Buttermere rainbow

The North West of England cannot be summed up in a few words. It is a region of surprising diversity. Its landscape sweeps between rolling hills, forests, traditional seasides, cosmopolitan cities, and the timeless cobbled streets of small towns and villages. The area includes the counties of Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, and Cheshire. Amongst the cities, Liverpool and Manchester are the biggest and the most varied culturally. Manchester was once called ‘Cottonopolis’ for its involvement in textile production during the Industrial Revolution. This dynamic city was also the birthplace of a number of social movements including Chartism, the Labour movement, the Suffragates, Vegetarianism, and the Cooperative Movement. These days many tourists visit to catch a soccer game: Manchester United Football Club is arguably the world's best known.

While Manchester has soccer, Liverpool had, has, and will forever have The Beatles, the most iconic band of the 1960s. John, Paul, George, and Ringo were born here and their band famously found it first audiences at the Cavern Club. Liverpool was an important port for centuries and was for many slaves the last sight of 'Old World' before their long and terrible journeys across the seas. The old dock area is now a UNESCO World Heritage Listed area while the rest of the city is brimming with cultural events, a pleasant and lasting product of the city's stint as a European Capital of Culture in 2008.

Parts of Chester cause the visitor to wonder if he has stepped straight into a Medieval romance. In fact, many of white and black timber framed dwellings are Victorian reproductions. Outside the city, the country of Cheshire is as wealthy as it is timeless, a picturebook mix of villages and rolling hills.
There are a few different accents and dialects amongst inhabitants of the North West though many outsiders might find it difficult to distinguish between them by and large. Most obvious is the 'Scouse' dialect of Liverpool, a fast and lyrical mix of Irish, Welsh, and Northern English accents.

Aside from the region's cultural highlights, there are many opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, horseriding, swimming, quad biking, hot air ballooning, or archery. And when you are done with a long day's exploring, there are a plethora of traditional foods to try: give the famous Lancashire Hot Pot a whirl on a cold night, sample some Cheshire Cheese, or savour the sickly sweetness of Blackpool Rock

1.  Cumbria, including The Lake District   2.  Lancashire   3.  Merseyside   4.  Greater Manchester   5.  Cheshire   6.  Isle of Man

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Click the link to dowload the 31-page PDF version of NORTH WEST ENGLAND. It covers the counties of Cumbria (including The Lake District), Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire and the Isle of Man.