Visiting North West England - Where To Go and What To Do including The Lake District and Liverpool
Where to go?
When considering visiting England for a holiday, most people don't think first of the North West, it is not considered to be the most fashionable of regions, but it one of the most diverse and interesting regions of the UK. The North West has three national parks, two vibrant cosmopoiltan cities, historic towns and cities and unrivalled scenery and countryside. Many who visit find it to be among the most beautiful and breathtaking places they have ever seen.
Lake District Video
The North West can boast three of Britain's national parks: the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District which adds up to a lot of walking, cycling and outdoor pursuits.
The Peak District is only a few minutes drive from Manchester and because of that is the most visited National Park in the UK. The largest town is Bakewell, but there is also Glossop, Castleton (famous for its caves) and the spa town of Buxton, with many quaint shops and cafes between them. The Peak District is very popular with walkers and anyone wanting to escape from the city.
The Lake District is probably the most famous of England's National Parks, it has a varied landscape of high fells, rolling green valleys and brilliant blue lakes. Popular with walkers, visitors also enjoy wandering round the Lake District towns including Bowness-on-Windermere, Keswick, Hawkshead and Ambleside. You can visit the home of William Wordsworth, go down a slate mine or visit the Beatrix Potter museum or Hilltop, the farm where she spent most of her life.
The Yorkshire Dales is a large swathe of green valleys or dales spread over much of the middle of Northern England. Popular with walkers, cavers and potholers. Lots of small towns and villages dotted about where you stay in peace and quiet away from the world. Wensleydale region is most noteable.
Manchester is generally considered to be the capital of the North West, and usually thought of as England's second city. It has undergone significant regeneration and development in recent years, and has hosted major international events such as the Commonwealth Games. It is superb for shopping, whether you go in the city centre or the massive Trafford Centre shopping mall. There are lots of good restaurants, bars and clubs for you to enjoy, as well as multiplex cinemas, and several theatres which regularly show popular touring West End shows.
Manchester also has some excellent museums including the Museum of Science and Industry and the National Football Museum as well as the Imperial War Museum of the North.
Liverpool has played second fiddle to Manchester for much of the 20th century, after its decline as a major port. In the last few years however there has been a lot of redevelopment and it was awarded European Capital of Culture in 2008. There are a number of excellent museums such as the Maritime Museum, World Museum and Walker Art Gallery, as well as the Beatles museum and other sights connected with the Beatles like the Cavern Club.
There is excellent shopping in the new Liverpool One shopping centre, as well as quirky bohemian shops on Bold Street. The Albert Dock is a also a must see for the grand old docks, Liver Building with its notorious birds and other icons.
Chester is a lovely little historic city, encircled by a largely intact Roman Wall, and with lots of old Tudor and Victorian Architecture. As well as historic architecture, there are several great museums, the world famous Chester Zoo, and a great shopping experience. If you fancy a flutter, take a trip to Chester Races - the racecourse has been hosting races since the 16th century. It is renowned for its splendour and beauty.
Visitors either love Blackpool or hate it, but it is certainly not boring. It is a traditional seaside town, the most popular seaside resort in the North West. There are the miles of beaches, the Pleasure Beach theme park, Blackpool Tower (including the Tower Ballroom), trams running along the promenade, three piers and the famous Blackpool illuminations in the autumn each year. Nowadays it is in some respects more popular with hen and stag parties than it is family bucket and spade holidays, but it still has the rock, candy floss, donkeys on the beach and all the usual staples.
Lancaster is a historic city on the northern edge of Lancashire, bordering the Lake District. I think it counts as a hidden gem. It was a settlement in Roman times with Roman ruins scattered throughout the city, and the Norman Castle was built on the site of an old Roman Fort. Parts of it are over 1,000 years old. There are several great museums including the Lancaster Museum, Maritime Museum and Judges Lodgings. You can also look round the castle, get locked in the dungeon and see the old law courts, still in use many centuries after cases were first tried in them.
Lancaster is an ideal location, on the way to the Lake District and the Scotland, well worth a stopover for a day or two.
These are some of the gems of the area, but there are dozens more. The greatest advantage of this area is that it is among the cheapest to stay in that you will find for visitors, but with extremely high quality. From the food and drink to the scenery you are in for a treat!