The ten largest counties in England are, in order of size: North Yorkshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Essex, Kent, Suffolk, Hertfordshire and Berkshire.
North Yorkshire is the largest county in England with a population of over 1.4 million people and an area of just under 8 thousand square miles. The county town is York and other major towns include Harrogate and Scarborough.
Lancashire is the second largest county in England with a population of over 1.3 million people and an area of just over 5 thousand square miles. The county town is Lancaster and other major towns include Preston and Blackburn.
Greater Manchester is the third largest county in England with a population of just over 2 million people and an area of around 500 square miles. The Greater Manchester conurbation includes the cities of Manchester (the administrative centre), Bolton, Wigan , Stockport , Bury , Oldham , Rochdale , Trafford Tameside . Salford city council covers much but not allof the urbanised part within Greater Manchester which also contains parts zoned for Cheshire East or Merseyside . In 1974 it was created as one large metropolitan borough covering the entire urbanised region then known as "the conurbation" however following local government reorganisation it was split into 10 metropolitan boroughs each having their own district councils though still retaining power to some degree at GM level such as transport policy . There are no formal "county" boundaries hence why its called "Greater" manchester as its not coterminous with any historic or modern English counties though historically most if not allof its core territory would have been within Lancashires traditional bounds . It should be noted that while many consider themselves Mancunians first rather than English this does not diminish their English identity nor that GMC forms part thereof -indeed one could argue that by dint if being so culturally significant it actually strengthens it ! As an aside I'm from Bolton originally myself so feel free to ask me anything else you want to know about GMC 🙂