Lancashire is considerably smaller than its historic rival, Yorkshire, but it is not any less special for that. Regarded by many as the birthplace of the industrial revolution, its largest cities Manchester and Liverpool have an enormous cultural heritage and the former cotton towns of Bolton, Preston, Wigan and their ilk are not much less so.
While the coal and manufacturing industries have faded somewhat of late (though their history remains visible all over the county), they have been replaced by a very artisanal culture of traditional skills with clothing, crafts and food. The county lays claim to a number of culinary delights, including the Lancashire hot-pot, black pudding, and a variety of cheeses.
The coastal town of Morecambe is a well-known beach holiday resort. Lancashire, like Yorkshire, is famous for its cricket team. Shakespeare lived there, Lowry painted it, and arguably the greatest pop group in history hailed from Liverpool. With two designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Lancashire countryside is popular for walking and cycling and has a wealth of canals and waterways to explore. Museums, art galleries and stately homes abound. On a different note, there is nowhere on earth quite like Blackpool, with its illuminations, its tower, and its theme parks and rides.