NORTH EAST ENGLAND Northumberland: Alnwick, Rothbury Tyne and Wear: Newcastle upon Tyne Durham: Chester-le-Street, Durham, Stanley, Darlington, Shildon Tees Valley: Middlesbrough
NORTH WEST ENGLAND Cumbria: Ambleside, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere Lancashire: Blackpool, Cleveleys, Ormskirk, Preston Greater Manchester: Manchester, Salford Merseyside: Birkenhead, Crosby, Heswall, Liverpool, Maghull, Southport, West Kirby Cheshire: Chester, Winsford
YORKSHIRE AND THE HUMBER North Yorkshire: York, Harrogate, Knaresborough West Yorkshire: Bradford, Leeds, Wakefield East Riding of Yorkshire: Beverley, Kingston upon Hull South Yorkshire: Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield
WALES North Wales: Bala, Bangor, Beaumaris, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Caernarfon, Conwy, Llanberis Mid Wales: Aberystwyth, Brecon, Knighton, Lampeter, Welshpool South Wales: Caerphilly, Chepstow, Llantwit Major, Swansea, Cardiff, Penarth
SOUTH CENTRAL ENGLAND Oxfordshire: Abingdon, Bicester, Didcot, Henley-on-Thames, Oxford, Thame Buckinghamshire: Amersham, Aylesbury, Beaconsfield, Bletchley, Chesham, Gerrards Cross, High Wycombe, Marlow, Milton Keynes, Olney, Princes Risborough, Wendover, Wolverton Berkshire: Bracknell, Eton, Newbury, Reading, Slough, Windsor
SOUTH EAST ENGLAND Surrey: Ashford, Banstead, Caterham, Chertsey, Cobham, Dorking, Egham, Epsom, Esher, Guildford, Leatherhead, Oxted, Redhill, Reigate, Shepperton, Staines-upon-Thames, Sunbury-on-Thames, Virginia Water, Walton-on-Thames, Weybridge, Woking Hampshire: Gosport, Portsmouth, Winchester, Aldershot, Farnborough, Fleet Isle of Wight: Cowes, Newport, Ryde, Sandown, Shanklin, Ventnor, Yarmouth
SOUTH EAST ENGLAND Kent: Ashford, Broadstairs, Canterbury, Chatham, Cranbrook, Dartford, Deal, Dover, Edenbridge, Faversham, Folkestone, Gillingham, Gravesend, Greenhithe, Herne Bay, Hythe, Margate, New Romney, Queenborough, Ramsgate, Rochester, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks, Sheerness, Strood, Swanley, Swanscombe, Tenterden, Walmer, Westerham, Whitstable East Sussex: Battle, Bexhill-on-Sea, Brighton, Eastbourne, Hastings, Hove, Newhaven, Peacehaven, Rye, Seaford West Sussex: Bognor Regis, Chichester, East Grinstead, Littlehampton, Shoreham-by-Sea, Worthing
St Anne, St Peter Port
Additions from 2017 onwards appear in grey
This is a list of all the places I've been to in Britain during my lifetime, divided up by region and by county. I've used ceremonial counties, so that things don't get too fragmented.
And obviously it's not every single place, because that would be ridiculous, it's all the towns and cities. More specifically, it's 'major settlements' as listed at the foot of each county's Wikipedia page, because this should be an objective way of doing things. I worked through every single list and checked off all the major settlements I could remember visiting.
By visiting, I mean actually setting foot in the place and looking around. I haven't counted anywhere I've only driven through in a car or ridden through on a train, or stopped off at a service station, or anywhere I didn't leave the station. I have counted places I went to as a child, or as a student or as an adult, not just places I've been to since I started blogging. And blimey, I think it's a lot.
Not surprisingly the counties around London are those I've visited the most. Hertfordshire does well because I was born there, Suffolk does well because I've lived and worked in it, and Kent and Surrey are just easy to get to. Essex looks like it comes out on top, but this may be a Wikipedia issue because Wikipedia thinks Essex has 52 major settlements, whereas Berkshire only has 13.
Away from London, things cool down somewhat. I'm quite impressed by my South West England tally, a lot of which is thanks to touring the area by car rather than travelling by train. But there are many provincial counties I've barely touched over the years, and once you cross the M62 my visits are considerably more sparse.
It's not quite as bad as it looks, for example I once spent a week holidaying around Northumberland, but most of the places I visited (eg Lindisfarne) aren't on Wikipedia's list. I've whizzed up and down the Outer Hebrides, except there's only one significant town, and climbed several Cumbrian mountains but they don't count. Yet in some parts of Britain my scorecard really is as unimpressive as it looks.
I need to try harder to explore Wiltshire and Hampshire, and Warwickshire and Leicestershire, and how can I never have been to Derby? My Yorkshire is poor, and my Lancashire cripplingly so, given all the treasures these counties hold. And yes, there are still three parts of Britain I've never been to, namely the Tees Valley, the Lowlands of Scotland and Northern Ireland. I can see me using this list to help plan several trips away over the coming years.
But what I really wondered is how good my overall tally of places visited is. I suspect it's better than average, potentially a lot better, even considerably so. Every one of the places in my table represents an hour, a day or even a week of my life invested, and my hunch is that most Britons aren't anywhere near as well travelled. You might be, of course, not that you've got time to compile a similar list. But how am I doing? And could you be doing better?