Where does the north of England start? Question answered after debate is sparked by controversial map

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A controversial map that places the likes of Leeds and Sheffield as in the south of England has sparked a furious debate and gone viral on social media - so we answered it once and for all.

The long lasting debate of where the north of England starts has reared its head once again after a map shared across social media channels sparked outrage. The answer is largely inconclusive as the border is different to various groups of people.

It all started when a woman recently posted a map of what she perceived to be the north and south borders on social media. The map has the line just above Yorkshire, classifying the likes of Leeds and Sheffield as not northern.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Michelle Bayly shared the map with her Twitter followers on Saturday (March 4) and it has gone viral with over 2.6 million views and around 1,300 likes. She captioned the post with: “Can we all agree that North is Leeds and above? It’s really annoying seeing The North such and such company or something artsy North and for it to be in Birmingham etc.

“There’s also a middle…the midlands. Be the midlands. North of London doesn’t mean North.”

Furious and bemused users rushed to the comment section to have their say on the debate, with one replying: “Is this a joke? How do you not think Sheffield and Manchester are in the north?”. Another commented that the border is the M62 and above, which Michelle replied with “Ooooo maybe.”

Amidst all the fury, theories and uproar, where is the north and south divide located? Here is everything you need to know.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Where is the north and south divide in England and the UK located?

Credit: Adobe ImagesCredit: Adobe Images
Credit: Adobe Images | Canva - Adobe Images

According to Historica, the north region of England is located south of the Scottish border and north of the River Trent and the Midlands. Northern England traditionally consists of the following counties:

  • Cumberland
  • Northumberland
  • Westmorland
  • County Durham
  • Lancashire
  • Yorkshire (North, South and West)
  • Cheshire
  • Cumbria
  • East Riding of Yorkshire
  • Greater Manchester
  • Merseyside
  • Tyne and Wear
  • Parts of Northern Lincolnshire

Despite this, experts at Liverpool University have come up with a study that shows that the line between north and south has changed. Coordinated by Popchange, its findings show that the north should start in Leicestershire based on the increasing number of people moving to more-southern areas for better employment opportunities.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.