[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 May 2006, 14:25 GMT 15:25 UK
North Yorks countryside tops Kent
Road in Yorkshire Dales
Countryside in the Yorkshire Dales was described as "breathtaking"
The phenomenon of "chavs" has seen Kent lose its Garden of England crown to be replaced by North Yorkshire as the most beautiful county in England.

A survey asked for counties to be ranked according to their countryside, villages and wildlife.

North Yorkshire, Devon, Derbyshire and Gloucs pushed Kent into fifth place.

The least favourite county was Middlesex, while Notts, Beds, Lincs and Essex also came out badly in the poll by the UKTV Style Gardens channel.

Favourite counties
North Yorkshire, 31.3%
Devon, 21.7%
Derbyshire, 10%
Gloucestershire, 8.6%
Kent, 5.2%

Television gardeners Charlie Dimmock and Tommy Walsh and gardening experts were asked to compile a shortlist of 12 beautiful English counties, with 4,000 members of the public then surveyed to find the best.

North Yorkshire polled more than a quarter of the votes cast.

The county was praised for "breathtaking countryside" like the Yorkshire Dales and the quality of its stately homes, such as Castle Howard in York.

Kent lies in fifth place with 5.2% of the total vote.

Railway line through the countryside
Trains for the Channel Tunnel have a "negative impact" in Kent

Respondents felt it had lost some of its charm due to the number of London commuters in the county, the impact of Eurostar trains travelling through the countryside and the negative effect of "chavs".

"Chavs" tend to be recognised by their cheap gold jewellery and distinctive dress code, often consisting of a Burberry baseball cap, branded sportswear and trainers.

There was still praise for the "vibrant and diverse landscape offered by the Kent Downs".

Diarmuid Gavin, who led the panel of gardening experts, said: "The fact that Kent has been knocked off the top spot should not discourage its residents.

"It simply shows what an embarrassment of riches England has to offer, from Devon's coastline to the breathtaking views of the Yorkshire Dales."

Gloucestershire's Cotswolds and the Peak District in Derbyshire both attracted positive comments in the survey.

Work continues on bridleway route
23 Mar 06 |  North Yorkshire
Historic new rights for walkers
31 Oct 05 |  England

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific