Geography of England

England comprises most of the central and southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain, in addition to a number of small islands of which the largest is the Isle of Wight. England is bordered to the north by Scotland and to the west by Wales. It is closer to continental Europe than any other part of mainland Britain, divided from France only by a 33 km (21 mi) sea gap, the English Channel.[2] The 50 km (31 mi) Channel Tunnel,[3] near Folkestone, directly links England to mainland Europe. The English/French border is halfway along the tunnel.[4]

Much of England consists of low hills and plains, with upland and mountainous terrain in the north and west. Uplands in the north include the Pennines, an upland chain dividing east and west, the Lake District, containing the highest mountains in the country, the Cheviot Hills across the Anglo-Scottish border, and the North York Moors near the North Sea. Uplands in the west include Dartmoor and Exmoor in the south west and the Shropshire Hills near Wales. The approximate dividing line between terrain types is often indicated by the Tees-Exe line. To the south of that line, there are larger areas of flatter land, including East Anglia and the Fens, although hilly areas include the Cotswolds, the Chilterns, and the North and South Downs.

The largest natural harbour in England is at Poole, on the south-central coast. Some regard it as the second largest harbour in the world, after Sydney, Australia, although this fact is disputed (see harbours for a list of other large natural harbours).

Geography of England
Satellite image of England
Satellite image, including England
Locational map of England
England in the United Kingdom
Continent Europe
Subregion Great Britain
Western Europe
Area 130,279 km2 (50,301 sq mi)[1]
Coastline 3,200 km (1,988 mi)
Land borders Scotland
96 km (60 mi)
257 km (160 mi)
Highest point Scafell Pike
978 m (3,209 ft)
Lowest point Holme Fen, −2.75 m (−9 ft)
Longest river River Severn (shared with Wales)
354 km (220 mi) Longest river entirely within England is the River Thames
346 km (215 mi)
Largest inland body of water Windermere
14.73 km2 (5.69 sq mi)
Climate: Oceanic "British" climate
with small areas of Subarctic climate
Terrain: low mountains, hills, forests, lowlands, urban
Natural resources iron, zinc, potash, silica sand, fish, timber, wildlife, petroleum, natural gas, hydropower, wind power, lead, tin, copper, china clay, arable land, and coal
Natural hazards European Windstorms, floods, few and small Tornadoes
Environmental issues climate change, rising sea levels, renewable energy, waste disposal, water pollution, population density


England 1971–2000[5]
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm

England has a temperate climate, with plentiful rainfall all year round. The seasons are quite variable in temperature, however temperatures rarely fall below −5 °C (23 °F) or rise above 30 °C (86 °F). The prevailing wind is from the south-west, bringing mild and wet weather to England regularly from the Atlantic Ocean. It is driest in the east and warmest in the south, which is closest to the European mainland. Snowfall can occur in winter and early spring, although it is not very common away from high ground. England has warmer maximum and minimum temperatures throughout the year than the other countries of the UK, though Wales has milder minima from November to February, and Northern Ireland has warmer maxima from December to February. England is also sunnier throughout the year, but unlike Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, the sunniest month is July, totalling around 192.8 hours.

The highest temperature recorded in England is 38.5 °C (101.3 °F) on 10 August 2003 at Brogdale, near Faversham, in Kent.[6] The lowest temperature recorded in England is −26.1 °C (−15.0 °F) on 10 January 1982 at Edgmond, near Shropshire. The climate of south-west England is rather distinct and somewhat milder than the rest of England, forming its own separate climate. Crops, flowers and plants can be grown much earlier in the south-west than in the rest of England and the UK.

UK zonemap
British Isles hardiness zones

England mainly lies within hardiness zone 8, but the Pennines and Cumbrian Mountains lie in the colder zone 7 and south west England, the Irish sea coast, South coast and London lie in the warmer zone 9. A very small area, the Isles of Scilly lie in the warmest zone in the British Isles, zone 10 which is close to Sub-Tropical.


