Five Biggest Cities in England

A view of a city

What do you think of when you hear the word “England”? Most people would imagine a quaint little country with rolling green hills and sheep roaming around. Of course, this image is just one side of England. The other side includes some of the world’s largest cities such as London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, and Leeds. These five major English cities in England each hold a unique history that sets them apart from the rest in different ways.

To provide an accurate description of these five large English cities in England, I will first explore what makes each city so distinct before moving on to how it stacks up against its counterparts.


London is by far the most populous city in England with over 8 million residents living within its boundaries making it one of the largest cities in Europe. The city’s influence reaches far beyond its borders as it also serves as the economic, political, and cultural center for England making it one of the most important cities in all of Europe. To understand where London gets its power, you first need to know about its long history dating back almost 2,000 years ago when it was known as a Roman settlement. The Romans built a wall around the city for protection and, in turn, left behind some of London’s most famous landmarks such as Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, and Tower Bridge.


A large clock tower on a cloudy day with Big Ben in the background

Manchester is a city in North West England with a population of over 2.5 million people. It is the second-most populous city in England and the largest metropolitan area outside of London. Manchester is known for its music scene, being the birthplace of both The Smiths and Oasis. The city also has a rich industrial history, being at the center of the Industrial Revolution. Today, Manchester is home to some of the country’s most famous landmarks such as Manchester Cathedral, The Lowry, and Old Trafford football stadium.


Over 450,000 residents call Birmingham home making it the third-largest city in England. Birmingham is located in central England and is well known for its cultural contributions dating back to the 18th century when many notable composers, musicians, and artists flocked here to work. Birmingham is also known for its religious significance as the city was once considered an important religious center in England due to its easy access to both London and York making it the most convenient location for people of various faiths to worship.


Leeds is the fourth-largest city in England with a population of over 750,000 people. The city is located in Yorkshire and the Humber and is known for its burgeoning economy and thriving arts scene. Leeds has a long history dating back to the 12th century when the city was first mentioned in historical documents. Since then, Leeds has been at the forefront of many important moments in English history, including being the birthplace of the Cooperative movement.


The port city of Liverpool is located on the North West coast of England and is known for its busy harbor, famous waterfront, and strong musical connections. Liverpool has played a major role in the history of England as it was here that many immigrants first arrived to start new lives after fleeing from war or economic hardships. Specifically, Irish immigrants fleeing the potato famine in the 1840s arrived on ships to settle in Liverpool. Despite being a small city, Liverpool has become synonymous with music as it was here that many of the most influential musicians came from, including The Beatles and Oasis.

The five largest English cities in England each have something unique about them that sets them apart from one another. London is the most populous city in England, Manchester is known for its economic influence, Birmingham can be considered a religious center of England, Leeds has an important banking industry, and Liverpool’s waterfront makes it a tourist destination that people visit from all over the world.

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