British Counties List – Explore England

British counties are a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty. From the idyllic hills of Devon to the rugged vistas of Scotland, each United Kingdom county boasts its distinct charm. In this article, we will embark on a journey through the list of British counties, uncovering their distinct characteristics, landmarks, and cultural nuances.

Understanding British Counties

British counties serve a dual purpose in the UK. From an administrative perspective, they are responsible for local governance, overseeing vital services such as education, law enforcement, and public services. Yet, beyond their administrative functions, counties are cultural strongholds, proudly preserving unique traditions and customs.

List of British Counties:

List of British Counties

Here is a full list of British counties, organized by country:


  • Bedfordshire
  • Berkshire
  • Bristol
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Cheshire
  • Cornwall
  • Cumbria
  • Derbyshire
  • Devon
  • Dorset
  • Durham
  • East Riding of Yorkshire
  • East Sussex
  • Essex
  • Gloucestershire
  • Greater London
  • Greater Manchester
  • Hampshire
  • Herefordshire
  • Hertfordshire
  • Isle of Wight
  • Kent
  • Lancashire
  • Leicestershire
  • Lincolnshire
  • Merseyside
  • Norfolk
  • Northamptonshire
  • Northumberland
  • North Yorkshire
  • Nottinghamshire
  • Oxfordshire
  • Rutland
  • Shropshire
  • Somerset
  • South Yorkshire
  • Staffordshire
  • Suffolk
  • Surrey
  • Tyne and Wear
  • Warwickshire
  • West Midlands
  • West Sussex
  • West Yorkshire
  • Wiltshire
  • Worcestershire


  • Aberdeenshire
  • Angus
  • Argyll and Bute
  • Ayrshire
  • Banffshire
  • Berwickshire
  • Caithness
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Dumfries and Galloway
  • Dunbartonshire
  • East Lothian
  • Fife
  • Inverness-shire
  • Kincardineshire
  • Lanarkshire
  • Midlothian
  • Moray
  • Nairnshire
  • Orkney
  • Peeblesshire
  • Perth and Kinross
  • Renfrewshire
  • Ross and Cromarty
  • Roxburghshire
  • Selkirkshire
  • Shetland
  • Stirlingshire
  • Sutherland
  • West Lothian
  • Wigtownshire


  • Blaenau Gwent
  • Bridgend
  • Caerphilly
  • Cardiff
  • Carmarthenshire
  • Ceredigion
  • Conwy
  • Denbighshire
  • Flintshire
  • Gwynedd
  • Isle of Anglesey
  • Merthyr Tydfil
  • Monmouthshire
  • Neath Port Talbot
  • Newport
  • Pembrokeshire
  • Powys
  • Rhondda Cynon Taf
  • Swansea
  • Torfaen
  • Vale of Glamorgan
  • Wrexham

Northern Ireland:

  • Antrim
  • Armagh
  • Derry
  • Down
  • Fermanagh
  • Tyrone

Let’s delve into a detailed explanation of the list of British Counties

List of British Counties


This includes the counties within England, which is the largest and most populous country in the United Kingdom.

Here’s an explanation of the list of counties in England:


Nestled in the East of England, people know Bedfordshire for its charming market towns and scenic rural landscapes. Historic market towns like Bedford and Luton offer a glimpse into the county’s rich heritage, hosting bustling local markets that showcase fresh produce and handcrafted goods.


Berkshire, located in South East England, is often associated with affluence and is known for its proximity to London. The county’s reputation as an upscale destination is due to its numerous high-end towns and suburban areas, making it a desirable place to reside for those who work in the capital.


Bristol, a city and ceremonial county in the southwest of England, has a rich maritime history that dates back centuries. It’s located along the banks of the River Avon and the Bristol Channel, making it a key port city.


Also located in the South East, Buckinghamshire features a diverse landscape that combines historic architecture, picturesque villages, and the beautiful Chiltern Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The county holds a rich historical heritage, showcasing stately homes like Waddesdon Manor and Hughenden, both offering a fascinating glimpse into England’s aristocratic past.


