The terrain of the North is as varied as its accents. There are soaring panoramas in the Lakes, pastoral scenes in the Dales, pretty cobbled streets in York and Durham, great houses everywhere and striking skylines in Newcastle and Liverpool – not to mention miles of rugged coastline.

And just as wonderful as the scenery is the sophisticated shopping in towns and cities like Leeds and Harrogate and smart villages such as Helmsley in the Yorkshire Dales. They lack for nothing in finesse but boy, do they have twice the heart and twice the humour of their counterparts down south. So, for everything that the South can offer, plus the warmest of welcomes and the most genuine of smiles, head along the M1 all the way up country. No dallying on the way: you’ll soon be hitting epic landscapes that leave the South looking just a little bit faux and a little bit twee. Or let the train take the strain: did you know that you can be in York in under two hours? So if you still don’t know your parmo from your pease pudding, jump aboard, quick sharp.

hotels in the north