diamond geezer

 Wednesday, January 13, 2021

After almost a year of not going very far, and with an eye on one day being able to travel again, I wondered where's the largest town I haven't been to?

To be explicit, that's the largest English town or city by population that I've never set foot in. Travelling through (or standing on a station platform) doesn't count.

My first task was to find a definitive ranking of English towns and cities by population. I thought this was going to be difficult but no, the Office for National Statistics has a portal called Nomis which offers free access to up-to-date data. I selected a) major towns and cities, b) all ages c) all genders, and within seconds I was downloading the spreadsheet I needed. The list that follows is based on built-up areas, not necessarily administrative boundaries or wider city regions.

England's largest towns and cities by population

1London8,920,000
2Birmingham1,160,000
3Liverpool587,000
4Bristol577,000
5Manchester563,000
6Sheffield552,000
7Leeds511,000
8Leicester416,000
9Coventry382,000
10Bradford356,000

No problem so far, I've been to all ten. I've also blogged about all of them, which is why each city links to an old post. One I live in and five I've been to numerous times, as befits the country's great cultural centres. But Sheffield's had just three visits, Leicester and Bristol two apiece and Bradford only one. You may already have spotted a city you haven't been to, in which case you can stop there, you have a winner. I need to carry on.

11Nottingham316,000
12Kingston upon Hull288,000
13Newcastle upon Tyne288,000
14Stoke-on-Trent278,000
15Southampton270,000
16Plymouth266,000
17Derby265,000
18Reading258,000
19Wolverhampton246,000
20Brighton and Hove245,000

I've been to all these too, mostly several times. Stoke on Trent was a one-off day trip but once is enough to tick a city off. Nottingham's linked post consists of a single photograph, so I really ought to go back and try harder, but again it totally counts. The first dodgy city on my list is Southampton which I have only slightly visited. I changed trains there once and deliberately wandered out of a side exit onto the pavement for a few seconds so I could say I'd been, because in my rules visiting the station doesn't count. Southampton really should be top of my list for a post-lockdown safari... but I have technically been, so let's move on.

21Northampton230,000
22Portsmouth230,000
23Luton222,000
24Bournemouth197,000
25Norwich197,000
26Swindon192,000
27Southend-on-Sea185,000
28Milton Keynes185,000
29Bolton180,000
30Peterborough179,000

These are all multi-visits, for me at least, apart from Swindon and Bolton which are single trips. They've also all been blogged, other than Peterborough which I somehow haven't been back to since the 1980s. You may very well have seen a town or city you haven't been to by now, in which case make a note of what it is. But it turns out I have indeed been to the top 30 English towns and cities, hurrah. It all goes it goes wrong for me at 32...

31Middlesbrough177,000
32Sunderland175,000
33Warrington173,000
34Huddersfield172,000
35York164,000
36Oxford162,000
37Poole159,000
38Slough158,000
39Telford152,000
40Cambridge149,000

Sunderland is the largest English city I haven't been to. In this case I haven't even travelled through it and seen it out of the window, which is a proper fail. That's why today's exercise is important, because I don't have a mental picture of Sunderland based on primary evidence, only what I've seen on TV or read about elsewhere. Warrington I have at least seen from a train speeding through, but Huddersfield is another personal non-event. That's three in a row I've missed, so very much where my run ends.

41Ipswich149,000
42Gloucester148,000
43Blackpool146,000
44Watford141,000
45Colchester138,000
46Preston136,000
47Exeter126,000
48Gateshead122,000
49Oldham121,000
50Blackburn121,000

Shame, I was doing well again there until Oldham tripped me up. I meant to go to Oldham on my last trip to Manchester but it was raining so much that I gave it a miss. Another one for the to-do list.

In case you're still playing, here's the next 50.

51Maidstone61Stockport71Woking81Halifax91Harlow
52Chelmsford62Rotherham72Hemel H'std  82Birkenhead92Guildford
53Basildon63Gillingham73Worcester83Nuneaton93Bracknell
54Cheltenham64Solihull74Salford84Hartlepool94Dudley
55Doncaster65Wakefield75Barnsley85Chesterfield  95Stockton
56Worthing66Sutton C'fld  76Stevenage86Wigan96Scunthorpe
57Eastbourne67Lincoln77Southport87Weston-s-M97Burnley
58Basingstoke  68H Wycombe78Hastings88Grimsby98Redditch
59Rochdale69St Helens79Bedford89Chester99Mansfield
60Crawley70Bath80Darlington 90St Albans100Chatham

I'm quite pleased that I've been to 90% of the top 50 English towns and cities and 84% of the top 100. That's a pretty good record all told, in terms of developing a personal understanding of how the country fits together.

But let's keep this simple by asking...

What's the largest English town you haven't been to?
Mine's Sunderland, what's yours?
Special comments box → comments

Even if you checked out relatively early on, I hope you found the list of towns by population interesting in itself. If nothing else you might get some ideas for where to explore next, once you get the chance.


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan21
Jan20  Feb20  Mar20  Apr20  May20  Jun20  Jul20  Aug20  Sep20  Oct20  Nov20  Dec20
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19  Sep19  Oct19  Nov19  Dec19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

» my flickr photostream

twenty blogs
853
arseblog
ian visits
londonist
blue witch
the great wen
edith's streets
spitalfields life
linkmachinego
in the aquarium
round the island
wanstead meteo
christopher fowler
ruth's coastal walk
the ladies who bus
round the rails we go
london reconnections
dirty modern scoundrel
from the murky depths
exploring urban wastelands

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
Things to do outside London
Inner London toilet map
The DG Tour of Britain
#coronavirus

read the archive
Jan21
Dec20  Nov20  Oct20  Sep20
Aug20  Jul20  Jun20  May20
Apr20  Mar20  Feb20  Jan20
Dec19  Nov19  Oct19  Sep19
Aug19  Jul19  Jun19  May19
Apr19  Mar19  Feb19  Jan19
Dec18  Nov18  Oct18  Sep18
Aug18  Jul18  Jun18  May18
Apr18  Mar18  Feb18  Jan18
Dec17  Nov17  Oct17  Sep17
Aug17  Jul17  Jun17  May17
Apr17  Mar17  Feb17  Jan17
Dec16  Nov16  Oct16  Sep16
Aug16  Jul16  Jun16  May16
Apr16  Mar16  Feb16  Jan16
Dec15  Nov15  Oct15  Sep15
Aug15  Jul15  Jun15  May15
Apr15  Mar15  Feb15  Jan15
Dec14  Nov14  Oct14  Sep14
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

the diamond geezer index
2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
2005 2004 2003 2002

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
Herbert Dip
metro-land
capital ring
river fleet
piccadilly
bakerloo

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
boredom
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters
iceland

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
thunderbirds
routemaster
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
amsterdam
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
typewriters
doctor who
coronation
comments
blue peter
matchgirls
hurricanes
buzzwords
brookside
monopoly
peter pan
starbucks
feng shui
leap year
manbags
bbc three
vision on
piccadilly
meridian
concorde
wembley
islington
ID cards
bedtime
freeview
beckton
blogads
eclipses
letraset
arsenal
sitcoms
gherkin
calories
everest
muffins
sudoku
camilla
london
ceefax
robbie
becks
dome
BBC2
paris
lotto
118
itv