Cambridgeshire is a county known for its world-renowned University of Cambridge, a hub of academic excellence. The university’s historic colleges, picturesque courtyards, and majestic libraries make it a sought-after destination for both students and tourists. Scenic beauty characterizes the landscape of the county, with tranquil countryside and charming villages.


Located in North West England, Cheshire is famous for its historic market towns, grand country houses, and the city of Chester with its Roman heritage. The county’s picturesque countryside features rolling hills, lush farmland, and winding rivers.


Situated in the far southwest of England, Cornwall offers stunning coastal scenery, beautiful beaches, and a unique Celtic culture. The county is renowned for its rugged cliffs, picturesque fishing villages, and outdoor activities like surfing and hiking along the South West Coast Path.


This county in the northwest is renowned for the Lake District National Park, making it a destination for hiking, lakes, and rugged natural beauty. Cumbria’s landscapes are a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with opportunities for hillwalking, watersports, and wildlife watching.


Derbyshire, located in the East Midlands, is known for its dramatic peaks within the Peak District National Park, charming market towns, and a rich industrial heritage. The Peak District is a haven for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, offering rugged landscapes, deep valleys, and impressive rock formations.


Found in the South West, Devon is cherished for its idyllic coastlines, historic towns like Exeter, and the English Riviera. The county’s beaches, including those along the Jurassic Coast, are known for their natural beauty and are popular for swimming and water sports.


Another South West county, Dorset offers stunning Jurassic Coast cliffs, quaint villages, and the historic town of Dorchester. The Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is famous for its unique geological formations and fossil-rich cliffs.


Located in the North East, Durham is famous for its iconic cathedral and the historic city of Durham itself. The cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a masterpiece of Norman architecture and stands high above the River Wear. The city’s historic streets are adorned with picturesque buildings, offering a glimpse into its medieval past.

East Riding of Yorkshire:

The East Riding of Yorkshire, located in the North East, is a county that combines coastal beauty with charming market towns and historic sites. With a vast coastline along the North Sea, it offers stunning beaches, coastal walks, and water sports.

East Sussex:

Situated in South East England, East Sussex is known for its picturesque seaside resorts like Brighton and Eastbourne, where visitors can enjoy beautiful beaches and a variety of entertainment options.


Essex, located in the East of England, offers a mix of suburban living, seaside resorts along the Essex coast, and historical sites. The county’s coastline features charming towns such as Southend-on-Sea and Clacton-on-Sea, known for their sandy beaches and family-friendly attractions.


This southwest county is known for the Cotswolds, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with its charming villages, rolling hills, and historic market towns. Gloucester, the county town, features the impressive Gloucester Cathedral, while Cheltenham is celebrated for its cultural festivals.

Greater London:

While not a traditional county, Greater London encompasses the capital city, London. The city is renowned for its rich history, diverse neighbourhoods, cultural attractions, and iconic landmarks.

Greater Manchester:

Located in North West England, Greater Manchester is known for its urban vitality, music scene, and cultural attractions. The city of Manchester is celebrated for its industrial heritage, world-class museums like the Museum of Science and Industry, and its iconic football clubs.


Situated on the south coast of England, Hampshire is celebrated for its maritime heritage, the historic city of Winchester, and the New Forest National Park. The county offers a mix of coastal beauty, charming towns, and green spaces.


A rural county in the West Midlands, Herefordshire offers picturesque landscapes, market towns like Hereford, and a strong tradition of cider production. The county is known for its unspoiled countryside, which includes the Wye Valley and the Malvern Hills.


Found in the East of England, Hertfordshire combines commuter towns for London, green spaces, and historic sites. St Albans Cathedral is a prominent landmark, and the county’s countryside offers pleasant walks and outdoor activities.

Isle of Wight:

An island in the English Channel, the Isle of Wight is known for its stunning coastlines, festivals like the Isle of Wight Festival, and historic sites. The island’s attractions include Osborne House, the former residence of Queen Victoria, and the Needles, iconic chalk stacks along the coast.


