The UK’s worst hometowns, according to Google
Kent is ‘racist,’ Bradford is ‘very inbred’ and Scousers are ‘annoying’
The internet is a clever beast, and in many ways Google is its brain. Every time we type something into that thin white bar, it’s learning from us, and noting down what it learns for all of time to come.
Sinister, yes – but also useful. Take, for example, the stereotypes of our fair isles. Have you ever wondered what the internet thinks of the people of Herefordshire, or what being from Cumbria really signifies for the www dot generation?
Using the power of Google autocomplete, we’ve constructed a map out of the most popular related search terms for each county in the UK. Some of them are as you’d expect – others? Well, they can get a bit weird.
You can see a more detailed breakdown of the results below – if it isn’t there, it means people probably aren’t searching it.
Most people are asking the age old questions: “Is Bedfordshire in London?”; “Is Luton safe?”; “Is Bedford happy?”
People talking about Berkshire seem to think Windsor is “in London,” Maidenhead is “a dump,” Hungerford is “flooded” and Eton is, perhaps unsurprisingly, “a posh one.”
People of Buckinghamshire, rejoice: not only are you “posh,” you’re also “the best county” and – apperently – “the new Hollywood!” Beaconsfield isn’t so lucky, though – apparently it’s “jinxed.”
“Bristol is open,” and Bristol is also “the new black.” You’re also “the green capital,” apparently, so good for you.
Not that there’s a rivaly, but Cambridge is apparently “better than Oxford” – it’s “beautiful,” too.
People are confused by Cornwall, tending to ask Google “Why is it good for surfing?” and declaring that the county is “not England.” St Ives is apparently “bad for your skin,” while Newquay and Penzance are both “a dump.”
The top search term for Devon is “better than Cornwall,” obviously. On a more local level, people declare Exeter “posh,” Torquay “rough” and “hilly” and Dartmoor as “dangerous” and “haunted.”
People most often describe Dorset as “beautiful,” although they spend as much time asking if it’s in Devon, Cornwall or Kent. Queries include asking if Bournemouth is “nice” or even “sandy,” if Weymouth is “dog friendly,” and if Gillingham is “safe,” “rough” or “in London.”
Essex takes a battering online: it’s “just crap,” according to one of the top search results. Frequantly asked questions include “Why is Essex so rich?”, “Why is Essex so famous?”, and “Why is Essex so bad?” Colchester is apparently “vulgar and debased,” but Billericay is “posh.”
Sorry to break it to you, but no-one searches for Gloucestershire – even the top results for Cheltenham and Cirencester tend to be the baffled “Where?” and “Which county?”
Unsurprisingly, there’s a plethora of search terms for London. “Dirty” and “lonely” come out top, although people are also obsessed with it being “hot” and “humid” – and, of course, “expensive.”
On a closer level, Shoreditch and Dalston are both “dead,” but Peckham is both “the new Shoreditch” and “the new Dalston.” The City of London is “not part of England,” West London is “wonderful” and, unfortunately, South London is “bad.”
“Posh.” Obviously. Did you need to ask?
Isle of Wight
It’s both “rockin” and “a ghetto,” so take of that what you will.
Blame Farage, but Kent is declared “racist.” And “boring.” Hey, at least Margate is “cool.”
Sure, it’s “posh,” but it’s also “overrated.” Oxford itself is an “expensive dump,” while Bicester is “cheap” and, apparently, “on fire.” Also, people really want to know when an Aldi is opening in didcot.
Hey, apparently Suffolk “is the best place to live.” You go guys.
All the Surrey stereotypes ring true online: “Conservative,” “posh,” “expensive” and… “dangerous”?
“Split” is the most-searched term, meaning people are understandably confused what went wrong between the East and the West.
“Derbyshire is a hotbed of Satanism.”
Most people are confused whether Herefordshire is in Wales or not. Is it!?
Leicester is “on fire,” apparently, and not just because they were “top of the league.” People are also pretty obsessed with finding out whether it’s “East of Norwich,” strangely.
“So flat,” “so cheap,” and apparently so boring.
“Northampton is my fate,” declare the Google search terms.
The top result is genuinely “Nottinghamshire is in which country?”, while the consensus around Nottingham itself is that it’s both “rough” and “the Queen of the Midlands.”
Like Herefordshire, people just really want to know if it’s in Wales or not.
“The creative county.” Now you know.
“Which country is Warwickshire in?”; “Is Warwickshire a city?”; “Is Warwickshire near Birmingham?” – all questions the internet is dying to know the answer to.
Brummies are: “thick,” “brilliant,” “friendly” and, apparently, “the UK’s randiest.”
Sorry to break it to you, but people only care about the sauce.
“Posh,” “affluent” and “wealthy.”
The weirdly specific search terms about Cumbria are that it’s “the safest place to live,” that it’s “wet,” and that it’s “good for windfarms.”
“Important.” Unlike Mancunians to blow their own horn.
Keeping the age-old rivalry alive, Lancashire is declared “better than Yorkshire.” It’s also “wonderful,” not to mention “famous.”
There’s a real dichotomy when it comes to Liverpool – half of the results declare it a “dump” full of “thieves,” while the other half say it’s “the pool of life” and “a great city.” Scousers? Well, apparently they’re “annoying” – we apologise on Google’s behalf.
“Is Northumberland in Scotland?” I guess we’ll never really know.
Tyne and Wear
Google isn’t kind to Geordies, either. Search “Geordies are,” and the first four results you’ll get are (in order): “thick,” “scum,” “Scottish” and (luckily) “the best.”
Yorkshire is “big,” so it’s no surprising it heralds a lot of results. These include “a state of mind,” “God’s own country” and “the best.” Bradford is apparently “very inbred,” though, and if you type “we all hate” into the whole of Google the first result you’ll get is “Leeds scum.” Charming.
Autocompleted Google results are actually much sparser in Scotland, mainly because most of them finish with either “is in Scotland,” “is in the Highlands,” or “is where?” – much like with Dumfries & Gallowayand Kincardineshire.
However there are some more quirky queries online: Aberdeenshire is a “paradise” and Ayrshire is a “nice place,” while Stirlingshire is “important” and Banffshire is “expensive.”
Up top, things get a little bit more confusing. People seem to only associate Moray with its slippery namesake, while questions ask range from “Is Bute a Scrabble word?” to “Are The Highlands dangerous?”
And “Is Orkney the new Ibiza?”, obviously.
Wales and Northern Ireland
Wales and Northern Ireland are both defined online by general confusion. In the latter, they ask if Pembrokeshire is “nice,” if Powys is a city, is Caernarvonshire and Merioneth are “haunted” and if Montgomeryshire is even in Wales after all.
The search terms to do with the cities are a bit clearer, though, if not a little mismatched: Cardiff is “booming,” while Swansea is “the graveyard of ambition.”
Over the sea in NI, most of the questions are about whether places are in the UK or not – although there are a few exceptions. Fermanagh, for example, is “happy;” Derry/Londonderry may or may not be “safe.”
Antrim? Well, that’s the name of someone’s stepdad.
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