Where is North West England?
North West England describes the region to the south of the Scottish border and west of Yorkshire and the Humber and the North East of England. It is bordered to the south by the East and West Midlands regions.
North West England regions
North West England is made up of five main regions. We take a look at each of these below.
The county of Lancashire sits below Cumbria, bordered to the east by North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire, and to the south by Greater Manchester and Merseyside. Although the county town is Lancaster, the city of Preston is the administrative centre of the county.
Historically, Lancashire included Manchester and Liverpool, making it a manufacturing powerhouse during the Industrial Revolution. However, its boundaries were significantly changed in 1974, losing what became Greater Manchester and Merseyside, as well as its northern section to what became Cumbria.
Renowned for its rugged scenery, Cumbria is England’s third-largest county, but also one of the most sparsely-populated. The Lake District National Park falls within its boundaries, as well as parts of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, making it a popular destination for outdoor sports enthusiasts and sightseers.
The county town of Cumbria is Carlisle. The county’s northern edge forms the Scottish border, with Northumberland, County Durham, North Yorkshire and Lancashire bordering to the south and east. Its westerly coastline faces the Irish Sea.
Greater Manchester was formed as a county in 1974, incorporating parts of the historic Cheshire, Lancashire and West Riding of Yorkshire counties. It includes the metropolitan boroughs of Wigan, Tameside, Trafford, Rochdale, Stockport, Oldham, Bolton and Bury, as well as Manchester and Salford.
Successfully building on its industrial past, Greater Manchester as a region has forged a new identity around thriving media and digital sectors, as well as world-famous sports teams/facilities and its music scene.
Also created in 1974, the county of Merseyside constitutes the five metropolitan boroughs of Sefton, Wirral, Knowsley, St Helens and the city of Liverpool. The county is largely urban in terms of land usage, with some semi-rural and rural areas.
Merseyside gets its name from the Mersey Estuary, which splits the region in two. The city of Liverpool sits on the northen bank of the river, with regular ferry services connecting to Birkenhead and the Wirral on the southern side.
The county of Cheshire is a mostly rural region, along with major urban areas such as its principal city Cheshire and other centres such as Crewe, Macclesfield and Runcorn. Its economy is diverse, and includes the agricultural, financial, tourism and automotive sectors.
The county’s best-known exports include Cheshire Cheese, silk and salt – which has been mined in the area since Roman times. This has led to a thriving chemical industry in the region, which now includes the Essar Refinery at Ellesmere Port.
Population of North West England
The population of North West England was estimated at 7.3 million in 2019, according to figures from datacommons.org. Ethnicity of residents predominantly identify as ‘White’, with almost 5% ‘South Asian’ and just over 1% ‘Black’. However, Manchester and Liverpool are two of the most diverse cities in Europe.
North West England Cities
The largest cities in North West England are Manchester and Liverpool. Other cities in the region include Carlisle, Chester, Lancaster, Preston and Salford.