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Sunday, 26 October 2014

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Oxford? That's the nearest city to the Lake District, reckon Londoners

Seven per cent of Londoners taking part in a survey named Oxford as the city nearest the Lake District.

Eric Robson photo
Eric Robson

Others questioned in the national research picked places including Newcastle, Leeds and Welsh capital Cardiff.

Some of the 1,000 people taking part in the online poll thought Hadrian’s Wall was more than 400 miles away from its true location – and was in fact in Cornwall.

And only 34 per cent of those surveyed who lived in London knew where the Lake District was.

Virgin Trains, which carried out the survey, said its research showed “significant numbers” were “pretty vague” about the location of landmarks.

Other areas beside Cumbria fell victim to error-strewn geography. One in five thought the Isle of Man was in the English Channel, seven per cent believed Portsmouth was on the Scottish coast and 31 per cent of Londoners put Land’s End in the north.

Nearly eight out of 10 people did give the correct location for Hadrian’s Wall, although others thought it divided Yorkshire and Lancashire, England and Wales and the north and south of London.

Arthur Leathley, communications director at Virgin Trains, said: “Our research shows significant numbers of people in Britain are pretty vague about the location of some of our most famous landmarks.

“But technology such as sat nav, Google maps and route finder websites mean that people can almost point and go these days, without having to know the geography of the country.

“There is no better way of discovering where places are than to get out there and enjoy our great landscape.”

Eric Robson, chairman of Cumbria Tourism, said: “I was brought up in Carlisle and everybody I talked to when I went away thought Carlisle was in Scotland, so this is nothing new.

“It probably says something fairly damning about the quality of geography teaching. We do our damndest to get a message across of what we are, where we are and what we offer.”

Mr Robson said the Lake District was second only to London in terms of best known British “brands” for foreign tourists.

“We get 41m visits a yearfrom people who manage to find their way to the Lake District without going through Oxford,” he added.

Have your say

I started working for a company with outlets all over Britain in 1969 and when meeting colleagues from all over the U.K. on training courses held in Oxfordshire I was astonished how few people knew of Carlisle never mind where it was. Most had good educations but rarely travelled in Britain as it was the start of the tourist traffic to the Med for sun holidays. I was part of a tourist group being shown round Dubrovnik in 1986 when the guide said her favourite historical city in Britain was Carlisle and it was clear that my wife and I were the only ones who really knew Carlisle; most were bemused as the Guide was telling the party to leave York and Bath and Chester alone and just visit Carlisle as like Dubrovnik it's great attraction is being able to walk it all on foot in a short time and take in so many wonderful buildings.

Posted by David Bell on 15 April 2013 at 14:20

They won't realise that the nearest city to Manchester is Salford then?

Posted by Stemax1960 on 14 April 2013 at 23:24

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