Situated in South East England, Kent is a mix of countryside, historic towns like Canterbury, and access to the English Channel. The county is celebrated for its heritage, including Leeds Castle and the UNESCO-listed Canterbury Cathedral.


Located in North West England, Lancashire is famous for its industrial heritage, historic cities like Lancaster, and seaside resorts. Blackpool, with its iconic tower, amusement parks, and vibrant nightlife, is a key attraction.


This East Midlands county is known for its rural beauty, historic towns like Leicester and Loughborough, and attractions like the National Space Centre. The county’s countryside includes parts of the National Forest.


Situated in the East Midlands, Lincolnshire features wide open spaces, agricultural heritage, and historic cities like Lincoln. Lincoln Cathedral, with its soaring spires, is a remarkable architectural wonder.


Home to Liverpool and its iconic waterfront, Merseyside is in North West England. It offers a thriving music scene, cultural attractions, and historic sites like Albert Dock.


Located in the East of England, Norfolk boasts scenic coastlines, wetlands, historic cities like Norwich, and the Norfolk Broads, a network of rivers and lakes ideal for boating and wildlife watching.


In the East Midlands, Northamptonshire is known for its market towns, Northampton’s shoemaking heritage, and motorsport history, with the Silverstone Circuit hosting Formula One races.


Situated in the North East, Northumberland is famous for its castles like Alnwick Castle and rugged landscapes along the Northumberland Coast. The county offers a sense of wilderness and historic intrigue.

North Yorkshire:

Known for the Yorkshire Dales and historic cities like York and Harrogate, North Yorkshire is in the North East. It offers a blend of natural beauty and cultural richness.


Found in the East Midlands, Nottinghamshire is famous for its legendary outlaw, Robin Hood, and the city of Nottingham, home to Nottingham Castle and the Caves of Nottingham.


Located in South East England, Oxfordshire is home to the world-renowned University of Oxford and its historic colleges. Rolling hills and charming villages characterize the countryside of the county.


Rutland is England’s smallest county, located in the East Midlands. It is known for its scenic beauty, with Rutland Water, one of the largest artificial lakes in Western Europe, offering opportunities for water sports, birdwatching, and leisurely walks.


Situated in the West Midlands, Shropshire is a county of rolling hills, historic market towns like Shrewsbury, and an abundance of natural beauty. The Ironbridge Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is celebrated for its industrial heritage, while the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.


Located in South West England, Somerset is famous for its picturesque countryside, historic cities like Bath, and the iconic Glastonbury Tor. The county offers a blend of natural beauty, Roman history, and cultural significance.

South Yorkshire:

South Yorkshire is home to cities like Sheffield, known for its steel industry heritage, and the city of Doncaster. The county offers a mix of urban attractions, including galleries and theatres, as well as green spaces such as the Peak District National Park.


Found in the West Midlands, Staffordshire is renowned for its pottery production, with towns like Stoke-on-Trent at its heart. The county is also known for the historic town of Lichfield, featuring the magnificent Lichfield Cathedral.


Suffolk, in the East of England, offers a charming rural landscape, historic towns like Bury St. Edmunds, and a serene coastline. People know the county for its medieval architecture, scenic heathlands, and the artistic community at Aldeburgh.


Situated in South East England, Surrey is known for its affluent suburbs, green spaces like the Surrey Hills, and attractions like Hampton Court Palace. The county offers a mix of historic heritage and natural beauty.

Tyne and Wear:

Tyne and Wear encompasses cities like Newcastle and Sunderland, located in the North East. The region is celebrated for its vibrant cultural scene, iconic landmarks like the Tyne Bridge, and the Angel of the North sculpture. It’s a hub of arts, music, and history.


In the West Midlands, Warwickshire is famous for its historic market towns, including Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. The county features a rich tapestry of Tudor architecture and lush countryside.

West Midlands:

The West Midlands region includes cities like Birmingham, Coventry, and Wolverhampton. It is a hub of industry, commerce, and cultural attractions, with a rich history in manufacturing and trade.