The Geology of England is mainly sedimentary. The youngest rocks are in the south east, progressing in age in a north-westerly direction. The Tees-Exe line marks the division between younger, softer and low-lying rocks in the south east and older, harder, and generally a higher relief in the north-west. The geology of England is recognisable in the landscape of its counties, for instance Cumbria, Kent and Norfolk all have very distinct and very different looks from each other. The geology of Northern England and Western England tends to be somewhat closer to that of its near neighbours, Wales and Scotland, with the geology of Southern England and Eastern England being more aligned with that found across the North Sea and English Channel in Northern France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

Geological features:

Geological resources:

and less abundantly,

Major towns and cities

London is, by far, the largest urban area in England and one of the largest and busiest cities in the world. Other cities, mainly in central and northern England, are of substantial size and influence. The list of England's largest cities or urban areas is open to debate because, although the normal meaning of city is "a continuously built-up urban area", this can be hard to define, particularly because administrative areas in England often do not correspond with the limits of urban development, and many towns and cities have, over the centuries, grown to form complex urban agglomerations.[8][9] For the official definition of a UK (and therefore English) city, see City status in the United Kingdom.

According to the ONS urban area populations for continuous built-up areas, these are the 15 largest conurbations (population figures from the 2001 census):

Rank Urban Area[10] Population

(2001 Census)

Localities Major localities
1 Greater London Urban Area 8,278,251 67 Croydon, Barnet, Ealing, Bromley
2 West Midlands Urban Area 2,284,093 22 Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Walsall
3 Greater Manchester Urban Area 2,240,230 57 Manchester, Salford, Bolton, Stockport, Oldham
4 West Yorkshire Urban Area 1,499,465 26 Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Wakefield
5 Tyneside 879,996 25 Newcastle upon Tyne, North Shields, South Shields, Gateshead, Jarrow
6 Liverpool Urban Area 816,216 8 Liverpool, St Helens, Bootle, Huyton-with-Roby
7 Nottingham Urban Area 666,358 15 Nottingham, Beeston and Stapleford, Carlton, Long Eaton
8 Sheffield Urban Area 640,720 7 Sheffield, Rotherham, Chapeltown, Mosborough/Highlane
9 Bristol Urban Area 551,066 7 Bristol, Kingswood, Mangotsfield, Stoke Gifford
10 Brighton/Worthing/Littlehampton 461,181 10 Brighton, Worthing, Hove, Littlehampton, Shoreham, Lancing
11 Portsmouth Urban Area 442,252 7 Portsmouth, Gosport, Waterlooville, Fareham
12 Leicester Urban Area 441,213 12 Leicester, Wigston, Oadby, Birstall
13 Bournemouth Urban Area 383,713 5 Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, New Milton
14 Reading/Wokingham Urban Area 369,804 5 Reading, Bracknell, Wokingham, Crowthorne
15 Teesside 365,323 7 Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Redcar, Billingham

The largest cities in England are as follows (in alphabetical order):

Physical geography

Extreme points

England and Wales from space

The extreme points of England are:

England (mainland)

England (including islands)

Topography, mountains and hills

England is generally lower and flatter than the rest of the UK, but has two main divisions in its form – the lowland areas of the south, east, and midlands and the more rugged and upland areas of the north and west. East Anglia is the lowest area of England, having no high hills or mountains and hosting an area of the Fens, the lowest area of England. The highest area of England is the North West, which contains England's highest hills and mountains, including its highest – Scafell Pike.

