The North West of England offers an eclectic mix of rural and urban landscapes in which to live and work.
The south of the region is dominated by the heavy populated cities of Liverpool and Manchester. In sharp contrast the far south of the region, which includes parts of the Cheshire Plain and Peak District, and the north of the region, comprising Cumbria and northern Lancashire, is largely rural.
The industrial heritage of the North West has paved the way for manufacturing across the region. These days the region is recognised more for its chemical, textiles and food and drinks industries rather than the heavy industries of the past.
Kellogg’s is one of the largest employers in the area and bakery items such as bread, fresh pastry goods and cakes for the whole of the UK are produced in the area.
The great outdoors
Away from the manufacturing sites, the North West boasts the Lake District and parts of the Peak District and Yorkshire Dales as its playground. So if you enjoy the great outdoors, there is plenty of open space to explore, whether you prefer hiking, biking or climbing.
The region also boasts many other opportunities to watch or take part in sport. Football teams in the North West have won more than half of all Premier League seasons and the National Football Museum in Manchester proudly notes that Manchester United have won the Premiership more than any other team.
If swimming is your sport, you’ll be pleased to know that one of the three UK British Swimming Intensive Training Centres can be found at the Grand Central Pools in Stockport, while Sportcity in Manchester offers the International Netball Federation, the National Squash Centre and the National Cycling Centre.
For thrill-seekers, Oulton Park, in central Cheshire, is the home of the British Touring Car Championship.
For those who prefer a more relaxed approach to sport, you can visit Heaton Park in North Manchester, the largest municipal park in Europe.
There are also plenty of golf courses to choose from, notably the Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport and the Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club, with its stunning Lancashire coastline backdrop.
Before undertaking any sport, it’s worth checking whether the weather will be on your side. The North West is generally regarded as having the most average weather in the UK. Cumbria usually experiences the most severe weather, with plenty of rain in the mountainous regions of the Lake District and Pennines. In winter, the region can experience very severe weather.
The North West is also famous world-wide for its music. The Beatles, arguably the best band in the world, began their career in and around Liverpool.
Many Lancashire towns had a flourishing culture of beat groups in the 1960s. Led by the Beatles, these beat groups spearheaded the British Invasion of the US, which made a major contribution to the development of rock music.
Liverpool and Manchester are also known for the Madchester music scene of the 1980s and 1990s. More recently, Warrington holds the biggest dance music festival in the UK every August Bank Holiday at Creamfields on the Daresbury Estate.
Food and drink
If sport or the music scene is not for you, the North West offers some fantastic culinary delights. Whether you prefer sweet or savoury, some of the most well-known and loved dishes not only in the North West but across the UK can be found across the region.
From as early as the 1790s, the Eccles cake, a sugared flaky pastry, encasing dried fruit and spice, has been a tasty treat for young and old alike, as are Jelly Babies, which were invented in Lancaster in 1864.
Bury Simnel Cake, a light fruit cake covered in marzipan, Blackpool rock and Manchester Tart, a dish resembling a custard slice with jam and pastry will also satisfy any sweet tooth.
There are plenty of savoury dishes too. The Bury Black Pudding, made from pig`s blood and oatmeal is as popular today as it was in the 1800s, whilst Lancashire Hotpot and Cumberland sausages are enjoyed across the country.
The North West also boasts delicious regional cheeses. Cheshire Cheese, with its distinctive flavour from the local salt marshes is listed in the Domesday Book, so is probably the oldest of British cheeses. Lancashire cheese is also another famous regional cheese enjoyed across the whole of the UK.
The North West has provided a colourful mix of historical events, inventions and traditions over the years. From the creation of The Suffragette movement in Manchester and the last two executions in Britain taking place at Strangeways and Walton Prison, to the invention of the crossword by Liverpudlian Arthur Wynne and the World Pie Eating Championship in Wigan each year; whether you choose an urban or rural location, you couldn’t ask for a more diverse place to live and work than the North West.