Wednesday, 3 April 2013 2:17 PM
Our knowledge of UK geography isn’t up to scratch, as new research conducted by Virgin Trains reveals.
The poll of 1,000 people quizzed people aged 16 to 60-plus on the location of some famous areas of Britain, how long it took to travel between some cities and typical train journey times.
Almost half of people did not know that Carlisle in Cumbria is nearer to the Lake District than Glasgow, Newcastle, Cardiff, Oxford, Leeds and Manchester, whilst eight per cent thought it is nearer to Newcastle, five per cent said Oxford and two per cent even said Cardiff in Wales.
A third (33 per cent) of those polled did not know that the Isle of Man is in the Irish Sea, placing it in the English Channel (21 per cent), North Sea (nine per cent) and Atlantic (three per cent).
While 68 per cent correctly said the Jurassic Coast is in Dorset and Devon, 12 per cent placed it in Scotland, seven per cent in Northumberland or north Wales and six per cent in Norfolk.
More than one in five Britons thought Hadrian's Wall divides both Devon and Cornwall, Yorkshire and Lancashire, England and Wales and even north and south London. A total of 78 per cent correctly said it is nearest to the border between England and Scotland.
While 87 per cent rightly said Land's End is in the south of the UK, 13 per cent said it is in the north, rising to about a third of Londoners, and those aged under 30.
The survey found a particular lack of general knowledge among Brits under 30.
More than a third of those quizzed under 30 think Land's End is in the north when really it marks the southernmost tip of the country.
And a north-south divide really does exist with two in three Londoners unsure about which city is nearest to the Lake District.
A reliance on modern technology such as Google maps, satellite navigation and internet route finders is being blamed for significant numbers of people having a blinkered view of their country.
Nearly half of those questioned (47 per cent) did not know that Inverness in Scotland is the most northerly city compared to Aberdeen, Cardiff, Portsmouth and Leeds. That figure rose to 54 per cent among people aged under 30, said Virgin Trains.
Arthur Leathley, Communications Director, Virgin Trains says "Our research shows that 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. In the end, there is no better way of discovering where everywhere is than to get out there and enjoy our great landscape this year."
Joss Croft, Marketing Director of VisitBritain said: “Travelling by train offers visitors a scenic and relaxing way to explore Britain’s beautiful countryside and provides easy access to all of the world-class attractions that are scattered across the country.”
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