In England, a mountain is officially defined as land over 600 metres, so most fall in Northern England. Some hill and mountain chains in England are:


English eez
A map of British Isles EEZs and surrounding nations. Internal UK borders are represented by thin lines.
The Isle of Wight

The main English islands by area and population are:

Rank Island Area (sq mi) Area (km²)
1 Isle of Wight 147.09 380.99
2 Isle of Sheppey 36.31 94.04
3 Hayling Island 10.36 26.84
4 Foulness Island 10.09 26.84
5 Portsea Island 9.36 24.25
6 Canvey Island 7.12 18.45
7 Mersea Island 6.96 18.04
8 Walney Island 5.01 12.99
9 Portland 4.44 11.5
10 Wallasea Island 4.11 10.65

English islands by population

Rank Island Population (2001 UK census)
1 Portsea Island 147,088
2 Isle of Wight 132,731
3 Isle of Sheppey 37,852
4 Canvey Island 37,473
5 Hayling Island 16,887
6 Portland 12,800
7 Walney Island 11,391
8 Mersea Island about 7,200
9 Barrow Island 2,606
10 St Mary's 1,668
11 Thorney Island 1,079
12 Foulness 212
13 Tresco 180
14 Lindisfarne 162
15 St Martins 142
16 Roa Island about 100
17 Bryher 92
18 St Agnes 73
19 Lundy about 35


The longest river in England is the River Severn which has its source in Wales, enters England at its confluence with the River Vyrnwy and flows into the Bristol Channel. The longest river entirely within England is the River Thames which flows through the English and British capital, London. The Vale of York and The Fens host many of England's larger rivers.


England has 4,422 km (2,748 mi) of coastline,[11] much less than the deeply indented Scottish coastline. The English coastline varies a great deal by the seas and regions it borders. The North Sea coast of England is mainly flat and sandy with many dunes and is similar to coastlines across the sea in the Netherlands. The English North Sea coast is an important area of bird life and is a habitat for many shore and wading birds. Along the English Channel, the South Coast builds up into steep, white cliffs at Dover, which are often seen as an iconic symbol of England and Britain.

White cliffs of dover 09 2004
The White Cliffs of Dover

The South Coast continues to the Isle of Wight, but eventually gives way to the Jurassic Coast of Dorset, a coastline rich in beauty, history and fossils.

Gad cliff dorset
Jurassic Coast.

Into Devon and Cornwall, the coastline becomes more rocky and steep, with numerous cliffs and tiny fishing villages along the coastline. This stretch of coastline stretches from Devon to Land's End in Cornwall, the westernmost part of mainland England. The coastline of Devon and Cornwall has similarities to that of Brittany in France directly opposite.

Following the coastline northwards the coast remains much the same as in south Devon and Cornwall but is besides the Celtic Sea until it eventually reaches the Bristol Channel, an important shipping and docking area.

The English coastline re-emerges again in North West England. The coastline here is similar to the North Sea coast in that it is mainly flat and sandy, with the only notable cliffs along this stretch of coast being at St Bees Head in Cumbria. The English Irish Sea coast is an important area of estuaries and bird life, with Wirral being a peninsula bounded by two rivers, the River Dee and the River Mersey. Liverpool and Merseyside are areas of high population and important industry along this coast, with tourist resorts of Southport and Blackpool being further to the north. The English Irish Sea coast hosts two important geographic areas, Morecambe Bay, a large bay, and the Furness and Walney Island areas. Further north into Cumbria the Sellafield Nuclear Power Station lies along this coast. The English section of the Irish Sea coast ends at the border with Scotland in the Solway Firth.

Durdle Door, Dorset (2004)
Durdle Door on the Jurassic Coast

Seas bordering England are:

Largest lakes and reservoirs

Although the largest nation within the UK, England is relatively absent of large lakes, with many of its former wetlands being drained throughout the Middle Ages. Most of its largest lakes lie within the aptly named Lake District in Cumbria, Northern England.

England's largest lakes
Lake Area
1 Windermere 5.69 sq mi (14.7 km2)
2 Kielder Reservoir 3.86 sq mi (10.0 km2)
3 Ullswater 3.44 sq mi (8.9 km2)
4 Bassenthwaite Lake 2.06 sq mi (5.3 km2)
5 Derwent Water 2.06 sq mi (5.3 km2)

Human geography

Land use

The total land area of England is 132,938 km2 (51,328 sq mi).[1] Crops and fallow land accounts for 30% of the land area, grasses and rough grazing 36%, other agricultural land 5%, forest and woodland 8%, and urban development 21%.[12]

Neighbouring countries

England has two land borders: a 96 km (60 mi) border with Scotland that follows the Cheviot Hills and a 257 km (160 mi) border with Wales that loosely follows the route of Offa's Dyke. To the west, the Irish Sea separates England from Ireland and the Isle of Man; to the east, the North Sea separates England from Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium and to the south, the English Channel separates England from France and the Channel Islands.

