Avon - Looking for pubs in Avon ? Try Gloucestershire or Somerset

Former Metropolitan county of south-west England, formed in 1974 from the city and county of Bristol and parts of north-east Somerset and south-west Gloucestershire. It was abolished in 1996 when the unitary authorities of Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire were created. Avon covered an area of just over 500 square miles. The cities of Bristol and Bath, along with the town of Weston-super-Mare, provided the county's administration centres. The main feature of Avon was the river of the same name, known as the Bristol Avon in due respect to the other rivers with that same name in England. The Clifton Suspension Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Avon Gorge and the River Avon, linking Clifton in Bristol to Leigh Woods in North Somerset. Products from the county include aircraft and other engineering products, tobacco, chemicals, printing and dairy products. One famous, adopted, son of Avon was the Navigator John Cabot who, along with his son Sebastian, discovered the islands of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia and opened up new trade routes for England in the 15th and 16th Centuries.

Black Country

Looking for pubs in the Black Country ? Try Staffordshire or Worcestershire Central area of England, to the west and north of Birmingham, incorporating the towns of Dudley, Walsall, Wolverhampton, and Sandwell. Heavily industrialized, it gained its name in the 19th century from its belching chimneys and mining spoil. Anti-pollution laws and the decline of heavy industry have changed the region's landscape. Coal mining in the area ceased in 1968. The Black Country Museum was opened in 1975 at Dudley to preserve the region's industrial heritage. The area evolved with a dialect and culture distinct from that of nearby Birmingham. There is still some quarrying in the region, and engineering, metal-processing, and the manufacture of motor accessories are important. The Black Country is contained within the Metropolitan County of the West Midlands.


Former Metropolitan county of north-east England, formed in 1974 from parts of Durham and north-east Yorkshire. It was abolished in 1996 when the unitary authorities of Hartlepool, Middlesborough, Redcar and Cleveland, and Stockton-on-Tees were created. Covering just 224 square miles, the administrative headquarters for the county were to be found in the town of Middlesborough with other major towns being Stockton on Tees, Billingham and Hartlepool. The county was dominated by the river Tees and the North Sea. The county boasted Europe's largest steel complex (at Redcar) and chemical site, which relied on the locally available potash and gas. Unsurprisingly the most commercial of activities in Cleveland were steel working and chemical production. Middlesbrough, famous for it’s transporter bridge which carries vehicles across the River Tees. It connects Middlesbrough, on the south bank, to Port Clarence, on the north bank.


Area named after a range of limestone hills in Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, and Bath and North East Somerset, England, 80 km / 50 miles long, between Bath and Chipping Camden. The Cotswold Hills rise to 333 m / 1,086 ft at Cleeve Cloud, near Cheltenham, but average about 200 m / 600 ft. The area is known for its picturesque villages, built with the local honey-coloured stone. The Cotswolds is an area internationally-renowned for its natural beauty and for its distinctive, golden coloured, limestone buildings which together form the characteristic landscape of villages and small towns sheltering in rolling hills and shallow vales. Dyrham Park is a baroque country house in an ancient deer park owned by the National Trust which is open to the public. Millions of tourists from all over the world visit the area every year, many drawn by the history of the district. Cirencester was the capital of Roman Britain and the roads that were laid there, radiating from the town, still form the basis for the major routes of the area. The famous Fosseway (A 429), stretches almost the length of the district. The prosperity of the Cotswolds was further established by the wool trade, resulting in the growth of market towns such as Chipping Campden, Tetbury, Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold, and Moreton-in-Marsh, which still retain their busy atmosphere. The heritage of the district is reflected in its buildings, of which nearly 5000 are designated as listed buildings by the Department of Environment either for their nationally important architecture or historic interest. This is the highest concentration of buildings of this importance within any English rural authority. There are also many conservation areas within the district giving special protection to parts of many of the older towns and villages. Old tracks and evidence of early British forts and Roman camps indicate that the area was important in ancient times. It prospered in the 14th and 16th centuries when the woollen industry of Flemish weavers flourished. The decline of the area's wool industry was primarily triggered by the industrialization of the 1830s, which led to labour disputes, fluctuating markets, strikes, failing machinery, and mill closures. Great parish churches, imposing houses, and solidly built inns are evidence of the wealth of the area in the Middle Ages. Chipping Campden, Northleach, and Cirencester contain fine examples of wool churches, built on the prosperity of the medieval wool trade and heavily adorned with gargoyles and story pictures. The River Thames rises on the eastern slopes the hills, 5 km / 3 miles south-west of Cirencester. The Cotswold Way is a long-distance path which runs along the top of the ridge, stretching about 160 km / 100 miles from Chipping Campden to Bath.


