Listening to the radio while driving to work can be a dangerous business. I almost crashed my car this morning when I heard it suggested that the Yorkshire Dales were in the South of England.

Geographers in Sheffield have drawn up a new map of England and its North/South Divide at the behest of Salford’s Lowry gallery, to accompany an exhibtion called The Myth of the North. The map is based not on geography but on a clutch of other factors including wealth, health, social attitudes and, of course, house prices.

Gritty places like Leeds, Bradford, and Cleckhuddersfax are all naturally enough placed firmly in the North but the stunner was to be told by one of the assembled ‘experts’ – a Lancastrian – on the Today programme that the Lake District was in the south and so was the Yorkshire Dales, mainly it seemed, because of a shortage of mill chimneys and pigeon lofts.

I suspect he should stay south of the Humber for a while.

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