45 Reasons The North Of England Is Better Than The South

“Bright and fierce and fickle is the South / And dark and true and tender is the North.”

REX USA/High Level / Rex/Bruce Adams/Daily Mail/bruce Adams/Steve Buckley/Shutterstock/FUTURE LIGHT/Thinkstock

1. You can afford to buy a house there. The average house price in Yorkshire is £113,000, less than half the £396,000 London average.

2. Asking prices for houses in London have gone up by 41% since 2007, while in the North West they have declined 8.8%.

3. Meanwhile, a new pub in Stockon-on-Tees serves half-pints for £1 and pints for £1.50 (though not everyone thinks this is a good thing).

4. Like in a documentary from the 1970s, there are pubs in the North you can go to with £10 and have a half-decent night.

5. And the beer is served with a proper foam head on it, not some insipid Southern dribble.

6. Northerners might have to sit down to read this, but there are pubs in London that charge in excess of £5 a pint.

7. Even shit pubs in cities such as Liverpool, Leeds, and Manchester still feel welcoming.

8. You can (usually) get a taxi from the outskirts of a Northern city to the centre for around a tenner. You would take out a bank loan to do the equivalent in London.

9. Cars stop to let you cross the road. Weird, I know!

10. You’re not expected to give a “cheers mate” thumbs-up to drivers who stop at a zebra crossing after waiting 14 minutes for someone to let you past.

11. Cars don’t beep at each other all the time just for being on the same bit of road for some length of time.

12. People will TALK TO YOU in shops, in pubs, and on buses and not just to steal your phone.

13. In some parts, like Leeds and Sheffield, men AND women call one another “love” without it being weird.

14. Pies.

15. As in, proper pies, like meat and potato ones, which are widely available. Or just a simple meat pie. No one in London knows what this is.

16. Nobody looks at you strangely if you insist on having gravy with most meals.

17. It’s OK to be passionate about black pudding.

18. Fish and chips that a) are nice and b) don’t cost upwards of £10.

19. Black peas or parched peas are a thing (try it when you’re next up there).

20. Parkin, one of the world’s great cakes, is sadly elusive outside of Yorkshire.

21. There are great shops like Booths, which are inarguably better than Waitrose, but also prove that there are posh people up north.

22. There is a natural beauty in all its easily accessible glory, including five national parks: the Lake District, North York Moors, the Yorkshire Dales, Northumberland, and the Peak District.

23. At the last count, there were approximately ZERO national parks in London and the South East (OK there’s the South Downs in Sussex, and that’s quite nice, but still: the North wins).

24. They might have seen better days, but the North has proper seaside resorts like Southport, Morecambe, Whitby, and Scarborough.

25. Unlike the vast majority of the South, the North is not flat. At the top of our hills there are stunning views, as opposed to a Costcutter or something.

26. It is teeming with wildlife. On the east and north Yorkshire coasts, like at Bempton Cliffs, you can see puffins — yes PUFFINS — as well as seals and the occasional porpoise.

27. There’s no point listing all the amazing bands that have come from great Northern cities such as Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, and Sheffield, because you’re probably already a fan of them.

28. There are more independent cinemas and film festivals in the North West, Yorkshire and North East than in London.

29. Manchester’s Hallé is the country’s longest established symphony orchestra, now in its 156th year.

30. Thanks to our mixed up Saxon-Viking heritage, northern counties have far more interesting place-names, like Giggleswick, Mankinholes, Pisser Clough, Slack Bottom, and Ugglebarnby.

30. Of the 12 founding members of the Football League, six were from the North of England.

31. Liverpool vs. Everton, Liverpool vs. Manchester United, Manchester City vs. Manchester United, and Newcastle United vs. Sunderland remain some of the biggest occasions in British sport.

32. Sheffield has the world’s oldest football club: Sheffield FC.

33. Rugby league is clearly a better game than southern rugby union, where the participants keep kicking the ball out for some reason.

34. Pennine towns have been holding brass band contests on Whit Friday for generations. There is nothing more northern than this.

35. Working men’s clubs might be dying out, but we still have club and pub singers. For some of us Phoenix Nights was like a documentary.

36. According to one survey, the U.K.’s happiest people live in Yorkshire while the least happy live in London.

37. The North has proper history: It’s the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, for a start.

38. The North has many different accents, unlike the South East where people most have one big boring Southern accent.

39. There are sayings you find nowhere else. “Shin tin” means “the lady of the house is not home,” for example. In Manchester, crying is “skriking”.

40. Bolton, Oldham, and Wigan all have discernibly different accents and that’s just Greater Manchester.

41. Northerners don’t think snow heralds the arrival of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

42. There are jobs up North: The BBC has just moved to Salford and big businesses like Sage and Nissan have been up north for ages.

43. Pies.

44. PIES.

45. FUCKING PIES.

The poetry at the top is from Tennyson’s The Princess: O Swallow.

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