Former Metropolitan county of NE England, created in 1974 out of N Lincolnshire and parts of the East and West Ridings of Yorkshire. It was abolished 1996 when the unitary authorities of East Riding of Yorkshire, Kingston upon Hull, North East Lincolnshire, and North Lincolnshire were created. It covered over 1,300 square miles and with a population of 860,000, was centred on the Humber estuary. The Deep is a huge aquarium with over 3000 creatures, including sharks and sawfish, plus an evening restaurant. Humberside's administrative headquarters were located at Kingston upon Hull with it's other major towns being those of Grimsby (named after the Viking who founded the town), Scunthorpe, Goole and Cleethorpes. The river Humber dominated the county with the industries of petrochemical production, oil refining and fish processing all directly profiting from it. As with many other eastern English counties Humberside also relied on root crops, cereals and cattle farming. Famous people who were born within he boundaries of Humberside were Amy Johnson, the aviator, and John Wesley the founder of the Wesleyan church.

Isle of Man

This island in the Irish Sea is not actually part of the United Kingdom but is, legally, a dependency of the British crown. Occupying 220 square miles the island is surrounded to the north by Scotland, to the east by England, to the south by Wales and to the west by Northern Ireland. The island has a governmental body of it's own in the Tynwald which passes laws subject to royal consent. The island produces it's own coins and notes in UK currency denominations. It has a population of 65,000 and the original language of Manx (Which was closer to Scottish than Irish Gaelic) has been virtually extinct since the 1970's with English becoming the dominant language. The Isle of Man was a Norwegian territory until 1266 when it was ceded to Scotland. It came under British administration in 1765. The island's capital is Douglas, with other major towns being Ramsey, Peel and Castletown. The island is most famous for the superb Great Laxey Wheel.

Greater London

Metropolitan county formed in 1974 and encompasses all of the area previously considered to be Middlesex. Middlesex itself gained it's name from 'The kingdom of the Middle Saxons'. Home to the famous Wembley Stadium, home of the Football Association and used for football finals and much of the 2012 Olympics. Greater London consists of the City of London and 32 Boroughs. The boroughs are Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Brent, Bromley, Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Havering, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston upon Thames, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Wandsworth. With a size of 610 square miles and a population of some 7 Million London is the most densely populated of all British counties. The metropolitan county was established in 1965 and was governed by the Greater London Council until it's abolition in 1986. Greater London has become, over the centuries, a culturally enriched centre of Great Britain, both from within the nation and from without and is a perennial favourite for tourists from all over the world.

Greater Manchester

Looking for pubs in Greater Manchester ? Try Lancashire or Cheshire Metropolitan County formed in 1974 from parts of Lancashire and Cheshire but, as the name obviously suggests, based around the city of Manchester. Apart from Manchester the area covers the old Lancashire towns of Oldham, Bolton, Wigan, Rochdale, the city of Salford and the former Cheshire town of Stockport. Greater Manchester covers 500 square miles and has a population of 2,580,000. In recent years the city has become synonymous with the football clubs of Manchester City and Manchester United. The Rugby League Grand Final is also usually staged at Old Trafford (home of Manchester United) due to the ground capacity. The origins of the area owe a lot to the opening of the Bridgewater canal in the 1800's which brought the regional industries of coal and in particular cotton a ready outlet to markets up and down the country and, with the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal to markets worldwide. Famous sons and daughters from the region include the singer Gracie Fields (from Rochdale), Emmeline Pankhurst (the leader of the Suffragette movement in the early part of the 20th Century) and Anthony Burgess (less glamorously a member of a Soviet spy ring in the 1950's and 60's). In common with it's traditions the area is highly industrialised although the times 'when cotton was King' are now long gone.


Looking for pubs in Liverpool ? Try Lancashire or Cheshire Industrial area around Liverpool, Northwest England based on the River Mersey, created by the government in 1974 from an area of Lancashire around the city of Liverpool and northern parts of Cheshire. The county covers an area of some 252 square miles with a population of just over 1.5 Million. Liverpool stands as the pinnacle city of the county. Famous throughout the world for its endeavours in the spheres of trade, sport and entertainment. Liverpool is separated from the town of Birkenhead by the River Mersey itself, as praised by the emotive tune 'ferry across the Mersey'. The docks around the Royal Liver Building have been substantially re-vamped and is now a vibrant tourist area. Liverpool is proud to be one of the few cities in the world that can boast two cathedrals. One being of traditional design the other, the Roman catholic cathedral, being of post-war modern design. Its history is one of unity from adversity. The high percentage of Liverpudlians with an Irish ancestry giving testament to the influx of Lancashire's near neighbours in the 19th century. Liverpool's original claim to fame came from the sea. The Mersey docks were always important to Britain, and to northern England especially, but were even more so in the 1939-45 war when the nation's lifeline to America and Canada was at it's most important. In recent decades Liverpool has become synonymous with two of the nation's favourite activities, music and association football. There can be very few, if any, who have not heard of the Beatles or the 'Mersey beat' that brought life to a socially changing Britain in the nineteen sixties. There are surely equally as few that have not become enamoured by, or envious of, the success of the city's Liverpool football club who dominated English and, for a time, European football in the late seventies through to the late eighties. Liverpool apart, Merseyside has some other very fine towns with which to enchant the visitor. The Wirral, to the south of the county, is a haven for bird watchers and nature lovers alike. St Helens has a long industrial past: glass-making here dates back more than 200 years, and coal has been mined since the 16th century; in 1757 the Sankey Canal was constructed to carry coal to Liverpool, Warrington, and also Northwich for the then growing salt industry. The chemical and copper industries left large areas of derelict land in St Helens, which have now cleared. Knowsley originally grew up around Knowsley Hall, the home of the Stanley family (Earls of Derby) since 1835.


