Exploring the UK
One of the most diverse regions in England, the North West features breathtaking landscapes, vibrant cities, exciting restaurants, bright lights, and culture, a fabulous range of hotels and accommodation, with tranquil days spent in the most picturesque surroundings.
Lancashire, once the heart of the cotton industry, the royal duchy now is where heritage fans will find ancient castles and stone-built villages where history lovers can delve into Lancashire's living legend. The county is home to some of the country's favourite seaside resorts. Blackpool is a must and is considered to be the finest as well as the biggest in Europe. For a more tranquil retreat the Forest of Bowland, Ribble Valley and Pendle Hill, are areas of natural beauty where you can take yourself off the beaten track, walk, cycle or just enjoy fresh air and wonderful panoramic views.
Merseyside was once the gateway to the Empire which home to famous seafarers and shipping companies, all of which are still well known household names. Liverpool is at the heart of Merseyside and is the European capital of culture 2008 is a transformed city with its iconic architecture of the waterfront; the cathedrals and the cultural quarter are truly awe-inspiring. Across the Mersey the ancient city of Chester was a Roman settlement and like Cheshire is built upon salt. You can visit stately homes and also Britainís only salt museum seeing the history of salt making from ancient times to the present day. The City of Chester still retains its ancient walls and is a delight to visit.
Greater Manchester is a truly vibrant area and home to two premiership football clubs, City and United, but Manchester itself is about a lot more than football. It is a little known fact that Manchester was once a thriving seaport and the value of trade passing through its quays was greater than most others in England, thanks to the Manchester Ship Canal and whilst over 6 million tonnes of cargo is still carried, the redevelopment of Salford Quays is an ideal destination for a day or weekend trip. Manchester is truly stylish and sophisticated offering fine dining, clubs and bars, the place to see and be seen. The Greater Manchester area is surrounded by beautiful countryside ideal for walking and exploring and close by is the second largest airport in Britain.
The border between England and Scotland was guarded in times past by the City of Carlisle the Roman settlement fort at the end of Hadrianís Wall. Today Carlisle has much to offer and a visit to the castle, a great medieval fortress that has watched over the City of Carlisle for over nine centuries and home to the Border Regiment Museum should be on your itinerary. Carlisle offers excellent shopping facilities and makes an ideal base for exploring Cumbria. Information about the North West of England would not be complete without mention of Cumbria home of the Lake District, regarded as the most beautiful part of the country. Whatever time of year that you choose to visit the Lakes, you will be inspired, spring daffodils immortalised by Wordsworth, autumn leaves, sailing boats in the summer, majestic fells capped with snow in the winter, the magic of nature. Gentle strolls around one of the many lakes, or a challenging hike you will be inspired by the beauty of your surroundings. Finding your way back to one of the Lake District's legendary hotels, lose yourself in the magical sunset and promise that you will return to the lakes, we know that you will.