I don't know if this is significant, but none of these things that need "the" has a definite location.
e.g. In Lancashire, we might go to the Lake District, the Peak District, the Scottish highlands and so on, but we go to Blackpool, Buxton and Inverness (no "the").
Don't know whether that helps or confuses you, but that's how things are here.
buggles (not a teacher)