Economic geography

Night London Panorama with Full Moon

England boasts one of the largest economies in Europe and indeed the world, with an average GDP per capita of £22,907. England's economy is usually regarded as a mixed market economy, it has adopted many free market principles in contrast to the Rhine Capitalism of Europe, yet maintains an advanced social welfare infrastructure. The currency in England is the pound sterling, also known as the GBP. England prints its own banknotes which are also circulated in Wales. The economy of England is the largest part of the United Kingdom's economy.

Regional differences:

Map of NUTS 3 areas in England by GVA per capita (2007)
A map of England divided by the average GVA per capita in 2007 showing the distribution of wealth

The strength of the English economy varies from region to region. GDP, and GDP per capita is highest in London. Generally the Northern and Western areas of England are the poorest, with the Southern and Eastern areas being the richest. The following table shows the GDP (2004) per capita of England as a whole and each of the nine regions.

Rank Place GDP per capita
in Euros
England 26 904
1. London 44 401
2. South East 31 300
3. East of England 27 778
4. South West 27 348
5. East Midlands 26 683
6. West Midlands 25 931
7. North West 25 396
8. Yorkshire and the Humber 25 300
9. North East 22 886

Two of the 10 economically strongest areas in the European Union are in England. Inner London is number 1 with a €71 338 GDP per capita (303% above EU average);Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire is number 7 with a €40 937 GDP per capita (174% above EU average).

Political geography

England, formerly a kingdom and independent country, united with Scotland to form what would eventually become the UK (Wales was treated as part of England at that time).

England is in a unique and controversial position of being a political entity within the UK and as of 2015 having no self-governance. England is represented by MPs in the British Parliament and matters relating only to England are also dealt with by the UK parliament. England is divided into a number of regions which also send representatives to the European Parliament.

See also


  1. ^ a b "The Countries of the UK". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  2. ^ Dornbusch, U (October 2002). "CoastView – What happens offshore?". University of Sussex. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "TravelBritain – Kent". Archived from the original on 7 September 2008.
  5. ^ a b "England 1971–2000 averages". Met Office. 2001. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2007.
  6. ^ Temperature record changes hands BBC News, 30 September 2003. Retrieved 12 September 2006.
  7. ^ "National park potash mine open by 2021". 17 March 2016. Retrieved 4 April 2018 – via
  8. ^ "Religious centres recover city status", The Guardian, 8 July 1994.
  9. ^ Patrick O'Leary, "Derby's long road to city status", The Times, 29 July 1977, p.14
  10. ^ Pointer, Graham (2005). "The UK's major urban areas" (PDF). Focus on People and Migration. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 6 June 2009.
  11. ^ "England Coast Path: Frequently Asked Questions (June 2012)" (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  12. ^ National Statistics (2004). UK 2005. The Official Yearbook of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. London: The Stationery Office. p. 279. ISBN 0-11-621738-3.
Anglo-Scottish border

The border between England and Scotland runs for 96 miles (154 km) between Marshall Meadows Bay on the east coast and the Solway Firth in the west. It is Scotland's only land border with another country, and one of England's two (the other being with Wales).

