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The hardest British accents to understand

Like any country, Britain is full of different cultures, regional dynamics and different areas. Lots of tourists visit London, and they see the multicultural mix and hear the cockney accent... And then they go home thinking that the UK is like London.

However, there are some big cities all over the country that have very distinct cultures, attitudes and most importantly for this article, accents!

From ‘Cockney’ to ‘West Country’, ‘Geordie’ to ‘Scouse’, there are some really fun and unique accents that you’ll find in the UK. Read on and watch the videos to see some great examples of the most well-known accents in the UK.

Check us out at RKA Valencia, if you’re looking for a modern and flexible approach to learning real English. We teach you how to communicate, not how to memorise! Find out more about our teaching methods in this blog here.


The Cockney Accent - Visit London to find it

The cockney accent is one of the most famous in the UK, and it's a strong one! You can find it most easily in the centre of London, the largest city in the UK.

You'll hear this accent in people like Adele, Michael Caine and Mark Strong. You can even hear a mostly unsuccessful Amercian attempt at a cockney accent from Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins!

There's also a new form of the accent, known as Multicultural London English (MLE) that is spoken by lots of younger professionals.

The West Country Accent - Visit Bristol to find it

The West Country accent is one of the softer regional accents, although it can be just as difficult for language learners to understand. You can find it all around Bristol and the West Country region. Full of farming country, this is often known as a 'farmer' accent by UK citizens (a little unfairly).

You can hear this accent in people like Chris Martin of Coldplay, JK Rowling and Ben Howard.

There is some social stigma to this accent, and some consider those who speak with it to be less intelligent or less cultured. However Bristol and Exeter are modern, artisitc and cultural cities, and wonderful places to visit. So the reputation is not accurate!

The Scouse Accent - Visit Liverpool to find it

The Scouse accent is one of the harsher and faster of the regional accents. You can hear it in and around the Liverpool area.

You can hear this accent in people like Steven Gerrard, John Lennon and the Beatles.

Along with the Geordie accent, the Scouse accent ties for most difficult and dialectical accent in the UK. The accent is a sort of mix between Welsh accents (from just over the border) mixed with bits of Irish too, so it really is quite a unique sound!

The Geordie Accent - Visit Newcastle to find it

The Geordie accent is much loved, but hard to understand. You can find it in and around the Newcastle area, in the the far north of England.

You can hear this accent in people like Sarah Millican, Ant and Dec and Sting.

One way to think of the Geordie accent is by remembering that this northern part of England has more influence from Germanic and Scandanavian culture than Anglo-Saxon culture further south. It uses lots of older and Germanic origin words in the regional slang, and even has a medeival English twang to it!


For any enthusiastic English learner out there, hopefully these videos can help you get to know the UK a bit better.

For any students who want better quality English classes, taught by native English experts, then visit us at and find out more. We teach online, in person, or you can choose when you visit us at our Valencia English academy.

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