West Sussex:

Located in South East England, West Sussex offers a beautiful coastline, historic towns like Chichester, and the scenic South Downs National Park. The county provides a mix of outdoor activities and cultural experiences.

West Yorkshire:

West Yorkshire includes cities like Leeds and Bradford, known for their diverse cultural scene, historic sites like Salts Mill, and the stunning Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth. It’s a blend of urban vibrancy and historical significance.


Wiltshire, in South West England, is celebrated for its prehistoric wonders, including Stonehenge and Avebury. The county’s landscape includes rolling plains, charming villages, and historic market towns like Salisbury.


Found in the West Midlands, Worcestershire is known for its picturesque landscapes, historic market towns, and the city of Worcester with its cathedral. The county offers a blend of natural beauty, historical heritage, and cultural richness.


Scotland is another country within the United Kingdom, and it is divided into historic counties and council areas. These historic counties are often still used for cultural and traditional purposes, even though their administrative functions have largely been replaced by council areas.

Here’s a brief overview of these Scottish council areas:


Aberdeenshire, located in the northeast of Scotland, is a region renowned for its captivating landscapes. The area is known for its stunning coastline along the North Sea, picturesque fishing villages, and rugged cliffs. Inland, Aberdeenshire is characterized by rolling hills and fertile farmlands.


Angus, situated on the east coast of Scotland, offers a captivating blend of natural beauty and historical significance. The county features beautiful glens, rolling farmlands, and a rugged coastline along the North Sea. Angus is known for its charming and historic towns, including Arbroath.

Argyll and Bute:

Argyll and Bute is a council area known for its breathtaking landscapes and the presence of numerous islands along the western coast of Scotland. The region encompasses picturesque islands such as Islay and Mull, each offering its unique charm and natural beauty.


Ayrshire is a county on the southwest coast of Scotland, known for its historic significance and beautiful coastal stretches. The region features renowned golf courses, including Royal Troon, making it a favoured destination for golf enthusiasts.


This is a historic county located in the northeast of Scotland. The area is known for its rugged coastline, charming fishing villages, and historic market towns. Banffshire offers a glimpse into the rich maritime history of the region, with its picturesque ports and fishing traditions.


Berwickshire is a council area situated in the Scottish Borders, known for its picturesque landscapes and historical towns. The region’s serene countryside features rolling hills and fertile farmlands, offering a perfect backdrop for those seeking tranquillity and natural beauty.


In the far north of Scotland, Caithness is known for its wild and rugged beauty. The county boasts a dramatic coastline, characterized by towering cliffs and rocky shores.


A small county called Clackmannanshire, situated in central Scotland, is known for its picturesque landscapes, including the Ochil Hills, which offer ample opportunities for hiking and enjoying the outdoors.

Dumfries and Galloway:

Located in the southwest of Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway is celebrated for its diverse natural beauty. The region offers a mix of rolling hills, serene woodlands, and picturesque coastal areas.


Dunbartonshire, which is situated to the west of Glasgow, is characterized by stunning landscapes, including the picturesque Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. The town of Dumbarton, with its iconic rock and ancient castle.

East Lothian:

East Lothian is located to the east of Edinburgh, offering visitors a mix of natural beauty and historical richness. The region boasts a scenic coastline, complete with beautiful beaches and seaside towns.


People celebrate the coastal charm and historical significance of Fife, situated on the east coast of Scotland, in the county. The appeal of the historic university town of St. Andrews, with its famous golf courses and the iconic St. Andrews Cathedral, is well-known.


Inverness-shire is located in the Highlands of Scotland, featuring a mix of urban and natural beauty. The county includes the city of Inverness, the administrative center, as well as the famous Loch Ness.


Kincardineshire, situated in the northeast of Scotland, offers a captivating blend of coastal beauty, historic castles, and picturesque towns. The county features a rugged coastline and charming fishing villages such as Stonehaven.


In central Scotland, people know the region of Lanarkshire for its historical significance and natural beauty. The county includes cities like Glasgow, as well as the scenic Clyde Valley and the Falls of Clyde. The county’s blend of urban life and natural beauty offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors.


