Where do YOU think the North of England begins?

Woman sparks furious debate as she divides map of England into North, Midlands and South – but where do YOU think each region begins?

  • Twitter user Michelle Bayly, from Northumberland, shared map online 
  • Read more:  Andy Burnham demands North of England is treated like Scotland

A woman has sparked furious debate online after revealing where she believes the North-South divide truly falls on a map.

Michelle Bayly, from Northumberland, posted a Tweet with a screengrab of a map divided into three sections, indicating her perception of the North, the Midlands and the South.

She posted: ‘Can we all agree that North is Leeds and above..? It’s really annoying seeing The North such and such company or something artsy North and for it to be in Birmingham etc. 

‘There’s also a middle…the midlands. Be the midlands. North of London doesn’t mean North.’

However many other Twitter users disagreed with her, with one writing: ‘Liverpool and Sheffield will definitely have words on that one.’ 

Michelle Bayly, from Northumberland, sparked furious debate online after revealing where she believes the North-South divide truly falls on a map

Sharing the image of the grab online, she said it was ‘annoying’ to see Birmingham classified as the North 

Meanwhile another wrote: ‘Is this a joke? How do you not think Sheffield and Manchester are in the north?’

A third added: ‘Yorkshire, Lancashire and Liverpool are definitely North. It’s really called North West.’

A fourth commented: ‘No, you are SO wrong. South Yorkshire IS the north of England.’ 

Another said: ‘I’d say Nottingham and above is north, but I’d agree to this compromise.’ 

‘Birmingham is the start of the north,’ one person commented. 

One person wrote: ‘I think the idea that Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield and Hull aren’t in the North is slightly mad.’ 

Another wrote: ‘Anything further than Bristol is ‘The North’ to me.’

‘The North starts at Watford,’ another person weighed in.  

The Tweet quickly went viral online, with many people confessing they were outraged by her division of the country 

After the Tweet went viral on Twitter, with 1,257 likes, Michelle was forced to concede on her beliefs about the divide.

She commented: ‘After deep thought and consultation, I have decided to scrap my map of North, Middle and South and instead go with popular opinion that if you have gravy on chips or scraps and mushy peas with fish and chips then you are Northern and if not, then not (no matter the geography.’

There is no official definition of a North-South border in the UK.

The idea is generally conceived as economic, cultural and political differences between areas in the North or South of the country.

And it’s not the first time the debate about the divisions in the country has been sparked. 

In 2018, a BBC Radio 4 show provoked bemused and angry responses on Twitter by suggesting cities Manchester and Sheffield are part of the UK’s South.

Michelle later shared a second Tweet, conceding that ‘if you have gravy on chips’ than you are Northern 

They shared a controversial map as part of a discussion between writers and academics over where the North-South border lies.

The unusual suggestion was put forward by Professor Mark Tewdwr-Jones of Newcastle University.

BBC Radio 4’s Today current affairs show opened up the question of where a North-South boundary would exist as part of the Great Exhibition of the North in Gateshead. 

In anticipation of a broadcast from the summer-long event, they tweeted out Tewdwr-Jones’ lopsided proposal of where the ‘North’ divides the ‘South’.

The marker started at the lowest tip of Wales in the Vale of Glamorgan stretching up and around the Midlands up as far as York before looping back down, encompassing Lincolnshire and ending near Norfolk and East Anglia.

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