The North West is made up of Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, and Merseyside. Its two biggest cities, Liverpool and Manchester, have a special place in both football and music history. Ever heard of The Beatles or David Beckham? The region was the heart of the industrial revolution – at one time, Lancashire produced half the world’s cotton. Many architectural reminders of this bygone era remain, like Liverpool’s Royal Albert Docks. The stunning Lake District – home to England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike – needs no filters, while Blackpool is like a live and kicking seaside postcard. And in these parts, you have two options when it comes to chips: curry sauce or gravy.

Providers in the North West

City guides

Counties of the North West


Cheshire is home to the University of Chester.


With its splendid villages and towns, Cheshire often ranks among the most desirable and affluent counties in the country.

Its strong travel links to Manchester and Liverpool means there’s a good chance you’ll bump into a footballer or television star – especially since MediaCityUK opened in Salford.


Cumbria is home to the University of Cumbria plus Lakes College West Cumbria.


Known as the ‘Adventure Capital of the UK’, Cumbria is packed with breathtaking scenery, including the magical Lake District. The UK’s largest national park contains England’s highest mountain, plus enough lakes and villages to fill your camera roll. The Yorkshire Dales National Park and North Pennines also sit within Cumbria.

Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester is home to the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Bolton, and the University of Salford.


There are also specialist institutions and colleges like Futureworks, Holy Cross Sixth Form College and University Centre, Nazarene Theological College, the Royal Northern College of Music, and UCEN Manchester. Manchester is iconic for music pioneers like Oasis, The Smiths, and Joy Division, while its two football clubs have international fanbases.


Lancashire is home to Lancaster University, the University of Central Lancashire, and Edge Hill University, plus Burnley College.



Like any good biscuit selection, Lancashire has a bit of everything: from small cities and towns like Preston and Lancaster, to classic British seaside resort Blackpool, and countryside surroundings that could be mistaken for The Shire in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.


Merseyside is home to the University of Liverpool, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, and City of Liverpool College University Centre.


Liverpool has made enormous contributions to British culture – including a little band called, The Beatles – validating its previous European Capital of Culture title.Follow the coastline from the historic Albert Docks, to find beaches at Crosby and Southport.