The Firth of Forth was the border between the Picto-Gaelic Kingdom of Alba and the Anglian Kingdom of Northumbria in the early 10th century. It became the first Anglo-Scottish border with the annexation of Northumbria by Anglo-Saxon England in the mid 10th century. In 973, Kenneth, King of Scots attended the English king, Edgar the Peaceful, at his council in Chester. After Kenneth had reportedly done homage, Edgar rewarded Kenneth by granting him Lothian. Despite this transaction, the control of Lothian was not finally settled and the region was taken by the Scots at the Battle of Carham in 1018 and the River Tweed became the de facto Anglo-Scottish border. The Solway–Tweed line was legally established in 1237 by the Treaty of York between England and Scotland. It remains the border today, with the exception of the Debatable Lands, north of Carlisle, and a small area around Berwick-upon-Tweed, which was taken by England in 1482. It is thus one of the oldest extant borders in the world, although Berwick was not fully annexed into England until 1746, by the Wales and Berwick Act 1746.For centuries until the Union of the Crowns the region on either side of the boundary was a lawless territory suffering from the repeated raids in each direction of the Border Reivers.

Following the Treaty of Union 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united Scotland with England and Wales to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the Border continues to form the boundary of two distinct legal jurisdictions as the treaty between the two countries guaranteed the continued separation of English law and Scots law.The age of legal capacity under Scots law is 16, while it was previously 18 under English law. The border settlements of Gretna Green to the west, and Coldstream and Lamberton to the east, were convenient for elopers from England who wanted to marry under Scottish laws, and marry without publicity.

The marine boundary was adjusted by the Scottish Adjacent Waters Boundaries Order 1999 so that the boundary within the territorial waters (up to the 12-mile (19 km) limit) is 0.09-kilometre (0.056 mi) north of the boundary for oil installations established by the Civil Jurisdiction (Offshore Activities) Order 1987.

Antonine Itinerary

The Antonine Itinerary (Latin: Itinerarium Antonini Augusti, lit. "The Itinerary of the Emperor Antoninus") is a famous itinerarium, a register of the stations and distances along various roads. Seemingly based on official documents, possibly from a survey carried out under Augustus, it describes the roads of the Roman Empire. Owing to the scarcity of other extant records of this type, it is a valuable historical record.Almost nothing is known of its date or author. Scholars consider it likely that the original edition was prepared at the beginning of the 3rd century. Although it is traditionally ascribed to the patronage of the 2nd-century Antoninus Pius, the oldest extant copy has been assigned to the time of Diocletian and the most likely imperial patron—if the work had one—would have been Caracalla.

Coastline of the United Kingdom

The coastline of the United Kingdom is formed by a variety of natural features including islands, bays, headlands and peninsulas. It consists of the coastline of the island of Great Britain and the north-east coast of the island of Ireland, as well as a large number of much smaller islands. Much of the coastline is accessible and quite varied in geography and habitats. Large stretches have been designated areas of natural beauty, notably the Jurassic Coast and various stretches referred to as heritage coast.

Domesday Book

Domesday Book ( or US: ; Latin: Liber de Wintonia "Book of Winchester") is a manuscript record of the "Great Survey" of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William the Conqueror. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states:

Then, at the midwinter [1085], was the king in Gloucester with his council ... . After this had the king a large meeting, and very deep consultation with his council, about this land; how it was occupied, and by what sort of men. Then sent he his men over all England into each shire; commissioning them to find out "How many hundreds of hides were in the shire, what land the king himself had, and what stock upon the land; or, what dues he ought to have by the year from the shire."

It was written in Medieval Latin, was highly abbreviated, and included some vernacular native terms without Latin equivalents. The survey's main purpose was to determine what taxes had been owed during the reign of King Edward the Confessor, which allowed William to reassert the rights of the Crown and assess where power lay after a wholesale redistribution of land following the Norman conquest.

The assessors' reckoning of a man's holdings and their values, as recorded in Domesday Book, was dispositive and without appeal. The name "Domesday Book" (Middle English for "Doomsday Book") came into use in the 12th century. As Richard FitzNeal wrote in the Dialogus de Scaccario (circa 1179):

for as the sentence of that strict and terrible last account cannot be evaded by any skilful subterfuge, so when this book is appealed to ... its sentence cannot be quashed or set aside with impunity. That is why we have called the book "the Book of Judgement" ... because its decisions, like those of the Last Judgement, are unalterable.

