Plz help: planning trip for northern England
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Oct 2, 2012 8:43 AM Last Post By: rammy100
Sep 23, 2012 1:53 AM
Plz help: planning trip for northern EnglandHello Everyone,
Thanks for reading my post. I hope you're well.
I'm an American traveler who is looking to create a loose itinerary for northern England on the way to Scotland starting October 1. I could use your help. While I realize this exercise is subjective, which cities/places might be the most interesting starting from Manchester and going north? I'll tell you that I like art (especially paintings), architecture, cool neighborhoods, nature (all types, including gardens and national parks) and most anything culturally unique to the area. (By the way, time is not really a factor here, but I imagine I'll have about 10 days maximum before entering Scotland.) Which places would you visit?
Thanks in advance.
Sep 23, 2012 6:05 AM
110 days between Manchester and Scotland gives you plenty of time to explore some of the following areas: Lake District (national park), Peak District (national park), Yorkshire Dales (national park), Hadrian's Wall (Roman remains). All these national parks have hills (called fells in northern England), dales (valleys), more or fewer lakes, industrial heritage, going back to Roman times, through industrial revolution etc.
Newcastle upon Tyne / North Tyneside / Gateshead / South Tyneside has a lot of what you're seeking - Laing Art Gallery and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Saltwell Park (Victorian) http://www.gateshead.gov.uk/Leisure%20and%20Culture/parks/Saltwell%20Park/Home.aspx ,plus end of Hadrian's Wall at, er, Wallsend, museums of Roman sites, Tynemouth - Priory / Castle / weekend market in Metro station etc.
York also has lots of history, back to Viking times, museums, galleries, Minster (big church) etc.
Durham has castle, colleges, cathedral etc.
Sep 23, 2012 6:24 AM
2I recommend Saltaire. It has been listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site. David Hockney - one of the most prestigious artists from northern England has an exhibition here. But it would be worth a visit even without his presence, if only to get a feel for a typical northern English town.
However - if you are after walks, North Yorkshire is the place to be - there are 2 national parks and many walking trails you can follow. Most tourists bypass North Yorkshire on their way to the Lakes District and Scotland, I recommend you spend a couple of days walking the Dales - you won't find anything similar inside or outside of Britain. I grew up in the Yorkshire Dales - PM me if you need more info.
Sep 23, 2012 7:01 AM
Manchester is a great city for just about everything from A-Z.
Sure, as *1 and the link suggests, it's not had it's happiest week.
However, every large city has it's bad news from time to time.
Many scaremongering journalists who slate the place, have probably never even been there.
Anyway, the tragic incident happened in part of Greater Manchester, not in Manchester itself.
Greater Manchester isn't a huge amount smaller than Greater London, with a population of several million.
The city has a great history, wonderful architecture and a very vibrant atmosphere.
Sure - it's not for everyone, but then what city is?...
York, Chester, The Lakes, The Peaks, The Pennines, North Wales and much more.
Manchester has excellent rail links train fares are amongst the cheapest in The UK.
Further afield, it's long distance fares can be bought in 'Advance' much cheaper than on the day.
You can buy a daily 'Ranger' card, that allows you unlimited use of trains trams and buses. It's great value.
Just a few lines from me. Hope you have a great time.
Sep 23, 2012 7:43 AM
4Well, all the best places have been listed above but I suggest the trick now is to make an itinerary.
If it looks interesting, a couple of days in the Manchester area, perhaps including visits to Chester and / or the Peak District before deciding which way to head north. If you go direct you'll go to the Lake District and then from Carlisle towards Hadrian's Wall.
Alternatively head east across the Pennines for York / Harrogate / North York Moors National Park / Yorkshire Dales National Park. Then either north via Durham and Newcastle (at the other end of Hadrian's Wall) or across the Settle and Carlisle railway line - famed for its scenery and which heads you back towards the Lake District and ends in Carlisle.
Did you say you only had 10 days???
Sep 23, 2012 9:03 AM
5Dont overlook Northumberland - great coast, fantastic castles and national park
Sep 25, 2012 5:57 AM
6If you're interested enough to PM me, I'll look up a weblink which will sort you out comprehensively where Yorkshire sights are concerned - & enable you to plan transport and see which places are still open in October. 10 days is a good length of time and you could get to see quite a lot in Yorkshire with half of that, leaving time for Durham, Hadrian's Wall, Berwick etc.
A note of regret. Yes, you will be able to see some good things here in October but nothing like as good as in our 6 month summer, where Yorkshire countryside is concerned. I just keep on encountering overseas visitors who choose to visit Britain during our colder, darker, wetter 6 months!
Sep 25, 2012 7:04 AM
Sep 27, 2012 1:59 AM
Sep 30, 2012 11:43 AM
9You should visit Hebden Bridge even if it's just for the day. It's been flooded to hell and back this year but most of the shops, bars, cafes, pubs and restaurants are open for business. It's a quirky little place, plenty of unique shops, nice walks along the canal and into Hardcastle Crags. More cafes than you can poke a stick at and very pretty on a sunny day.
Visit on a Thursday and the old-fashioned cinema has a morning screening with a coffee and a biscuit thrown in. Or walk up the steep hill to Heptonsall for great views of the town and hills beyond before walking back and having a lazy lunch at Stubbing Wharf pub on the canal. A friend of mine visited recently and said it was the best fish and chips he had ever had.
hebdenbridge.co.uk for photos and info about the town. 3 trains an hour from Manchester Victoria and if you catch the fast one at 12 minutes to the hour it takes just over 30 minutes.
Oct 2, 2012 7:43 AM
10Well, my advice would be simply to eatwithalocal if you do this you will get information first hand about what to do and see in the area. Contact hosts on the site as soon as you know the date you are visiting and they will cook you a meal in their home or they will take you out to their favourite restaurant to eat. Have a great holiday.
Oct 2, 2012 7:51 AM
11You should visit Hebden Bridge even if it's just for the day
Just watch out for the hoodies with their pit bulls ! !
Oct 2, 2012 8:21 AM
Oct 2, 2012 8:28 AM
Oct 2, 2012 8:43 AM
14Well as it happens we are talking about the same place.....the town where I have lived for the last 13 years and where, of course, there is the occasional hoodie (like every town in the UK) and I dare-say the odd pit-bull. I don't recall ever seeing one though when I've been out walking my dog through the town, parks, hills or by the canal or when sat by one of the cafes by the river or in St Georges Square. To characterise the town using your description is inaccurate, unhelpful and just plain foolish.
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