Guide to England

England is the largest of the four "home nations" that make up the United Kingdom. It is also the most populous of the four with almost 52 million inhabitants (roughly 84% of the total population of the UK). On the island of Great Britain, Scotland sits to the north of England and Wales is to the west. Northern Ireland (also part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland lie across the Irish Sea to west of England (and Wales).France and the Channel Islands are across the English Channel to the south, and to the east is the North Sea.


England can be divided most generally into three sections, with deep historical and linguistic roots for each of them. These can be further divided into regions, which in turn consist of counties (most of which also have long histories, but have been revised in many cases for administrative reasons).

Regions of England



A vast and diverse metropolitan region to itself, the capital city of both England and the United Kingdom, a global capital of finance, fashion, and culture.


South East England

Broadly speaking, the area around and south of London, including the territory along the English Channel.


West Country

The often-rugged peninsula extending southwest into the Atlantic and adjoining counties. Cornwall is sometimes considered a distinctive entity.



East of England

A low-lying territory northeast of London, mostly rural.




The English Midlands is roughly the part of England east of Wales (excluding Gloucestershire and Cheshire which are in the West Country and the North West respectively) and across to the North Sea.

East Midlands

The geographic center of England, reaching to the North Sea.

West Midlands

The industrial and rural area east of Wales.





Northern England is anywhere north of Stafford-shire in the west and roughly north of the Humber river, in the east, up to the Scottish border.


Regarded as one of the most scenic, varied and interesting of all the traditional counties.

North West England

Major industrial cities and breathtaking scenery between Wales and Scotland.

North East England

The urbanised areas of Teesside and Tyne and Wear plus the largely rural large county of Northumberland with its sparsely populated borders with Scotland and beautiful countryside and coastline.




England has many large cities. Listed below are nine of the most popular:

  • London — largest metropolitan area in Western Europe, and a global capital of finance, fashion and culture.
  • Birmingham — the UK's second largest city (by population) in the industrial heartland.
  • Bristol — vibrant music and art scene, lovely historic buildings, an attractive waterfront and a laid back, friendly, amiable, mellow atmosphere in the West Country's largest city.
  • Brighton — regency seaside resort and university town with quirky shopping, good eating, rich culture and vibrant gay nightlife.
  • Liverpool — "The home of the Beatles", a booming cosmopolitan city famous for its vibrant nightlife, rich cultural heritage, magnificent waterfront, superb architecture, and excellence in music and sport.
  • Manchester — third most visited city in the UK, a cultural, sporting, entertainment, shopping and media hub.
  • Nottingham — "Queen of the Midlands", home of Robin Hood, Sherwood Forest and Nottingham Castle.
  • Newcastle upon Tyne — a thriving northern city with world-famous nightlife.
  • York — ancient capital of Yorkshire, with Roman, Viking and Medieval remains.




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