YORK has topped a poll of favourite small cities and towns in Great Britain.

The city took top spot in a survey conducted for travel publisher Rough Guide. Whitby was seventh.

York beat off competition from other hugely popular destinations including Bath, Brighton, Chester and St Ives, which made up the remainder of the top five.

The poll, conducted by YouGov, asked about 2,000 adults to name their favourite small town or city and they said York’s history, architecture and people added to the general great feel to the city.

A Rough Guides spokeswoman said the survey was conducted to highlight the huge number of destinations that hold an appeal for tourists outside Britain’s main cities.

John Yeomans, chairman of the Visit York tourism partnership, said: “York truly is the jewel in the Yorkshire crown.”