English Accents around the UK

Scroll down for examples of UK English accents

Have you seen Downton Abbey? Peaky Blinders? Trainspotting? How much could you understand? Did you find one easier than the others?

The UK has a greater diversity accents than any other English-speaking country. Depending on how they are counted, the UK is home to between 37 and 45 distinct English accents.



There was a time when the only accent that could be heard on the BBC was Received Pronunciation (RP), which is sometimes called ‘BBC English’ or ‘The Queen’s English’. RP is associated with Southern England, but is actually not located in one geographical area. According to polls both in the UK and abroad, RP is still seen as the most educated, trusted and sincere English accent.

Various polls in the UK also indicate that the Yorkshire accent is considered ‘honest’, the Devonshire accent, ‘trustworthy’, Geordie ‘attractive’, and the Edinburgh accent one of ‘the most pleasant and prestigious’. Although the BBC now embraces a much more diverse range of accents than it did, ‘accentism’ (prejudice against particular accents) is, unfortunately, still an issue for some people in the UK.


Sound Map of the UK

 Brummie (in and around Birmingham)

Cockney (South London)

Cornish (from Cornwall)

Geordie (in and around Newcastle)

Mancunian (from Manchester)

Northern Irish (the South of Ireland is an independent country and not part of the UK)

Received Pronunciation RP (there are three main types of RP)

Scottish English (there are several different Scottish accents)

Scouse (from Liverpool)

Welsh (there are a few different Welsh accents)

West Country


If you’re interested in English accents, have a look at these blog posts: English Accents and Dialects: An Introduction, and English Accents Around the World