In collaboration with Emily Jones
Cold, friendly, grim, strong… There is a long list of adjectives that seem to be repeated when describing the north of England, depending on who happens to be speaking. While Northerners talk of the soulless, unfriendly atmosphere in London, Southerners tend to speak of the North as a place stuck in the past, made up of men in flat caps, and complete with plenty of rainy, gloomy weather. Of course, neither is quite true, but as a proud Northerner, I think it is about time we celebrate just how brilliant ‘up North’ truly is! So, here I present just some of the reasons why the North is fantastic.
While people usually flock to the beaches in the South, it is widely known that the beaches in the North are some of the best in England. Blackpool and Southport both offer exciting beach holidays, whether it is warm in the summer, or cold in the winter- you will have fun and experience beauty either way. And who could turn their nose up at a huge portion of fresh fish and chips in the gorgeous town of Whitby, the traditional seaside town that inspired one of the world’s most famous literary creations– Dracula!
It might be a cliché, but not without merit- people are friendly in the north! Yes of course you get the same grumps everywhere, but as opposed to London where many people are in a hurry to get from a to b in the north you generally can’t take a short bus journey without at least a short conversation on your travels. Indeed, researchers from Cambridge have now provided scientific proof that people in the north are friendlier than in the South!
There are some great food options in the North. Cities like Liverpool, Leeds, and Manchester offer some great local restaurants with a huge variety and diversity in choice- just one of the benefits of the wide mix of cultures. There are also many regional delights you’ve got to try for example Nothumberland’s Pease pudding- perfect in a Geordie Stotie sandwich! No Sunday in the UK is complete without a traditional dinner and what is Sunday dinner without a Yorkshire pudding or two? There’s also the Lancashire hotpot, Eccles cakes, Scouse, chicken Parmos, and well, the list goes on!
Of course, the accents in the North of England are some of the most interesting and diverse in the world! They often top various lists of the country’s favourites- call centres are said to be much more successful if their employees have a Yorkshire accent- thought to be trustworthy and wise, or a Geordie accent which has been voted the country’s friendliest! Still arguably underrepresented in the media northern accents may be easy to mock by those without- but the intricacies of the different dialects up north are something to be proud of!
There are so many important towns in the North that are responsible for adding so much across all boards. From culture, to arts, to industry, the North has contributed a lot to the country and has the thriving cities to prove it. Leeds has been named as one of the top 5 places to work in the UK (beating London). With a low cost of living and thriving economy jobsites such as Jobrapido have a constantly growing list of jobs in Leeds as more and more jobseekers look outside the capital to start their careers. On top of this Manchester, Newcastle and Liverpool have all made it into the top ten most creative cities in the UK. Plus the house prices in big cities in the north are much lower than their southern counterparts.
Cost of Living
It remains a mystery how anyone can comfortably afford to live in London, as prices seem to continuously be on the rise. You can go all out for a whole night in Liverpool for the same price as a short taxi ride in London! The top fifteen places with the highest cost of living in the UK are all situated in the south or midlands, whilst six of the top fifteen locations with the lowest are in the north of England (the rest mainly being in Scotland and Ireland).
There is so much art to see in the North- arguably in competition with London. In Manchester, Liverpool, and Leeds there are many art museums, even a Tate Modern! Along with this there is a pretty established art scene in all of these places. The north has a huge cultural heritage, which seems to create the perfect setting for exciting new artists to thrive in all fields of the art world, whether it be in galleries, theatres or music venues. From the Beatles to Oasis to the Pet Shop Boys, musicians from the North of England are internationally celebrated and renowned, often artists drawing from their experiences growing-up up north.
This article is not an attack on the South, but just a celebration of the North! We northerners may often find ourselves as the butt of a joke- but if there is anyone who can laugh at themself, it is a Northerner! I haven’t even begun to mention the great comic talents hailing from the north, from Peter Kay to Jason Manford to Sarah Millican- we northerners know how to laugh!