Midlothian, situated just south of Edinburgh, offers a mix of natural beauty and historical significance. The county features a charming landscape with rolling hills and serene countryside


Moray, located in the northeast of Scotland, is famous for its whisky production and stunning coastal areas. The county boasts a serene coastline, picturesque beaches, and the historic town of Elgin.


People know Nairnshire, a small council area in the Highlands of Scotland, for its coastal beauty. The town of Nairn celebrates its sandy beaches, charming streets, and historic sites. The county offers a tranquil escape along the Moray Firth coast and is a haven for those seeking seaside relaxation.


People in the far north of Scotland are renowned for their unique blend of natural beauty, ancient history, and maritime heritage. Orkney is home to a treasure trove of archaeological sites, including prehistoric stone circles, Neolithic villages, and Viking settlements.


Situated in the Scottish Borders, people know Peeblesshire for its tranquil landscapes and historical towns. The county’s picturesque countryside includes rolling hills and farmlands, creating a peaceful setting for outdoor activities.

Perth and Kinross:

People celebrate its natural beauty and historical significance in central Scotland, in the region of Perth and Kinross. The county features stunning landscapes, including the picturesque Loch Tay, and offers outdoor activities such as hiking and water sports.


Located west of Glasgow, people know Renfrewshire for its historical and cultural attractions. The area features sites such as Paisley Abbey and the stunning Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park, which provides opportunities for exploring nature and wildlife.

Ross and Cromarty:

In the Highlands of Scotland, people celebrate Ross and Cromarty for their diverse landscapes and historical towns. The region offers a blend of picturesque coastlines, rugged mountains, and lush woodlands.


Serene landscapes and charming towns characterize Roxburghshire, located in the Scottish Borders. The county features rolling hills, picturesque countryside, and the historic town of Kelso.


Wales, a country to the west of England, divides itself into counties for administrative purposes. These counties serve local government and administrative functions, forming a significant part of Wales’ cultural and geographical identity.

here’s a brief overview of these Welsh counties and council areas:

Blaenau Gwent:

Blaenau Gwent is a county in South Wales, and people know it for its stunning landscapes and outdoor activities. The county features the picturesque Ebbw Vale and the beautiful Clydach Gorge. It’s a destination for nature enthusiasts, hikers, and those seeking a peaceful escape.


Bridgend is a county, and people know it for its stunning coastline along the South Wales coast. The region features beautiful beaches and the charming town of Bridgend. Visitors can explore the picturesque Ogmore Castle and enjoy the serene scenery.


Caerphilly, with its namesake town, is famous for its medieval Caerphilly Castle, one of the largest in Wales. The county offers a mix of historical heritage and beautiful landscapes, including the Rhymney Valley.


Cardiff, the capital of Wales, is both a city and a council area. It’s a vibrant urban center with cultural attractions, historic sites, and beautiful parks. Cardiff Castle, the Principality Stadium, and Cardiff Bay are among the prominent landmarks.


In West Wales, people know Carmarthenshire for its lush countryside, historic towns like Carmarthen, and beautiful coastline along the shores of Carmarthen Bay. The county offers a mix of natural beauty, history, and outdoor activities.


Ceredigion, also in West Wales, offers a breathtaking coastline with picturesque beaches and cliffs. The county includes the charming towns of Aberystwyth and Cardigan, and people know it for its natural beauty, including the Cambrian Mountains.


Conwy is a county in North Wales, home to the historic town of Conwy, which features a well-preserved medieval castle and town walls. The county boasts a stunning coastline, including the seaside town of Llandudno, and people know it for its scenic beauty.


In North Wales, people know Denbighshire for its rolling countryside, historic towns like Ruthin, and beautiful natural landscapes. The county offers outdoor activities in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley.


In North East Wales, people celebrate Flintshire for its historical sites like Flint Castle and beautiful countryside. People know the county for its stunning landscapes and proximity to the River Dee.


Gwynedd, in North West Wales, is famous for its diverse landscapes, including the Snowdonia National Park, rugged coastlines, and beautiful mountains. The county is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and lovers of natural beauty.

