When it comes to holidays in England, you might immediately think of long walks in the rolling countryside, or toes dipped nervously into the freezing sea. But just because we have some great rural destinations, don’t forget the fantastic cities on offer too. Northern England, in particular, has some vibrant and cosmopolitan urban locations. And the best bit about a city break? You will never, ever get bored.
Take the ferry across the Mersey (or just get the train) to Liverpool, where a gobsmacking range of entertainment awaits. Architecture fan? There is a spectacular cathedral to visit. Football mad? Obviously, the grounds at Anfield and Goodison Park are one of the city’s top attractions. History or military nerd? Then the Merseyside Maritime Museum has got your name on it!
Music fans will be in seventh heaven with the Beatles Story Experience, and everyone can appreciate something from the beautiful Walker Art Gallery. When you’re worn out from exploring, relax with a treatment at the delicious-smelling Lush spa.
Head further north for a packed few days in Newcastle. You will find beauty in every corner of this city: the awesome castle, the green and tranquil Jesmond Dene Park, and the stunning quayside, to name just a few picture-perfect spots. The city centre is the ideal place to stay, and there’s several excellent hotels in the area including the Hotel du Vin.
It’s a place for all generations too, with the Life Science Centre providing the most amazing entertainment and educational interaction for kids, and adults will love the fantastic Blackfriars Restaurant, where you can devour a divine meal in a medieval banquet hall!
A great place for a grown-up weekend away is the lively city of Leeds. If you’re feeling flush, you could splash out in the Victoria Quarter, where there’s more designer shops than you can shake a credit card at. Window shopping would be almost as fun, too! Enjoy the grimly fascinating exhibitions at the Thackray Medical Museum, and imagine the world of surgery past. Walk off your bafflement in pretty Roundhay Park. Finish your trip with a wander around the glorious Kirkstall Abbey.
Let’s not forget Manchester! In addition to the wild nightlife and variety of art galleries, it’s also home to the John Rylands Library, which is a must-see for all bibliophiles. In fact, even non-readers should probably swing by this astonishing library, if just to appreciate the interior. It’s a real-life Hogwarts! When you’re all booked out, you can get a tour of Manchester City Football Club. You’ll be able to go inside the dressing rooms and even run through the tunnel onto the pitch. What a dream!
And before you go, you need to have at least half a day in the Museum of Science and Industry, where you can attend special events like the Silent Disco, or visit their regular collection (interactive flight simulator, anyone?)
So it might not be a case of which city to plump for, but which one to visit first, as they all make a great getaway.