The manuscript is held at The National Archives at Kew, London. In 2011, the Open Domesday site made the manuscript available online.The book is an invaluable primary source for modern historians and historical economists. No survey approaching the scope and extent of Domesday Book was attempted again in Britain until the 1873 Return of Owners of Land (sometimes termed the "Modern Domesday") which presented the first complete, post-Domesday picture of the distribution of landed property in the British Isles.

England and Wales

England and Wales (Welsh: Lloegr a Chymru) is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom. ’England and Wales’ forms the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England and follows a single legal system, known as English law.

The devolved National Assembly for Wales (Welsh: Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru) was created in 1999 by the Parliament of the United Kingdom under the Government of Wales Act 1998 and provides a degree of self-government in Wales. The powers of the Assembly were expanded by the Government of Wales Act 2006, which allows it to pass its own laws, and the Act also formally separated the Welsh Government from the Assembly. There is no equivalent body for England, which is directly governed by the Parliament and the government of the United Kingdom.

Five Boroughs of the Danelaw

The Five Boroughs or The Five Boroughs of the Danelaw were the five main towns of Danish Mercia (what is now the East Midlands). These were Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, Nottingham and Stamford. The first four later became county towns.

Hundred Years' War

The Hundred Years' War was a series of conflicts waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Plantagenet, rulers of the Kingdom of England, against the French House of Valois, over the right to rule the Kingdom of France. Each side drew many allies into the war. It was one of the most notable conflicts of the Middle Ages, in which five generations of kings from two rival dynasties fought for the throne of the largest kingdom in Western Europe. The war marked both the height of chivalry and its subsequent decline, and the development of strong national identities in both countries.

Tensions between the crowns of France and England can be traced back to the origins of the English royal family itself, which was French (Norman, and later, Angevin) in origin. For this reason, English monarchs had historically held not only the English crown, but also titles and lands within France, the possession of which made them vassals to the kings of France. The status of the English king's French fiefs was a major source of conflict between the two monarchies throughout the Middle Ages. French monarchs systematically sought to check the growth of English power, stripping away lands as the opportunity arose, particularly whenever England was at war with Scotland, an ally of France. Over the centuries, English holdings in France had varied in size, at some points dwarfing even the French royal domain; by 1337, however, only Gascony was left to the English.

In 1316, a principle was established denying women succession to the French throne (later retroactively attributed to the ancient Salic law). In 1328, Charles IV of France died without sons or brothers. His closest male relative was his nephew Edward III of England, whose mother, Isabella of France, was sister of the deceased king. Isabella claimed the throne of France for her son, but the French rejected it, maintaining that Isabella could not transmit a right she did not possess. Furthermore, political sentiment favoured a Frenchman for the crown rather than a foreign prince. The throne passed instead to Philip, Count of Valois, a patrilineal cousin of Charles IV, who would become Philip VI of France, the first king of the House of Valois. The English had not expected their claim to meet with success, and did not press the matter when it was denied. However, disagreements between Philip and Edward induced the former to confiscate the latter's lands in France, and in turn prompted Edward III to reassert his claim to the French throne.

Several overwhelming English victories in the war—especially at Crécy, Poitiers, and Agincourt—raised the prospects of an ultimate English triumph, and convinced the English to continue pouring money and manpower into the war over many decades. However, the greater resources of the French monarchy prevented the English kings from ever completing the conquest of France. Starting in 1429, decisive French victories at Orléans, Patay, Formigny, and Castillon concluded the war in favour of the House of Valois, with England permanently losing most of its possessions on the continent.

Historians commonly divide the war into three phases separated by truces: the Edwardian War (1337–1360), the Caroline War (1369–1389), and the Lancastrian War (1415–1453). Local conflicts in neighbouring areas, which were contemporarily related to the war, including the War of the Breton Succession (1341–1365), the Castilian Civil War (1366–1369), the War of the Two Peters (1356–1369) in Aragon, and the 1383–85 crisis in Portugal, were availed by the parties to advance their agendas. Later historians adopted the term "Hundred Years' War" as a historiographical periodisation to encompass all of these events, thus constructing the longest military conflict in European history.

