|In the southern and
eastern areas lie sprawling industrial heartlands, but these are
surrounded by some of England’s most sparsely populated, and
most beautiful countryside. The Lake District (see
the Top Seven Destinations section) is the most famous of the English
National Parks – but there are three more in the region as
well: Northumberland, the North York Moors
and the Yorkshire Dales. |
The coastline is spectacular, particularly in north Yorkshire and
northern Northumberland, while the North Pennines
is as wild as the countryside can get. All this contrasts with the
great industrial power-houses of south and west Yorkshire, Greater
Manchester, Tyne & Wear and east Lancashire.
For more information covering Cheshire, County Durham, Cumbria,
Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, Northumberland, Teesside,
Tyne & Wear and Yorkshire contact the following:
Tourist Board (telephone: (01539) 444 444; fax: (01539) 444
041; email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
West Tourist Board (telephone: (01942) 821 222; fax: (01942)
Tourist Board (telephone: (0191) 375 3010; fax: (0191) 386 0899).
Chester, the county town, is famous for its black and white timber-framed
buildings. The city dates back from Roman times, as do parts of
its Medieval city walls. Remains of a 7000 seat Roman amphitheatre
are located outside the centre, whose attraction is The Rows, large
double-deck buildings housing shops.
In the surrounding county, towns include Northwich,
where the Salt Museum covers the story of Cheshire salt mining,
and Nantwich, where visitors can explore the Hack Green ‘Secret’
Nuclear Bunker. Nearby, Stapely Water Gardens is one of the world’s
biggest attraction of its type.
Lancaster is the main centre in this county
and the major port remain along the historic St George’s Quay,
whose palladian-style Customs House is home to the Lancaster Maritime
Museum. The city centre architecture reflects the wealth of two
West of Lancaster are the seaside resort attractions at Morecambe,
while in the surrounding countryside, the Lune Valley has inspired
artists and poets through the ages, including Turner and Wordsworth.
Blackpool, down the Lancashire coast, is one
of England’s biggest seaside resorts, famous for its Eiffel-styled
Tower, its trams and the Blackpool Pleasure Beach amusement park.
In Manchester there are major attractions, including
the Granada Studios Tour, home of ‘Coronation Street’.
There is a branch of the Imperial War Museum beside the Manchester
Ship Canal in the Trafford area of the city. Manchester
United Football Club is famous around the world, and
tours of its Old Trafford stadium are available.
Outside Manchester, Wigan has one of the north’s
most popular attractions in Wigan Pier – a recreation of
Victorian life based around a large canal basin, with a number
of individual museums and other attractions.
In West Yorkshire is the large Leeds/Bradford
conurbation. Bradford is famous for its Asian community, and the
food is an attraction in itself, while The National Museum of
Film, Photography and Television is the city’s prime draw
with one of the first IMAX movie screens.
At Leeds, the Royal Armouries exhibition, Tetley
Brewery Visitor Centre, West Yorkshire Playhouse and the Thackeray
Medical Museum are all reasons to spend time here.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park is popular
all year. Its landscape is that of the books and TV series featuring
vet James Herriot. Walking is a popular pastime in this region.
Castles abound in the region, including the fortresses of Middleham
and Richmond; the latter associated with Richard III. Bolton Castle
in Wensleydale imprisoned Mary Queen of Scots,
while Pontefract Castle in West Yorkshire was the place of Richard
II’s murder in 1400.
Maritime East Yorkshire has links with Britain’s seafaring
traditions. Hull is a major port, recently transformed
by waterfront developments, while Humber Bridge is an attraction
in its own right.
Family resorts on the coast include Bridlington
and Scarborough, which have a number of attractions,
such as Bridlington’s Leisure World Complex.
In the 1960s, The Beatles put Liverpool
firmly on the map, and their fame still brings visitors from all
over. Attractions include the Mersey Ferry, which operates between
Birkenhead and Liverpool, and the Albert Dock complex, housing
The Beatles Story, the Maritime Museum, the Museum of Liverpool
Life and the Tate Gallery.
An industrial centre on Middlesbrough, whose
most famous son was James Cook Coastal towns include Redcar,
Saltburn and Hartlepool, with its maritime
museum, historic ships and marina.
The Lake District (see also the Top Seven Destinations
section) makes up the central area of Cumbria. The rest of the
county consists of three sections: the north and east (former
Westmorland), which rises with the high North Pennine Hills towards
Northumberland and County Durham, the Irish Sea coastline and
the peninsulas in the south.
South of Carlisle lies the town of Penrith,
to whose east the country rises across Alston Moor to Alston in
the North Pennines, a former lead-mining centre. Set in the heart
of an area of natural beauty,
In south Cumbria, the shipbuilding town of Barrow-in-Furness
has the Docks Museum, nearby Ulverston is famous for the birthplace
of comic Stan Laurel, and offers the Laurel and Hardy museum.
Durham, from where Prince Bishops once ruled
the North, surrounds Durham City with its Castle, now part of
the university, and magnificent Norman Cathedral. The city centre
is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The surrounding countryside, once a coalfield, is very beautiful,
with market towns like Bishop Auckland and Barnard
Within the county is part of the North Pennines,
and scenic Weardale and Teesdale, with England’s highest
waterfall, High Force.
Tyne and Wear
Tyne & Wear spans the mouths of the two rivers in its name.
Newcastle-upon-Tyne has city centre shopping,
museums, theatres, hotels, restaurants and a legendary nightlife.
Across the river are Gateshead with its Metro
Centre indoor shopping and South Shields, home of the author Catherine
Cookson, and the Arbeia Roman Fort attraction. Sunderland
is at the mouth of the River Wear and nearby is Washington,
famous for the original home of US President George Washington’s
Northumberland, between the Scottish border and Tyne &
Wear, is a large, rural county with attractive villages
and market towns. Its famous landmark is Hadrian’s Wall.
It was built in the 2nd century AD and marks the Roman Empire’s
Medieval castles, including Bamburgh, Alnwick
and Dunstanburgh characterise the countryside, which was an area
of Anglo/Scots conflict. Hexham is a good starting point from
which to explore the whole Northumbrian region. Much of the county
is a National Park, with moorland stretching from the North Sea
to Cheviot Hills on the Scottish border. England’s most
northern town, Berwick-upon-Tweed, was a casualty
in border battles, and changed hands between Scotland and England
at least 13 times.
Close to the Scottish Border is the Kielder Water reservoir. Europe’s
biggest man-made lake that offers a wide range of activity pursuits.