Northwest England is a vast area that only covers a few counties, most of it taken by up The Lake District, an area of the largest lakes and highest mountains in England. Nearby is Carlisle railway station (where Celia Johnson said goodbye to Trevor Howard in the film Brief Encounter). Just over the water is Scotland, and the coast looks over the Irish sea. If you don’t wish to take the choppy ferry from North Wales to reach the Emerald Isle, Liverpool also sails to Ireland (albeit a longer trip).
- Cheshire is not far from the Irish Sea. Most of this county is rural and this is home to some of England’s best walking country. It’s also home to city of Chester, with its gorgeous black-and-white timber buildings. It’s home to the 34-mile Sandstone Trail.
- Cumbria is a beautiful mostly rural county that contains most of The Lake District, home to Lake Windermere and its highest mountains. You’ll find fields of sheep (protected by dry stone walls) and you’re not too far from Hadrian’s Wall, near the Scottish borders (in parts of Cumbria, you can look out over the water, and see Scotland).
- Lancashire is home to the city of Manchester. But again the surrounding area is mostly rural, apart from a few holiday destinations like Blackpool and the coastal town of Morecambe (take great care, as this is the bay where the Chinese cockle-pickers lost their lives).
- Liverpool and Warrington are two major urban towns, with lots of green space including Seaforth Nature Reserve and many other nature reserves and meadows nearby. When the local council tried to ban dogs from many green spaces, the uproar caused the decision to be reversed.
- Yorkshire is a vast county that stretches east and west of England. You can take Wainright’s Coast-to-Coast Walk, which starts in St Bee’s (Cheshire) and ends when you paddle your toes in Robin Hood’s Bay, on East Yorkshire’ coast. Most major cities are in the west (Sheffield & Leeds being two). Harrogate is also in West Yorkshire.