The war owes its historical significance to multiple factors. By its end, feudal armies had been largely replaced by professional troops, and aristocratic dominance had yielded to a democratisation of the manpower and weapons of armies. Although primarily a dynastic conflict, the war gave impetus to ideas of French and English nationalism. The wider introduction of weapons and tactics supplanted the feudal armies where heavy cavalry had dominated, and artillery became important. The war precipitated the creation of the first standing armies in Western Europe since the time of the Western Roman Empire, thus helping to change their role in warfare. With respect to the belligerents, in France, civil wars, deadly epidemics, famines, and bandit free-companies of mercenaries reduced the population drastically. In England, political forces over time came to oppose the costly venture. The dissatisfaction of English nobles, resulting from the loss of their continental landholdings, as well as the general shock at losing a war in which investment had been so great, became factors leading to the Wars of the Roses (1455–1487).

List of civil parishes in England

This is a list of civil parishes in England split by ceremonial county (see map below). The civil parish is the lowest level of local government in England.

List of places in England

Here is a list of places, divided by ceremonial county of England.

National Character Area

A National Character Area (NCA) is a natural subdivision of England based on a combination of landscape, biodiversity, geodiversity and economic activity. There are 159 National Character Areas and they follow natural, rather than administrative, boundaries. They are defined by Natural England, the UK government's advisors on the natural environment.

Natural areas of England

The Natural Areas of England are regions, officially designated by Natural England, each with a characteristic association of wildlife and natural features. More formally, they are defined as "biogeographic zones which reflect the geological foundation, the natural systems and processes and the wildlife in different parts of England...".There are 120 Natural Areas in England ranging from the North Pennines to the Dorset Heaths and from The Lizard to The Fens. They were first defined in 1996 by English Nature and the Countryside Commission, with help from English Heritage. They produced a map of England that depicts the natural and cultural dimensions of the landscape.Natural Areas are assessed by Natural England, the UK Government's advisor on the natural environment, to be "a sensible scale at which to view the wildlife resource, from both a national and local perspective". Natural Areas were also used by English Nature as an "ecologically coherent framework for setting objectives for nature conservation."Many Natural Areas coincide with a further natural division referred to as National Character Areas; however, in other cases a Natural Area may contain two or more National Character Areas.

Northern England

Northern England, also known as the North of England or simply the North, is the northern part of England, considered as a single cultural area. It extends from the Scottish border in the north to near the River Trent in the south, although precise definitions of its southern extent vary. Northern England approximately comprises three statistical regions: the North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber. These have a combined population of around 14.9 million as of the 2011 Census and an area of 37,331 km2 (14,414 sq mi). Northern England contains much of England's national parkland but also has large areas of urbanisation, including the conurbations of Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Teesside, Tyneside, Wearside, and South and West Yorkshire.

The region has been controlled by many groups, from the Brigantes, the largest Brythonic kingdom of Great Britain, to the Romans, to Anglo-Saxons and Danes. After the Norman conquest in 1066, the Harrying of the North brought destruction. The area experienced Anglo-Scottish border fighting until the unification of Britain under the Stuarts, with some parts changing hands between England and Scotland many times. Many of the innovations of the Industrial Revolution began in Northern England, and its cities were the crucibles of many of the political changes that accompanied this social upheaval, from trade unionism to Manchester Capitalism. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the economy of the North was dominated by heavy industry such as weaving, shipbuilding, steelmaking and mining. The deindustrialisation that followed in the second half of the 20th century hit Northern England hard, and many towns remain deprived compared with those in Southern England.

Urban renewal projects and the transition to a service economy have resulted in strong economic growth in some parts of Northern England, but a definite North–South divide remains both in the economy and the culture of England. Centuries of migration, invasion and labour have shaped Northern culture, and the region retains distinctive dialects, music and cuisine.

