• ‘Queen of the Moorlands’, ‘Gateway to the Peak District’
  •  In Staffordshire, 10 miles from Stoke on Trent
  • Population: 18,768 (2001 census)
  • Major employer: Britannia Building Society
  • Local attraction: Alton Towers
  • Traditional industry: silk production
  • Famous former resident: William Morris, textile designer
  • Sporting pedigree: Home of Eric Bristow, five-times world professional darts champion
  • Little-known fact: 35 women from the Leek Embroidery Society produced a full-size replica of the Bayeux Tapestry in 1885.


  •  ‘County Town of Wiltshire’ l In Wiltshire, nine miles from Bath
  • Population: 32,304 (2001 census)
  • Major employers: Wiltshire Council, Airsprung, apetito
  • Local attraction: Longleat safari park
  • Traditional industry: Woollen cloth production
  • Famous former resident: Sir Isaac Pitman, shorthand pioneer
  • Sporting pedigree: Home to Winter Olympians John Jackson and Paula Walker
  • Little-known fact: Was the first English town to twin with a North African city, Oujda in Morocco.