The North West of England: gorgeous lakes, buzzing cities and fascinating history. There’s plenty to see! While London, Oxford and Cambridge might be top of your list, don’t leave the UK without visiting this unique and beautiful corner of the country.
The Gledus team are based in the North West so are excited to share their expert recommendations for visiting below.
Years ago before people could afford to fly to exotic countries, the North West of England was the UK’s top tourist destination for a scenic break. That’s because it’s home to the world-famous Lake District. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this area of outstanding natural beauty still holds plenty of appeal.
Taking the train to Windermere, you’ll arrive at England’s largest and most popular lake. Old-fashioned boats called steamers take visitors across the water. While on board, you can listen to an audio description about the important sites on the way in languages including Chinese. There’s also an old steam train, aquarium and many museums to enjoy.
The lakes to the north of the district are quieter and perfect for stopping on the shore to take in vastness of the mountains, or “fells” as the locals call them. You’ll be awestruck by their serenity and feel refreshed by the clean air. We particularly recommend Ullswater and Derwent Water.
If you like hiking, there could be no better place than the Lake District. Keen climbers can take on Helvellyn, Cat Bells and England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike. All offer stunning views and the journey upwards is a real adventure!
London maybe famous for its many attractions and landmarks, but the North West also has its fair share. Manchester is even known as England’s second capital! It is where many important businesses are based including some of the country’s most popular television channels. Manchester is also paradise for shoppers! Big designer brands have stores in the city centre but there are lots of interesting independent shops too.
Blackpool was once a buzzing beach resort. You can still visit the iconic Blackpool Tower, which was based on Paris’ Eiffel Tower! At the top, there is an observation deck where you can see for miles across the Fylde coast. At the bottom is Blackpool Tower Ballroom, which is renowned for hosting ballroom dancing competitions. Each autumn, Blackpool gets lit up by hundreds of lights for its illuminations festival. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the bright colours all along the seaside!
For ghost stories and spooky tales, you have to visit Lancaster. The city’s castle was once the death place of women and men believed to be witches. Take a tour to see the historic building for yourself. You can find out what it’s like to be locked up in a cell or be put in the stocks! Lancaster was also involved in the War of the Roses with York- one of the deadliest battles the UK has ever seen. Today, the city is still proudly represented by the red rose.
The county of Lancashire is also the place to visit if you like period dramas such as Downton Abbey. There are many grand manor houses that are open for the public to visit. Hoghton Tower in Preston is over 450 years old! Pretend you are a Lord or Lady as you stroll around impressive rooms and gardens. Most historic houses also have a tearoom where you can try special English food like scones. Delightful!
Have you been to the North West of England? What was your favourite thing to do? Not been yet but planning to go? What are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below!
Gledus hosts summer camps for international students in Lancashire in the North West of England. As part of our programme, we love taking students to visit the Lake District, Manchester and Blackpool, which are near to our residential base. We also include day trips to London and York.
Read more about travelling in England on our blog!
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