommodation rates have increased by seven percent to €112 from January to February 2010.

London

London is the world's most visited city and one of the most expensive - a room for the night this February costs €142 on average, up 9 percent from the same period last year. London's most popular hotel will set visitors back over €600 on average for its five star luxury, although visitors raved about the butlers, open fires and luxurious rooms

1. The Milestone Hotel
2. Hotel 41
3. The Soho Hotel
4. Sofitel St James London
5. The Halkin

Average Price $618 (€449)

Edinburgh

Scotland's capital boasts prices that are significantly cheaper than those of London, although less of a selection. The majority of the top five were four star, and all were located very centrally.

1. The Chester Residence
2. Holyrood Aparthotel
3. Fountain Court Apartments EQ-2
4. Tigerlilly
5. The Salisbury Hotel

Average Price $275 (€200)

Manchester

Hotels in Britain's "Capital of the North" were split between boutique and chain establishments. Business-oriented City Inn Manchester, replete with iMac-equipped rooms, took first place, followed by the boutique Velvet hotel, situated right in the centre of Manchester's Gay Village, one of the area's nightlife hotspots.

1. City Inn Manchester
2. Velvet
3. Radisson Edwardian Manchester
4. Arora International Manchester
5. Great John Street Hotel

Average Price $269 (€196)

Birmingham

According to TripAdvisor, Birmingham's most popular hotel is the two star, $117 a night Norwood Hotel. It's not fancy, but it is friendly, say travelers who praise the very quiet, family-run establishment.

1. Norwood Hotel
2. Eaton Hotel
3. City Inn Birmingham
4. Etap Hotel Birmingham
5. Hyatt Regency Birmingham

Average Price $154 (€112)

Glasgow

Scotland's largest city offers an excellent range of boutique chic, chain luxury and economic options. In top place, the Glasgow Hotel du Vin was described as "just right, contemporary, stylish but not too radical" by one traveler.

1. Hotel du Vin and One Devonshire Gardens
2. Blythswood Square
3. Menzies Glasgow Hotel
4. Radisson SAS Hotel Glasgow
5. Kelvingrove Hotel

Average Price $221 (€160)

Data is taken from millions of independent reviews and rankings surveyed at TripAdvisor taken at 10 AM GMT on February 17, 2010.

Website: http://www.tripadvisor.com

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