With countless British accents shaped by thousands of years of history, there are few English-speaking nations with as many varieties of language in such a small space.
Received Pronunciation is the closest accent to “Standard British” that has ever existed in the UK. Although it originally derives from London English, it is non-regional. The accent emerged from the 18th- and 19th-Century aristocracy, and has remained the “gold standard” ever since.
Cockney is probably the second most famous of British Accents. It originated in the East End of London, but shares many features with and influences other dialects in that region.
Estuary English (Southeast British Accents)
Estuary is an accent derived from London English which has achieved a status slightly similar to “General American” in the US. Features of this accent can be heard around Southeast England, East Anglia, and perhaps further afield.
Geordie usually refers to both the people and dialect of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, in Northeast England. The word may also refer to accents and dialects in Northeast England in general.
Midlands English is one of the more stigmatized of English dialect groupings. The most famous of these dialects is Brummie.
Northern England English
These are the accents and dialect spoken north of the midlands, in cities like Manchester, Leeds, and Liverpool. Related accents also found in rural Yorkshire.
This refers to the accents and dialects spoken in the country of Wales. The speech of this region is heavily influenced by the Welsh language, which remained more widely spoken in modern times than the other Celtic languages.
Welsh is spoken natively in Wales. The Welsh Language Board indicated in 2004 that 611,000 people were able to speak Welsh. Although Welsh is a minority language, support for the language grew during the second half of the 20th century. The Welsh Language Act 1993 and the Government of Wales Act 1998 provide that the Welsh and English languages be treated equally in the public sector.
This is the broad definition used to describe English as it is spoken in the country of Scotland. Note that Scottish English is different than Scots, a language derived from Northumbrian Old English that is spoken in Scotland as well.