Where’s the best and worst tap water in the UK?

Where’s the best and worst tap water in the UK?

In a 2023 survey we asked over 500 people across the UK to rank the taste and quality of the tap water where they live.

This is what people said.

Best in order of ranking:

  1. Scotland
  2. South West (Bristol)
  3. Yorkshire and the Humber (Leeds)
  4. North Ireland (Belfast)
  5. Wales (Cardiff)

Worst in order of ranking:

  1. East of England (Norwich)
  2. East Midlands (Leicester)
  3. South East (Southampton)
  4. Greater London (London)
  5. West Midlands (Birmingham)

We also observed that 56% of Londoners think bottled water is healthier than tap water vs 21% in Scotland and North East. At TAPP Water we believe everyone should have access to clean tasty tap water at an affordable cost in an environmentally friendly way.

Read more about our latest research related to tap water and bottled water stats in the UK

Notes/comments about the ranking:

  • The ranking is based on people’s opinions of taste and quality and not actual water quality. At the time of the survey all regions met the government requirements of drinkable tap water. Therefore it's difficult to state objectively what the best or worst tap water is.
  • Cities within brackets represents the majority of respondents to the survey in each region.
  • Many of the regions have multiple water sources so water quality could differ across the region.
  • Bad taste is usually attributable to chlorine or high levels of minerals (often causing limescale). This is aesthetic rather than water quality.


Read more about tap water in London and the rest of the UK and best water filters for the UK. Do you agree / disagree with the ranking? Comment below!

Back to blog