Looking for pubs in Middlesex ? Try London Former English county, absorbed by Greater London 1965. It was settled in the 6th century by Saxons, and its name comes from its position between the kingdoms of the East and West Saxons. Contained within the Thames basin, it provided good agricultural land before it was built over. The name is still used, as in Middlesex County Cricket Club. The original Wembley Stadium (originally known as the Empire Stadium) was a stadium in Wembley Park, London, best known for hosting important football matches. It stood on the same site now occupied by its successor. Wembley hosted the FA Cup final annually, the first in 1923, which was its inaugural event, the League Cup final annually, five European Cup finals, the 1966 World Cup Final, and the final of Euro 96.

The Potteries

Looking for pubs in the Potteries ? Try Staffordshire Home of the china and earthenware industries, in central England. Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, Middleport, Spode, Twyford and Minton are factory names associated with the Potteries. Hundreds of companies produced all kinds of pottery, from tablewares and decorative pieces to industrial items. Also home to the second oldest football club in the World, Stoke City and the only player ever to be knighted whilst still playing in the top division and at over 50 years of age, Sir Stanley Matthews. The Potteries lie in the upper Trent basin of North Staffordshire, covering the area around Stoke-on-Trent, and include the formerly separate towns of Burslem, Hanley, Longton, Fenton, and Tunstall. Bottle Kilns are still a common sight around the Potteries and some are still used although many have been incorporated into other buildings. The Pottery industry can probably claim the title for the best job title - a Saggar Maker’s Bottom Knocker


Superbly picturesque woodland glen between lochs Katrine and Achray in Stirling unitary authority, Scotland, 3 km / 2 miles long. Overlooking it are Ben Venue (727 m / 2,386 ft) and Ben A'an (369 m / 1,211 ft), a popular climbing venue, which rests against Meall Gainmheich (564 m / 1,851 ft). Featured in the novels of Walter Scott, it has become a favoured tourist spot. The name is taken from that of a small woodland glen that lies at the centre of the area, but is now generally applied to the wider region. The Trossachs form part of the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, which was established in 2002.


Industrial conurbation in Tyne and Wear, Northeast England, on the River Tyne. North Tyneside and South Tyneside are metropolitan boroughs of Tyne and Wear. The area extends from South Shields to Newcastle upon Tyne and is characterized by heavy industry such as shipbuilding and repairing, and fish canneries. Historically part of County Durham and Northumberland, Tyneside spans four local authority districts, the City of Newcastle upon Tyne and the Metropolitan Boroughs of Gateshead, North Tyneside and South Tyneside, with a combined estimated population of 850,000. Famous for the Tyne Bridge, a through arch bridge over the river designed by Mott, Hay and Anderson and built by Dorman Long who also built the Sydney Harbour Bridge


The kingdom of the West Saxons in Britain, said to have been founded by Cerdic about AD 500, covering present-day Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Somerset, and Devon. In 829 Egbert established West Saxon supremacy over all England. Thomas Hardy used the term Wessex in his novels for the SW counties of England; drawing on England's west country, the heartland was Dorset but its outlying boundary markers were Plymouth, Bath, Oxford, and Southampton. He gave fictional names to such real places as Dorchester (Casterbridge), Salisbury (Melchester) and Bournmouth (Sandbourne) but mixed these with a sprinkling of real names such as Stonehenge, the river Frome, and Nettlecombe Tout. Home to Gold Hill in Shaftesbury, made famous for an old Hovis TV advert (directed by Ridley Scott) where a young baker’s lad rode his pushbike down the hill.

West Midlands

Looking for pubs in the West Midlands ? Try Staffordshireor Worcestershire Metropolitan county formed in 1974 and centred around England's second largest city of Birmingham. The county covers an area of 347 square miles and is home to 2,650,000 people. The administrative centre is, Birmingham with the towns of Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley, Coventry, Smethwick and West Bromwich being the other major population centres. The county was formed from parts of Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire The county is heavily industrialised with the manufacture of all kinds of engineering and mechanical goods such as motor vehicles and machine tools the paramount trade. Birmingham can lay claim to be the home of the birth of Lawn Tennis. Today the National Exhibition Centre is the centrepiece of a modern, thriving city and county.
In addition to traditional county and metropolitan boundaries, there are a number of other areas around the UK which you often won’t find on a map. Some are former industrial areas, some historical and some are tourist locations but all have interesting places to visit and have some great inns.
Areas of Britain