Far Away Places: The UK Isn’t Just London!

23 View of the Houses of Parliament from the London Eye

Seriously, it’s no wonder us Brits are so frequently asked whether we know the Queen (I don’t by the way). To those from foreign lands the rest of the UK must just seem like an extension to London. In fact, to those from foreign shores, does the rest of the UK even exist or do they think that the UK is London.

Don’t get me wrong, I love London. I really do. The hustle and bustle. The way the sunlight bounces off the polluted sky to produce some stunning sunsets across the Thames (best viewed from Waterloo Bridge in my opinion). I love that there’s so much to do. It’s a city full of opportunities. There’s exciting places to work. Trendy bars. New foods to try. Fashion is eclectic. The whole place is cosmopolitan and you’re never quite sure when you’re going to stumble across a manly man in a lumberjack shirt wearing a mini-skirt and carrying a sparkly clutch (well, that’s my experience anyway).


A post shared by Samantha Heathcock (@samheathcock) on

However, I also love Birmingham, and Manchester, and Bristol, and Edinburgh, and Oxford and lots of other places in the UK…

And, what seriously pisses me off (sorry I’m cross and the profanities have emerged) is that, as a country, we’re still so London-centric. Even now the BBC is mostly based in Manchester. Even though video conferencing and working from home means we can be anywhere in the country. Even though cities outside of London have so much to offer (and cheaper house prices to boot). We still fixate on London.

The most recent example to add fuel to my fire is this tweet from Robbie Williams. Don’t get me wrong. I adore Robbie. I think Olly Murs is pretty cool too. But why do these ‘guest appearances’ always seem to occur for London audiences?

Take the second-leg of Beyoncé’s recent ‘The Mrs Carter Show World Tour‘. Hubby Jay Z was watching in the wings at Birmingham, but didn’t decide to take to the stage with Bey until they reached London.

Erm, excuse me for a moment. I get it. London is the capital. But please understand, as London is the capital it ALREADY HAS SHITLOADS OF REALLY COOL STUFF (sorry the expletives and the capitals have come out now), spare a thought for us types in the smaller cities. OK, so we have the smug contentment of being able to buy a four-bedroomed house for the same price as a studio flat in the capital, but does that make us any less important in the eyes of superstars? Apparently so…

What do you think? Are we too London-centric? What could be done to redress the balance?



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