You hear that phrase quite a lot and yes, we have a lot of grey skies and a fair amount of rain that goes with it, and yes lots of our people are tough, hard and can be quite straightforward at times, but grim is not a word I would use to describe my little part of the world.
The north is a wonderful place, it has amazing cities and wonderful countryside - the north is a great area to live and it full of inspiration.
I am going back to Manchester for this article, its a city I grew up around and I always consider it my "home" city, if you can have such a thing, but it is the place I feel closest to outside of the Wigan bubble.
I have taken quite a few images of the city, but within this piece of work, I have over enhanced the edits and given each place a new and different view, it is a method I like to use and it won't be to everyone's taste, but I like it.
The River Irwell runs through the heart of the city, the modern office blocks springing up towards the dark stormy skies above, but all the same, just a hint of bright sunshine before the almighty downpour that follows.
There is always a super mix of brand new architecture and older more formal constructions. St Ann's Street is a prime example of this blend of buildings, stone facades to the left, clean steel and glass ahead, it works really well.
More stark contrasts lie a bit further down the road towards Deansgate, you can see some amazing sights around this part of the city.
The network of canals are prominent here, especially the Bridgewater Canal with its narrow boats parked up along the banks.
As you look at that image you can see the little iron bridge that crosses the water and this next shot highlights the difference in building materials and styles superbly.
The old iron bridge with the red brick warehouse, no doubt full of cotton at some time and then the magnificent Beetham Tower in the rear.
The final image for this piece give some credence to the town hall and the ornate and intricate stone work that the craftsmen undertook to create it.
The arches over all the windows, the arches within arches and the clock tower, it never fails to impress me.
The city has some brilliant architecture, old and new, expanding and ever growing, changing and adapting all the time - Manchester is a fine city.
It's not grim up north is it?