The North East is the coldest place in England! So if you visit, be sure to invest in a nice organic cotton warm jumper and an organic cotton scarf! Facing over the North Sea, we are sort of going into Scandinavian latitudes here, that’s how chilly it can get in winter months. The sun does not mask the cold!
Cambridgeshire is sort of East Midlands/North East, depending on where you wish to place it. Home to one of the top universities, many people are unaware that Newcastle and County Durham are also believed to house two more of England’s top universities. Durham is (like Rome) built on 7 hills, so don’t visit here, if your knees are a bit old and creaky!
Yorkshire is a huge county that spans both east and west of England, and is home to the major cities of York (culture), Leeds (lively) and Harrogate (full of flowers). It’s also home to the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors, along with parts of the Peak District (which is mostly in Derbyshire). If you like walking you can make your way from the west to east coast, following Wainwright’s Coast-to-Coast walk (it takes a couple of weeks). You finish the walk, by dangling your feet in Robin Hood’s Bay.
The northeast of England is home to traditional seaside resorts like Skegness (home to the first-ever Butlins) and could do with some investment. As you go further north, you reach England’s least-populated county of Northumberland. This is a mystical place of mile-wide sandy beaches, overlooked by castles.
Just off the coast are the Farne Islands (home to thousands of puffins and seals and terns, and apparently Sir David Attenborough’s favourite wildlife place to visit). And Holy Island: a former haven for Catholic monks and now more of a tourist site: be careful if crossing, because the tide comes in quickly, and many cars have become stuck, if miscalculating the time to drive back.
Berwick is England’s most northerly town, just shy of the border with Scotland (which it uses to be part of). Today it’s a bustling market town, and still has its own tweed! And if you fancy travelling further afield, you can visit the bustling city of Newcastle or even take an overnight boat and visit Denmark!
A few years back, a newspaper journalist was sent off to find England’s prettiest county. Northumberland was pipped to the post by Shropshire. Not because it was more beautiful: but simply because one of the criteria for this sun-loving writer was the weather: and he didn’t like the cold!