Isle of Anglesey:

The Isle of Anglesey, separated from the mainland by the Menai Strait, offers a serene coastal retreat with beautiful beaches and historical sites like Beaumaris Castle.

Merthyr Tydfil:

Merthyr Tydfil is a county in South Wales, offering a mix of historical heritage and natural beauty. The county includes the town of Merthyr Tydfil and the Brecon Beacons National Park, a haven for hikers.


Monmouthshire, located in South East Wales, offers a blend of historical towns like Monmouth and beautiful landscapes. The county features the scenic Wye Valley and the serene countryside.

Neath Port Talbot:

In South Wales, people know Neath Port Talbot for its stunning coastline, including Aberavon Beach. The county offers outdoor activities and a mix of industrial and natural beauty.


People know Newport, a city and council area, for its cultural attractions, including the Newport Transporter Bridge, as well as beautiful parks and the River Usk.


People celebrate Pembrokeshire, in West Wales, for its stunning coastal beauty, including the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. The county features charming towns like Tenby and a wealth of outdoor activities.


Powys, located in central Wales, offers diverse landscapes, including the Brecon Beacons and the Wye Valley. People know the county for its natural beauty and outdoor adventures.

Rhondda Cynon Taf:

In South Wales, people know Rhondda Cynon Taf for its scenic beauty, including the South Wales Valleys. The county offers a mix of outdoor activities and cultural experiences.


People know Swansea, a city and council area, for its beautiful coastline, including the Gower Peninsula, and cultural attractions. The county offers a balance between urban life and natural beauty.


In South Wales, people know Torfaen for its stunning landscapes and the town of Pontypool. The county features beautiful countryside and historical sites.

Vale of Glamorgan:

The Vale of Glamorgan, in South Wales, offers a serene coastal setting with beautiful beaches, cliffs, and the historic town of Llantwit Major. People know its picturesque landscapes and historical significance.


In North East Wales, people know Wrexham for its historic market town of Wrexham and stunning landscapes. The county offers a mix of cultural heritage and natural beauty.

Northern Ireland:

The northeastern part of the UK, Northern Ireland, divides itself into several counties. These counties serve various administrative and cultural purposes, forming an integral part of Northern Ireland’s history and identity.

Here’s a brief overview of the six counties in Northern Ireland:


In the northeast of Northern Ireland, people know County Antrim for its diverse landscapes. The county includes the stunning Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as a beautiful coastline along the North Atlantic Ocean.


In the south of Northern Ireland, people celebrate County Armagh for its rich history and cultural significance. The county earns the nickname “Orchard County” due to its apple orchards.

Derry (Londonderry):

County Derry, also known as County Londonderry, is located in the northwest of Northern Ireland and receives celebration for its historic walled city of Derry/Londonderry.


County Down is located in the southeast of Northern Ireland and offers a diverse range of attractions. The county features beautiful landscapes, including the Mourne Mountains, picturesque coastal areas, and historical sites such as Downpatrick.


In the southwest of Northern Ireland, people know County Fermanagh for its serene lakelands and waterways. The county includes Lough Erne, offering opportunities for boating, fishing, and exploring islands.


In the west of Northern Ireland, people know County Tyrone for its rolling countryside and beautiful landscapes. The county includes the Sperrin Mountains, which are perfect for hiking and outdoor adventures. County Tyrone offers a mix of natural beauty and outdoor activities.


In conclusion, British counties are a testament to the rich history and diversity of the United Kingdom. Each county has a story to tell, and exploring them is a journey through time, culture, and natural beauty.


How many counties are there in the UK?

The United Kingdom comprises 92 ceremonial counties.

Which is the largest county in England by area?

North Yorkshire is the largest county in England.

Are there any royal counties in the UK?

Yes, people know Berkshire as a royal county.

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Henry Stewart
Henry Stewart

Meet Michelle Koss, the list enthusiast. She compiles lists on everything from travel hotspots to must-read books, simplifying your life one list at a time. Join the journey to organized living!.

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