The North West is also one of the nine
official regions of England; Lancashire, Cumbria, Cheshire, Merseyside and
Greater Manchester are its five ceremonial counties. North West England is
bounded by the Irish Sea and North Wales and by the Midlands, Scotland and
North East England.
North West is well served by hills creating many outdoor opportunities for its
residents and visitors alike as not only does it include the Peak District and
the Pennines but the North West also boasts its internationally famous Lake
District. The highest point in North West England (and the highest peak in
England) is Scafell Pike, Cumbria, at a height of 3,209 feet (978 m).
Up until the 12th Century, Cumbric (a Celtic
language), was common throughout North West England. The language still
survives today and can be seen in place names all over the North West and is
contained in some traditional nursery rhymes. Today English is the most spoken
language in the North West, with a large percentage of the population fluent in
it, and close to 100% conversational in it.
north-east of the region, within the traditional boundaries of Cumberland, the
Cumbrian dialect is dominant. Another strong dialect found within the North
West is the Lancashire accent, and stretches as far north as Furness in South
Cumbria to areas of north Greater Manchester and Merseyside in the south of the
region. The North West boasts some of the most distinctive accents with the
Scouse accent which originates from Liverpool and its surrounding areas and the
more recent Manc accent deriving from the central Manchester district. The North
West’s accents are among those referred to as 'Northern English' by southerners.
largest metropolitan areas in the North West are the Manchester metropolitan
area with a population of 2,556,000 and the Liverpool/Birkenhead metropolitan
area with 2,241,000 people.
North West has always been at the forefront of transport development and the
earliest recognised canal of the modern age was The Bridgewater Canal and in
1830 the world's first passenger inter-city railway opened connecting
Manchester and Liverpool.
North West’s universities have produced some of the world’s finest minds. Sir
Richard Owen from Lancaster coined the word dinosaur in 1842. The University of
Manchester built the world's first programmable computer, the Manchester
Small-Scale Experimental Machine, in 1948 and Calder Hall was the world's first
nuclear power station in 1956.
North West’s principal road link is the M6 and this runs all the way from
Carlisle and Scotland in the north to Warrington in the south, connecting such
towns and cities as Penrith, Kendal, Lancaster, Preston, Liverpool and
Manchester. Carrying approximately 120,000 vehicles daily the M6 intersects
many of the North West's motorways and links effectively into the country’s
road network system.
half of the North West’s population live in the Greater Manchester and
Merseyside region. The road networks intertwining these metropolitan areas
are extremely important to the economy of the North West and are largely motorway;
the M62 directly connects the cities of Liverpool and Manchester and crosses
the whole country (east to west - Hull to Liverpool). After Manchester airport Liverpool's
John Lennon is the North West’s second largest and fastest developing airport. Most
of the North West is connected by the West Coast Main Line railway.
textiles industry is connected historically with the North West, mostly before
the mid 20th century. The greatest economic output made in 2007 was The Greater
Manchester regions which according to GVA is 46,189m. Manchester is the second
best city and Liverpool the eleventh best to locate a business according to
research by Cushman and Wakefield in 2008 demonstrating the North West’s
commercial dynamism and prospects. The Financial Times declared that the North
West economy, led by the redevelopment of Manchester and Liverpool, is a
genuine opponent to 'overheated London'.
The UK salt
industry is located in the North West at Cheshire with a big plant in Runcorn
owned by Ineos.
companies started in the North West include bread maker Warburtons, the now
defunct TVR, Jaguar Cars and Reebok.
has historically been strong in the North West and the Freelander car is made
on the Jaguar Land Rover main production area in Halewood, previously owned by
Ford. Halewood International, who make Lambrini, Red Square, Lamb's Navy Rum
and some alcopops, in Whitefield Lane End, in the south of Huyton at the