The North of England in numbers
You don’t need a degree in mathematics to see that these numbers add up to one pretty amazing destination. From England’s biggest national park – complete with its tallest peak and deepest lake – to its oldest ghosts, Northern England will make your jaw drop.
In 2016, it will be 30 years since Durham Cathedral and Castle became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Did you know that, along with the Taj Mahal and Stonehenge, it was one of the first sites to be designated?
Give or take a few hundred, the number of stars and objects like the Milky Way – 2.5 million light years away, no less – that you can see at any given time from Europe’s largest protected area of night skies, in Northumberland. The area encompassing Northumberland National Park and Kielder Water & Forest Park is designated gold-tier International Dark Sky status. The sky over the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is also a fantastic window into the Aurora Borealis – a breathtaking natural phenomenon.
The number of Michelin stars awarded to 13 Northern England eateries. The sharp-eyed among you will have done the maths and realised that one restaurant has two Michelin stars: L’Enclume, in Cumbria The newest Michelin Star in Northern England belongs to The Man Behind the Curtain, in Leeds.
The wingspan in metres of Antony Gormley’s enormous Angel of the North statue, which towers above NewcastleGateshead. The sculpture is made from 200 tonnes of steel and is 20 metres tall – that’s the equivalent height of four double decker buses.
This is the number of national parks in Northern England. They are: Northumberland, Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and Peak District.
And this is the total area, in square kms, of Northern England covered by those five national parks.
This is the height in metres of England’s tallest peak, Scafell Pike. You can climb it, in the Lake District National Park.
The depth in metres of England’s deepest lake, Wastwater, also in the Lake District National Park.
The size, in square kms, of the Lake District National Park, the largest national park in England. By the way, the previous fact was a little white lie… There is only one ‘official’ lake in the Lake District – Bassenthwaite Lake. Wastwater, and all the other ‘lakes’ are actually ‘meres’ or ‘waters’.
The number of heritage railways in Northern England. And that doesn’t include miniature trains or tramways. Chuffing remarkable!
This is the number of new artworks commissioned by Liverpool Biennial since it was founded in 1999. They’re from 424 artists around the world, including 34 collaborative neighbourhood projects in the city. In fact, you can thank Liverpool Biennial, along with their partners, for bringing, and permanently installing, Antony Gormley’s hauntingly surreal Another Place on Crosby Beach. If you haven’t already seen it, do! It’s unforgettable. The next Liverpool Biennial is in 2016 and art installations already here or on their way for 2016 include Sir Peter Blake’s Everybody Razzle Dazzle (which covers an iconic Mersey ferry in a colour and monochrome pattern) and South Korean artist Koo Jeong A’s glow-in-the-dark wheels park, Evertro.
This is the approximate age, in years, of what is believed to be the remains of Britain’s oldest house. The structure, in Star Carr near Scarborough in North Yorkshire, would have been 3.5 metres wide. It dates back to a time when Britain was still joined to the rest of Europe.
The capacity of Old Trafford stadium. You can go behind the scenes of Manchester United Football Club’s ‘Theatre of Dreams’ on the Manchester United Museum and Stadium Tour. Re-enact pep talks in the changing rooms, run out onto the pitch through the tunnel and see this enormous stadium through the eyes of the famous players.
The year the Peak District was confirmed a national park. It’s the UK’s first national park, swiftly followed by the Lake District a few months later.
The number of UNESCO World Heritage cultural sites in Northern England. In no particular order, they are: Durham Castle and Cathedral; Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey; Frontiers of the Roman Empire; Derwent Valley Mills; Saltaire; and Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City.
The number of AONBS in Northern England: Northumberland Coast; Solway Coast; North Pennines; Howardian Hills; Nidderdale; Forest of Bowland; and Arnside and Silverdale, which is also the smallest, at 75 sq km.
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The gradient of England’s steepest roads. Cumbria’s Hardknott Pass and Yorkshire’s Rosedale’s Chimney Bank in Yorkshire vie for the title.
The length in kilometres of drystone walls in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. You can watch the Yorkshire Dales Volunteers demonstrate the traditional craft of dry stone walling at the Dales Countryside Museum
The year Colin Firth landed in the fantasies of women across the world as Mr Darcy in the BBC TV adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. You can see the setting of that scene, where Darcy goes for a casual swim in the pond, at Lyme Park, in the Peak District National Park.
The approximate number of grey seals who call Northumberland’s Farne Islands home. And every year, they give birth to around 1,500 furry pups. During the summer, the Farne Islands – once declared by legendary broadcaster Sir David Attenborough as his favourite place in the UK to see nature at its best – are home to approximately 150,000 breeding pairs of seabirds. Around 23 different varieties of birds can be spotted here, including razorbills, guillemots, eider ducks and colourful puffins are just some of the varieties that flock here. If you have your heart set on seeing puffins, plan your visit between May and July to see the largest number of these colourful little birds.
The depth in metres of the Hole of Horcum, a large natural amphitheatre in Levisham Moor. Created by glaciers during the Ice Age, the hole is over a kilometre wide. A "Devil's Punchbowl" type feature, local legend has it that the amphitheatre was made by the Giant Wade who scooped out the earth to throw at his wife Bell. Another is that the devil picked up a huge handful of earth and cast it across the moors to form the 800ft-high Blakey Topping.
The length in miles of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, the most popular heritage railway line in the world. It runs steam trains from Pickering through the heart of the North York Moors to Grosmont. One of the stops, Goathland Station, was the setting for Hogsmeade in the first Harry Potter film.
The number of monks who once called Rievaulx Abbey home. Yorkshire's first Cistercian Abbey, was also once home to 500 lay brothers. The wealth of the Abbey came mostly from their success as sheep farmers. At one time the Abbey farmed 14,000 sheep on the moors and the monks were very successful at selling wool to cloth merchants from Flanders, France and Italy. www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/rievaulx-abbey
The value in £ of the cultural capital programme being invested in Hull before it’s turn in the spotlight as the UK Capital of Culture 2017. So far, they’ve confirmed 15 national and international commissions, 25 festivals and promised events on every one of the 365 days of 2017.