Things to Do in North West England
The mighty Etihad, also known as the City of Manchester Stadium, is the home of Manchester City Football Club. Built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, the award-winning venue is among the UK’s largest with seating for more than 55,000. In addition to football games, the stadium hosts live concerts, other sports matches, and stadium tours.
Liverpool’s Royal Albert Dock, formerly an important industrial center, is now home to popular attractions including Tate Liverpool, Merseyside Maritime Museum, and The Beatles Story. Explore its cobbled paths to gain insight into the city’s heritage, marvel at its architecture, or simply unwind in one of the dock’s many bars or restaurants.
Discover a symbol of Liverpool and gain insight into the city’s history with a visit to the National Heritage-listed Liverpool Cathedral. As the largest religious building in Britain, the Anglican cathedral boasts neo-Gothic architecture, distinctive artwork, and a 328-feet (100-meter) tower that provides sweeping views across River Mersey.
This Beatles-centric museum is stuffed full of Fab Four memorabilia, from George Harrison’s first guitar to John Lennon’s orange-tinted glasses. Exhibits trace the journey of Liverpool’s hometown heroes and the rise of Beatlemania, and include a full-scale replica of the famous Cavern Club and a walk-in yellow submarine.
This beautiful cathedral has a long history. It first opened its doors as a small parish in the 1420s and grew over the next 400 years, along with the city where it is located.
Intricate detail can be found throughout this building, which achieved cathedral status when a new diocese was created in 1847. Wood-carvings in and around the choir stalls tell a story of life in the distant past. Other historical artifacts include the Angel Stone, which is located in the wall of the South Porch and dates back to around 700. There are also more recent historical displays, such as the “Fire Window,” a window which was destroyed during WWII and then replaced, and depicts the Nazi attack.
The John Rylands Library is oft considered one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. Resurrected in the 1890s and taking more than a decade to construct, the gothic and gorgeous library was designed by architect Basil Champneys. It opened its doors on the first of the year, 1900. In 1972, the historic library became a part of the University of Manchester.
Today, John Rylands Library is part of the third largest academic library in the UK, and the Deansgate building houses some of the most significant books and manuscripts ever written, along with extensive collections and rotating exhibits. One of five National Research Libraries, there are more than 4 million books and manuscripts in the library, along with 41,000-plus electronic journals, 500,000 e-books and hundreds of databases
Inspiring the 1967 Beatles’ song Strawberry Fields Forever, Strawberry Field in the Liverpool suburb of Woolton functioned as a Salvation Army children’s home from 1936 to 2005. As a boy, Lennon would sneak in to play, and enjoyed watching the band at the annual garden party. These experiences would go on to inform his later songwriting.
Blackpool's first-ever (and Lancashire’s only purpose-built) comedy club, the Comedy Station is the only comedy club in Blackpool that hosts a completely professional lineup. Here you can laugh along with comedians from around the world that have appeared on shows such asMock the Week,8 out of 10 Cats,Live at the Apollo, and more.
The North York Moors have provided creative inspiration for a number of celebrated writers, including Bram Stoker, Sylvia Plath, and the Brontë sisters. Situated on England’s northeastern coast, the stunning landscape is wild and rugged with an untamed beauty that draws visitors from all over the world.
Famous as the stage where the Beatles made their debut in 1961, Liverpool’s Cavern Club has become a place of legend, hosting not only the Fab Four, but the Who, the Kinks, the Rolling Stones, Queen, Elton John, and many more household names. The influential club remains one of Liverpool’s top live music venues to this day.
More Things to Do in North West England
Opened in 1896 and still a popular spot for an adrenaline rush, the 42-acre (17-hectare) Blackpool Pleasure Beach is packed with fairground attractions, in addition to the 11 white-knuckle roller coasters and simulator rides, gentle family carousels and the UK's only Nickelodeon Land, where kids can meet characters such as the Rugrats and Spongebob Squarepants.
The most popular daredevil rides include the notorious Grand National mega coaster and the 85-mph Big One, Britain's highest coaster at 214 feet (65 meters). The fun park's stomach-churning Red Arrows Skyforce was designed in collaboration with the world-renowned Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team.
Indoor attractions include a Ripley's Believe it or Not!, skating performances at the arena, live musical shows, penny arcades and the Horror Crypt. Other activities include bowling, golf and talent shows, while more than 20 food outlets and shops are scattered across the park. There’s even luxury accommodation at the sleek Big Blue Hotel.
Made famous by the Beatles song, Penny Lane is lined with shops and small businesses. Before the Beatles hit the big time, John Lennon and Paul McCartney used to catch the bus from here. Some of the places name-checked in the lyrics—such as the shelter in the middle of the roundabout and the barbershop—can still be seen today.
Anfield Stadium, home turf for Liverpool Football Club, is hallowed ground for fans of the Reds. The 54,000-capacity venue not only hosts matches, but also contains the Liverpool FC Story, a museum chronicling the club’s history, and the Steven Gerrard Collection, comprising memorabilia relating to the former captain.
Hadrian’s Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stretches 73 miles (117 kilometers) across the north of England, all the way from the Irish Sea to the North Sea. Built in AD 122 under Emperor Hadrian’s orders and finished four years later, the wall marked the northern boundary of the Roman Empire in Britain.
