YorkshireEASBYStAgatha(explorechurches.org)5

North Country England

Up north has a very distinct feel from the rest of England.

It's a land of dramatic scenery; craggy hills and dry stone walls, stunning lake country and vibrant cities, wide open beaches and ancient heritage.

The northwest of England ranges from rustic splendour to industrial heartland. The Lake District and is an awe inspiring landscape of high fells, deep glacial lakes and quaint rural villages, its churches are nothing like those found in other parts of the country. They include those visited by the Wordsworths, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Ruskin, and Beatrix Potter, among others. Manchester and Liverpool blend ancient heritage in outlaying villages with Victorian grandeur in large city churches. The Roman city of Chester is also close to a wonder of high Victorian decoration.

Our northeast churches include those rebuilt from pieces of Hadrian's Wall, it's where some of our most ancient churches feel like a very part of the landscape around them. The great cathedral at Durham is one of Britain's finest examples of Norman church architecture, whilst walking the pilgrims way across the sands to the Holy Island, with it's church and Lindisfarne Priory, is more a spiritual experience than a visit.

Yorkshire is home to two national parks, the Dales and the Moors. An area rich in farming heritage, discover heather blanketed uplands and rolling green valleys scattered with traditional field barns and drystone walls it's also a place of extraordinary surprises, from wide open moorland and swathes of purple heather to dazzling dark skies and a glorious coastline. Forged by nature, shaped over generations; where peace and beauty rub shoulders with a rich history and a warm welcome. It's home to some of the greatest ecclesiastical ruins, as well as tiny village churches and fascinating non-conformist heritage.

The history of northern England can be told through its churches, here we share some regional pages as well as stories, themes and trails. Explore our pages to discover great churches to visit.

Every church has a story to tell.

English churches on our map

Search our map for beautiful churches to visit and wonderful stories to discover.

Map
YorkshireBRADFORDBradfordCathedral(explorechurches.org)7

discover the north country

DavidDixon
NorthumberlandHEAVENFIELDStOswald(daviddixonCC-BY-SA2.0)1

Hadrian’s wall

The Tyne Valley is known for its fine concentration of early churches, many built with stones recycled from the wall, arguably the best surviving concentration north of the Alps!

MikeFaherty
CheshireKELSALLStPhilip(mikefahertyCC-BY-SA2.0)1

Cheshire

Discover Cheshire's churches, in villages of black and white half timbered cottages and towns brimming with an Industrial Revolution heritage.

IanTaylor
CumbriaWYTHBURNWythburnChurch(iantaylorCC-BY-SA2.0)1

Mountain churches

Ten of our favourite mountain churches. Sheltered in hidden valleys underneath our highest mountains, offering places of comfort after a day exploring the surrounding fells.

JaynePotts
CumbriaSEDBERGHCautleyChapel(jaynepottsPERMISSIONBYEMAIL)1

Cumbria

The Romans, Anglo Saxons, Vikings, Normans and Border Rievers have each left their story in Cumbria's church buildings.

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NorthumberlandHEXHAMHexhamAbbey(ozimanndias8CC-BY-2.0)1

Oldest churches

What is astounding is how many elements of these earliest buildings survive today. This list includes churches where ancient fabric dates from pre AD800, and all are still being used.

Hodgsonge
CountyDurhamESCOMBESaxonChurch(hodgsongeCC-BY-SA4.0)1

County Durham

Take a weekend break and visit a county rich in pilgrim trails, with over 1,400 years of church history to explore.

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Greater Manchester

It comes as little surprise that the oldest buildings in Greater Manchester are all churches.

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