South East England

South East England
South East England, highlighted in red on a beige political map of England
South East England region in England
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Largest cityPortsmouth
 • Leaders' boardSouth East England Councils
 • EP constituencySouth East England
 • Total7,373 sq mi (19,095 km2)
Area rank3rd
Population (2011)
 • Total8,635,000[1]
 • Rank1st
 • Total£227 billion
 • Per capita£22,624 (2nd)
ONS codeE12000008
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South East England is the most populous of the nine official regions of England at the first level of NUTS for statistical purposes. It consists of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and West Sussex. As with the other regions of England, apart from Greater London, the south east has no elected government.

It is the third largest region of England, with an area of 19,096 km2 (7,373 sq mi), and is also the most populous with a total population of over eight and a half million (2011). The headquarters of the region's governmental bodies are in Guildford, and the region contains seven cities: Brighton and Hove, Canterbury, Chichester, Oxford, Portsmouth, Southampton and Winchester, though other major settlements include Reading and Milton Keynes. Its proximity to London and connections to several national motorways have led to South East England becoming an economic hub, with the largest economy in the country outside the capital. It is the location of Gatwick Airport, the UK's second-busiest airport, and its coastline along the English Channel provides numerous ferry crossings to mainland Europe.

The region is known for its countryside, which includes the North Downs and the Chiltern Hills as well as two national parks: the New Forest and the South Downs. The River Thames flows through the region and its basin is known as the Thames Valley. It is also the location of a number of internationally known places of interest, such as HMS Victory in Portsmouth, Cliveden in Buckinghamshire, Thorpe Park and RHS Wisley in Surrey, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, Windsor Castle in Berkshire, Leeds Castle, the White Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury Cathedral in Kent, Brighton Pier and Hammerwood Park in East Sussex, and Wakehurst Place in West Sussex. The region has many universities; the University of Oxford is ranked among the best in the world.

South East England is host to various sporting events, including the annual Henley Royal Regatta, Royal Ascot and The Derby, and sporting venues include Wentworth Golf Club and Brands Hatch. Some of the events of the 2012 Summer Olympics were held in the south east, including the rowing at Eton Dorney and part of the cycling road race in the Surrey Hills.


View of South East England coast from northern France

The largest city in the region is Brighton & Hove. The dominant influence on the region's economy is neighbouring London. The highest point is Walbury Hill in Berkshire at 297 metres (974 ft).

Britain's tallest native tree, according to The Tree Register in April 2015, is a 144-ft beech at Devil's Dyke in Newtimber Woods in West Sussex.

Historical boundaries

Until 1999, there was a south east Standard Statistical Region, which also included the counties of Bedfordshire, Greater London, Essex and Hertfordshire. The former south east Civil Defence Region covered the same area as the current government office region.

Alternative definitions

A notice in Oxford from the Government Office for the South East

In unofficial usage, the South East can refer to a varying area – sometimes only to London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, and Surrey; but sometimes to an area corresponding to the former Standard Statistical Region. The South East is also occasionally used as a synonym for the home counties.

Other Languages
brezhoneg: Gevred Bro-Saoz
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Tûng-nàm England
Bahasa Indonesia: Inggris Tenggara
Nederlands: South East England
norsk nynorsk: Søraust-England
Simple English: South East England
slovenčina: South East England
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Jugoistočna Engleska
Tiếng Việt: South East England
West-Vlams: South East England
粵語: 東南英倫