English County Guide

All the things you never knew

Bedfordshire

• Britain’s first hot-air balloon 1874.

Berkshire

• The Ridgeway in Berkshire is said to be Europe’s oldest road

Cambridgeshire

• Home to the lowest point in the UK, Holme Fen

Cheshire

• Cheshire cheese was recorded in the Domesday Book and Elizabeth I also enjoyed it

Cornwall

• The Eden Project in Cornwall is the largest greenhouse worldwide

Cumbria

• Wordsworth’s inspirational daffodils evoke the tranquillity and beauty of the Lake District

Derbyshire

• Derbyshire is asfar as you can get from the sea

Devon

• Stronghold for the cirl bunting, one of the rarest breeding birds in the UK

Dorset

• Lyme Regis inhabitant Mary Anning not only survived a lightening strike, but also found the first-ever plesiosaur skeleton

Durham

• Ms Ivy Close won Britain’s first beauty contest in 1908

East Sussex

•At 226ft, the Long Man of Wilmington in East Sussex is the largest representation of the human form

East Yorkshire

• Humber Bridge, opened by The Queen in 1981, contains enough steel wire to stretch 1½ times around the world.

Essex

•County motto is “many minds, one heart”.

Gloucestershire

• Snowshill Manor in Gloucestershire has a large collection of samurai armour?

Hampshire

•Hampshire gave the world the noble game of cricket.

Herefordshire

•Herefordshire is home to Bulmers, the world’s largest cider mill.

Hertfordshire

•Hertfordshire residents are known locally as Hedgehogs

Kent

•28,000 kg of Kent strawberries go off to Wimbledon every year.

Lancashire

•Myth of Lancashire: ‘Sirloin’ wasn’t coined when James I knighted a princely loin of beef served at Hoghton Tower

Leicestershire

•Children’s TV producer Biddy Baxter, who launched the Blue Peter badge, hailed from Leicester.

Lincolnshire

•The Beehive pub in Grantham, Lincolnshire boasts the world’s only ‘living’ pub sign, a beehive that’s been there for almost 200 years,

Norfolk

•Norfolk enjoys 1,527.3 hours of sunshine per annum

Northamptonshire

•Oolite villages i are built from finely textured limestone, which is more frost-resistant than the Cotswold variety.

Northumberland

•Cragside was the first house in the world to be lit using hydroelectric power .

North Yorkshire

•North Yorkshire is home to Sir Ben Kingsley

Nottinghamshire

•Home of admired mathematician George Green and Robin Hood,

Oxfordshire

•Areason why Oxford wasn’t bombed in the Second World War was that Hitler was intending to use it as his capital.

Rutland

•There are 199 miles of footpath in Rutland and it is the only county in England without a McDonald’s.

Lancashire

•Blackpool has more hotel and B&B beds than the whole of Portugal.

Shropshire

•Myth of Shropshire: Shropshire Blue cheese is actually from Inverness and was renamed as a marketing ploy.

Somerset

•According to local legend, a forgetful milkmaid left a pail of milk in the Cheddar Gorge caves, and, on returning (much) later, she found cheddar.

Staffordshire

•The first jar of Marmite was produced in Staffordshire 1902 at a disused malt-house in Burton upon Trent.

South Yorkshire

•Sheffield has more trees per person than any other European city (61% is green space).

Suffolk

•Locals are called Silly Suffolks, although this is only because of all their fine churches. ‘Silly’ is used in the old sense of holy, innocent and pious.

Surrey

• Abinger Common in Surrey is said to be the oldest village in England and has been inhabited since the Stone Age.

Warwickshire

• William Webb Ellis was rhe first to pick up the ball and run with it, creating ruby football when at Rugby School.

West Sussex

• The Sussex martlet, a mythical bird on the county’s coat of arms, has no legs, and symbolizes the constant quest for knowledge.

West Yorkshire

• The world’s largest fish-and-chip shop, Harry Ramsden’s, is near Leeds.

Wiltshire

• Poet William Wordsworth described Stonehenge as ‘innate of lonesome Nature’s endless year’.

Worcestershire

• Redditch’s Forge Mill Needle Museum has the only remaining water-powered scouring mill in the world.