Just outside of Salisbury, England is the Old Sarum, one of the oldest settlements in the country. It was originally built as a hill fort and eventually grew into a castle and a cathedral. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, the cathedral was demolished and the settlement was mostly abandoned. Building materials from the old cathedral were used in constructing the new one located in the modern town of Salisbury. Today you can wander through the remaining foundations of the cathedral and castle and learn about the history of Salisbury's origins. The ramparts consist of two banks of earth separated by a ditch.
On certain days, medieval tournaments, open air plays, and mock battles are held here. Old Sarum is located on 29 acres of rare grass chalkland making it a beautiful natural setting for exploring the Wiltshire countryside. Footpaths cross through the ramparts and offer views of the tall spire of the new cathedral. Old Sarum is not far from Stonehenge and is often included on tours of the region.
With a capacity of nearly 75,000, Old Trafford is the UK’s second-largest football (soccer) stadium and home of Manchester United since 1910. Beside Premier League fixtures, the venue has hosted Olympic games, rugby league finals, and several international cup matches. The on-site museum houses the team’s famous continental treble trophy.
Visit the modernist Metropolitan Cathedral and gain insight into Liverpool’s religious history as you explore its crypts, treasury, and unique structure. As you take in its unusual circular design, learn about the Catholic cathedral’s close relationship with its Anglican sister on the other end of Hope Street, or attend a service or concert for an immersive experience.
Perched 380 feet (116 meters) up the Blackpool Tower, the Blackpool Tower Eye has indoor and outdoor observation decks and commands spectacular views. Visitors can soak in the panoramas, stand on the glass Skywalk above Blackpool promenade, and enjoy a 4D cinematic journey through Blackpool’s history as a curtain-raiser to their visit.
The Aysgarth Falls lie on the River Ure, in the heart of Yorkshire Dales National Park. The falls—made up of three tiers that cascade down limestone steps, surrounded by lush trees—have been popular with tourists for more than 200 years. To visit, hike through the surrounding woods and farms and enjoy the area’s natural beauty.
The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hadrian’s Wall took a decade to construct from AD 122 onwards to prevent rebel tribes in Scotland from repeatedly crossing the frontier and attacking Roman territory. Standing around five m (16 ft) high and three m (9.5 ft) across, the wall was guarded day and night by soldiers housed in a series of 16 forts and settlements constructed along its 135 km (84 mile) length between Bowness-on-Solway on the west coast and Wallsend in the east. Housesteads Fort is located near present-day Hexham in Northumberland National Park and stands high on a hill with far-reaching and spectacular views across bleak, undulating moorlands. Originally known as Vercovicium, it was home to 800 soldiers at any one time and the garrison is one of the best preserved of all Roman forts, with the barracks, dining halls, hospital, granaries and even communal latrines still clearly visible in the neat stone layouts; parts of the gates and encircling wall still stand too. It was active for more than 200 years before the Roman Empire collapsed, after which Housesteads was abandoned for centuries and only rediscovered in the 19th century. Today a small museum by the fort highlights the history of the Roman invasion of Britain as well as the construction of Housesteads; artifacts recovered from the fort and displayed there include jewelry, scraps of leather shoes and weapons.
One of the best zoos in the United Kingdom, the Chester Zoo houses 20,000 animals from 500 species, all spread out over 125 acres for the park's 1.6 million yearly visitors to learn about.
Highlights include the Tsavo Black Rhino Reserve; the Realm of the Red Ape; the Fruit Bat Forest; the Hi Way family of Asian elephants; and the Islands at Chester Zoo, meant to replicate the environment of South East Asia with native species such as the Sunda gharial crocodile and the Sumatran tiger. To move about the park with ease, take a ride on the Zoofari Monorail (extra fee), which offers a great view from above and has stations throughout the park.
In addition, travelers can explore the historic Oakfield House, home to the Mottershead family when they opened the zoo in 1931, and a number of themed children's play areas. When you're hungry, stop in at one of the park's cafes and restaurants.
Take time out from the bustling city streets with a visit to the Walker Art Gallery, home to a diverse collection of artwork that spans eight centuries. Peruse masterpieces by artists, such as Monet, Rembrandt, and David Hockney, and enjoy an experience in the Big Art for Little Artists gallery, a hands-on space designed for young children.
St. Peter’s Church in Woolton, Liverpool, is more than an example of Gothic Revival architecture—it is also a significant site in musical history, as it was here in 1957 that John Lennon first met Paul McCartney. Also here are the graves of Eleanor Rigby, John Lennon’s Uncle George, and Bob Paisley, the renowned Liverpool FC manager.
It’s the second stop along the famous North Yorkshire Moors Railway, England’s most popular heritage railway, but to Harry Potter fans, Goathland railway station is better known as the fictional Hogsmeade station, where the young wizards and witches disembark the Hogwarts Express for the wizarding village of Hogsmeade and the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Sadly, there are no wizards to be seen at the real Goathland Station, although the traditional stone-brick station building and distinctive red footbridge are instantly recognizable from the Harry Potter films.
It’s not just Harry Potter that has made Goathland famous – the picturesque railway station has also been seen on-screen in British TV series like Heartbeat and All Creatures Great and Small, as well as a Simply Red music video.
- Things to do in Liverpool
- Things to do in Manchester
- Things to do in Yorkshire
- Things to do in North East England
- Things to do in East of England
- Things to do in York
- Things to do in Middlesbrough
- Things to do in Newcastle-upon-Tyne
- Things to do in Birmingham
- Things to do in Belfast
- Things to do in South East England
- Things to do in South West England
- Things to do in The Scottish Highlands
- Things to do in Western Ireland
- Things to do in South West Ireland