General Question

TheOnlyException's avatar

Differences between the North and South of England?

Asked by TheOnlyException (2182points) May 16th, 2010

Cultural, economic, social, those sorts of things.
By southern England, I mean areas around LONDON more specifically than anywhere else.
And by northern england we’re talking anything between Sheffield, Manchester and Newcastle.

What do you think are the major differences?
It one more wealthy in general than the other?
More, or less cultured?
Are the people friendlier/ruder/rougher/ in one area than the other?
What about buildings and cities, which area has buildings and cities in a better ‘state’, cleaner roads? Nicer houses?

Anything and everything you can tell me about the differences (or similarities if that is the case!) between Northern and Southern England.

Oh and ACCENT! is another one, differences between those (although I know there are some obvious differences in that already.. haha, I’m not deaf!)

What about ethnicities? Is one ‘end’ of England more diverse than the other, or is it about the same? Do you think this is a problem when it comes to racial tolerance, or is it pretty much the same all over britain with a few general hotspots of racist behaviour?

Thanks in advance

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12 Answers

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emma193's avatar

I think the list of differences is endless but depend on who you ask and there could likely be more similarities than differences in the end!

My mom is from Surrey in the South, and my dad in from Yorkshire in the North. When they married in the 1970s, both set of in-laws were incredibly suspicious of the other set. My mom’s parents from the South thought my dad’s parents were unclassy and thought too much about money, while my dad’s parents thought the in-laws from the south were snobby and stuck-up. My dad also has a much stronger accent that has survived 35+ years in the USA, while my mom’s softer, more “plummy” accent, has faded considerably.

From visiting England, I get the sense that people in the North consider the Southerners less friendly, stuck-up, and a bit stiff while they think of themselves as friendlier, funnier and more hospitable. In contrast, the Southerners might think the Northerners are less cultural and a bit backwards. However, those are rather strong words and I could be very much off-base. For an interesting discussion, I found this article on the Telegraph with a long series of comments—

For a more general discussion on the North/South Divide, check out this article in a recent Economist –

And to round this out, I get the sense that people in the North are very proud to be from the North while I don’t think people from the South feel the need to be as proud about the fact they are from the South – an example of a book that is testament to that—

chamelopotamus's avatar

Without overburdening myself with information my gut reaction of a basic difference between the two regions is, SOUTH=LONDON=CITY/SUBURBIA LIFE, and NORTH=COUNTRY=RURAL/FARMERS LIFE. But thats all speculation based on the fact that London is in the south, and matching urban sprawl up against its opposite, the tradition of English country life. Every other difference stems from that one. Two different mindsets acting out on the English landscape over a long period of time make the differences more colorful when you experience them from the primary sources themselves.

janbb's avatar

My northern experience is being married to a Liverpudlian and knowing his family and my Southern comes from living and studying in London, Exeter and Bristol His family is working class so my impressions may limited and skewed. (A bit of the blind men and the elephants, eh?) With that large caveat, I would say that northerners tend to be down to earth, friendly, practical and often have a diabolical wit. An advertising campaign for beer some years ago encapsulated some of these qualities beautifully: The tagline was, “Who says Northerners are not romantic?” One of the ads showed a guy saying, “While you’re up, luv, get me a beer.”

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

A huge difference between the North and South of England, is that there are more people who live in the North (5 of 10 major English cities are situated in the North. The South only has two and the Midlands has 3.

Food is more hearty in the north than what you get in the South. dishes such as Lancashire Hotpot and Yorkshire puddings often take the best part of a day to complete, whereas in the South, the meals are more ready made or made within an hour or two.

The general pace of life in the North is much slower than in the South. People from the North don’t really see the need to rush themselves. Northerners are much more friendlier than in the Southerners.

There is lots of industry in the North, unlike the South where there isn’t.

Landscape wise, the North tends to be more mountainous and hilly than in the South, as we have the Pennines up here, along with the lake district.

simplicity's avatar

Southeners are soft. Northerners are stupid.

TheOnlyException's avatar

@Trillian ahaha okay you got me.. nice one

Trillian's avatar

(I didn’t have an answer, never been!)

The_Idler's avatar

On The North: The people are friendlier, the food is tastier, the beer is cheaper and better, the landscapes are more beautiful, and aye, the grass is greener.

I’m going t’ Uni o’ Sheffield in September, an’ I canne wait, man!

I’m sure I’ll get ripped for being a Southerner, but I like good food and real beer, so I’ll defs fit in…

jeanmay's avatar

Northerners are tight with their pennies but generous with their wit. Southerners are posh and moody.

My home town is Exeter, but that doesn’t count as the South. South basically means London. My parents are from the North East, and they always complained that people down South are not very friendly!

The_Idler's avatar

The South is London and the Home Counties, the West Country is a different thing altogether.

P.S. for the uninformed, Exeter is in the West Country

TheOnlyException's avatar

@The_Idler I’m sure I’ll get ripped for being a Southerner

haha my maths teacher was talking about when he went to uni in Sheffield, first day 3 guys came in with a black eye, they were from the south, accents and all.
apparently all they did was ask someone the time.
This is what he told me to persuade me to choose sheffield uni.
It was way back in the 80s though, a bit more tolerant now i suppose eh ;)

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