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‘Sister from another mister’­

August 12, 2017 Destination Europe No Comments Email Email

Sister Cities. We all have one, but do we know what they are? Leading ferry operator DFDS has delved into how sister cities were formed, as a social agreement to promote both cities and elevate the cultural and commercial ties. Some sister cities host events together, while others share elements, traits and features including exchange programmes for college children.

Unusual Twin Cities 

Whitwell & Paris

One of the most unusual pairings, Whitwell in Rutland, UK, claims that it is “twinned with Paris”. The small village in England decided on this twin by writing to the mayor of Paris asking for the arrangement to happen. Whitwell stated that if they didn’t hear back from Paris, they would treat it as a done deal. Paris did not reply and ever since the letter was sent, they’ve been twinned! 

Bristol & Hannover, Germany

Bristol is a name which can be found in 35 areas around the world, so it’s no surprise that the UK city is also twinned with Hannover, another city which shares names with towns in as far as the US, South Africa and Canada. The German city supplied Britain with their monarchs in the early centuries until William the Fourth (1830). Lovers of the Royals will see this impressive link throughout the Herrenhausen Gardens, displayed in Hannover. 

Nottingham & Ghent, Belgium

Twinned in 1985, the cities are situated 331 miles away from each other. Ghent is a popular city break destination, and is less than a two-hour drive from Calais when you travel to Belgium via ferry. The cities were originally twinned to promote friendship and encourage goodwill for all citizens across Europe following the Second World War. In the past, Nottingham was considered as a world leader in lace making – and this industry is still popular in Ghent today! 

Cambridge and Cambridge, USA

No, it isn’t twinned with itself, Cambridge UK and Cambridge MA Universities are two cities twinned in name as well as education across the pond!

Cambridge in the US isn’t the only twin of the fine old UK city – if education is important for twinning cities then Cambridge and Heidelberg must also be mentioned. The South West German town is famed for its research institutes and teaching hospitals giving the prestigious Cambridge University a run for its money. The Cambridge-Heidelberg Partnership Exchange often send citizens to each other’s destination to investigate the areas and foster friendship. Heidelberg is easily accessible via ferry to France. 

Newcastle & Malmo, Sweden

Bonding over a shared love of bridges is how these two cities came to be paired. There are 11 bridges crossing the River Tyne in Newcastle, and in Sweden’s capital these architectural masterpieces are matched by Malmo’s architecture. Sweden and Denmark are also connected by the longest rail and road bridge in Europe, the Oresund Bridge. 

Swindon and Walt Disney World

We know what you’re thinking, but Swindon has more in common with Walt Disney World than you might think. The Wiltshire town won a 2009 competition to partner with the Disney organisation ahead of 24 other UK towns; Swindon presented their hometown as an ‘ever-expanding town with a village feel offering fun for everyone’. And whilst Swindon has a ‘magic roundabout’ of five mini roundabouts – the fourth scariest junction in Britain – Disney offers a fun Magic Roundabout as a ride!

And there you have it, it really is true that your sister can be from another mister! How many twin cities have you been to?

To find out more about sister cities, please visit –

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