North–South divide (England)

In England, the term North–South divide refers to the cultural, economic, and social differences between:

Southern England: the South-East and South-West, including Greater London and the East of England

Northern England: the North-East, Yorkshire and the Humber and the North-West including Merseyside and Greater Manchester.The status of the Midlands is often disputed, however counties in the higher midlands, such as West Midlands County (Walsall Metropolitan Borough and Wolverhampton are seen as north too due to their proximity to Staffordshire and Shropshire), Shropshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, and Staffordshire, are culturally very Northern. A grouping of Central England based on UK EU parliamentary constituency boundaries combines the Midlands and East Anglia.

In political terms, the South, and particularly the South-East (outside Greater London) and East Anglia, is largely centre-right, and supportive of the Conservative Party, while Northern England (particularly the towns and cities) is generally more supportive of the Labour Party.

An article in The Economist (15–21 September 2012) argued that the gap between the north and south in life expectancy, political inclinations and economics trends was growing to the extent that they were almost separate countries.

Outline of England

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to England:

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Its 55,268,100 inhabitants account for more than 84% of the total UK population, while its mainland territory occupies most of the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain. England is bordered by Scotland to the north, Wales to the west and the North Sea, Irish Sea, Celtic Sea, Bristol Channel and English Channel. The capital is London, the largest metropolitan area in Great Britain, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by many measures.

Paris meridian

The Paris meridian is a meridian line running through the Paris Observatory in Paris, France – now longitude 2°20′14.03″ East. It was a long-standing rival to the Greenwich meridian as the prime meridian of the world. The Paris meridian arc or French meridian arc (French: la Méridienne de France) is the name of the meridian arc measured along the Paris meridian. The French meridian arc was important for French cartography, inasmuch as the triangulations of France began with the measurement of the French meridian arc. Moreover, the French meridian arc was important for geodesy as it was one of the meridian arcs which were measured in order to determine the figure of the Earth. The determination of the figure of the earth was a problem of the highest importance in astronomy, inasmuch as the diameter of the earth was the unit to which all celestial distances had to be referred.

Railway town

A railway town, or railroad town, is a settlement that originated or was greatly developed because of a railway station or junction at its site.

Redcliffe-Maud Report

The Redcliffe-Maud Report (Cmnd. 4040) is the name generally given to the report published by the Royal Commission on Local Government in England 1966–1969 under the chairmanship of Lord Redcliffe-Maud.

Subdivisions of England

The subdivisions of England constitute a hierarchy of administrative divisions and non-administrative ceremonial areas.

Overall, England is divided into nine regions and 48 ceremonial counties, although these have only a limited role in public policy. For the purposes of local government, the country is divided into counties, districts and parishes. In some areas, counties and districts form a two-tier administrative structure, while in others they are combined under a unitary authority. Parishes cover only part of England.

The current system is the result of incremental reform which has its origins in legislation enacted in 1965 and 1972.

The Hundred Parishes

The Hundred Parishes is an area of the East of England with no formal recognition or status, albeit that the concept has the blessing of county and district authorities. It encompasses around 450 square miles (1,100 square kilometres) of northwest Essex, northeast Hertfordshire and southern Cambridgeshire. The area comprises just over 100 administrative parishes, hence its name. It contains over 6,000 listed buildings and many conservation areas, village greens, ancient hedgerows, protected features and a historical pattern of small rural settlements in close proximity to one another.

Imperial conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Climate data for England
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6.6
Average low °C (°F) 1.1
Average rainfall mm (inches) 84.2
Average rainy days 13.4 10.4 12.1 10.1 9.8 9.8 8.5 9.4 10.2 11.8 12.5 13.1 131.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 50.5 67.7 102.5 145.2 189.9 179.4 192.8 184.1 135.0 101.3 65.2 43.9 1,457.4
Source: Met Office[5] (1971–2000 averages)
Neighbouring Countries
England articles
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Sovereign states
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