England is a country that is steeped in tradition, history and legend. It is also a country that is making a commendable comeback in the global tourism industry. When people think of touring England, they usually plan on visiting the popular attractions based on the southern regions of the country. Those famous sites in the south, including the glorious capital city of London, are not the places worthy of your time during your sweet and short stay in England. The northern regions of England can be just as beautiful, exciting and surprising as the more talked about areas in the south.
Tourists, adventure seekers and occasional visitors from around the world are going to have a great time in Northern England if they can visit any one of the following five destinations.
1) Northern Quarter in Manchester
Let’s start out with something truly contemporary. A lot of people make the assumption that Northern England is all about age old architecture in the form of castles, mansions and museums. A visit to Manchester will change your perception of England in a matter of minutes. This place is the perfect example of how hip and trendy Northern England really can be. London’s Soho is not the only place in England that is as modern and cool as some of the other exquisite metropolitan areas in Europe. Think of it in this way. If London is Rome, then Manchester is Milan.
If you are seeking a sophisticated and incredibly fashionable place, you must visit Manchester’s Northern Quarter. It is an amazing destination for people who are fond of live music, high-end fashion outlets, bars and eccentric stores. You will also get to meet a myriad of creative individuals who have an exemplary sense of style. Glamour lovers will cherish every moment they spend in Northern Quarter.
If you need a break from the modern urban lifestyle for a while, you could visit some of the well-known art galleries in Northern Quarter or the sites with classic Victorian architecture in Manchester.
2) The Beatles Story Exhibition in Liverpool
Anfield, the iconic home of Liverpool Football Club, is perhaps the place that attracts the most tourist attention in the city of Liverpool. However, there is another gem in this city that often goes unnoticed. It is the Beatles Story Exhibition which is a dreamland for anyone who was a fan of the “fab four.”
The Beatles were an integral part of the modern British pop culture. This exhibition was established to showcase the lives of the four seemingly ordinary men who went on to change the world through their music.
Upon visiting The Beatles Story, you will come across several different exhibitions and educational interactive features that will enlighten you on the lives, music and culture of arguably the greatest band in the world. The Beatles Story Exhibition is not just focused on providing a great fan experience. Tourists, who aren’t fond of the band or have never heard their music, will still have a pretty enjoyable time in this exhibition. The exhibits are designed to impress even those who aren’t familiar with The Beatles.
3) Durham Cathedral in Durham
One of the reasons why people choose to visit the historic Westminster Abbey in London is because it is an emblem of unique and outstanding medieval architecture. If you are looking to enjoy a similar experience to the one you had at Westminster Abbey, then you should consider visiting Durham Cathedral. This is a showcase of the brilliance of Norman architecture.
The Cathedral is now being used as an Anglican church and is the seat of the Bishop of Durham. Its origins date back to the eleventh century when it was built to house the shrine of St. Cuthbert. For your information, it was also the home of a Benedictine monastic community.
This history-laden work of architecture is a fantastic place to visit for those who have a true appreciation for old buildings and marvelous artifacts. The Cathedral also teaches you a lot about the history of Christianity in Northern England.
4) The City of York Dungeons in York
Tourist attractions with morbid, ghoulish and terrifying themes are becoming increasingly popular. You do not have to be an adventurist or a thrill seeker to enjoy your visit to such an attraction. Places such as The City of York Dungeons are frightening, slightly disturbing, but incredibly fun.
York Dungeons feature a number of eerie exhibitions waxwork figures that portray numerous forms of infamous torture mechanisms that were employed on captives throughout English history. One of the exhibitions takes the tourists back to the age of the Great Plague of England. If that is not macabre enough for you, then you should definitely check out the Judgement of Sinners exhibition. As the name suggests, the Judgement of Sinners show portrays the 220 crimes that were deemed punishable by death. This could turn out to be incredibly shocking given the fact that we live in an age where it is hard to come up with any crime that is worthy of capital punishment.
Other notable exhibitions in the York Dungeons include Witches Burned Alive, Guy Fawkes, Bloody Vikings, Dick Turpin and Ghosts of York.
Many people have drawn comparisons between the London Dungeon and York Dungeons. They are actually very similar in the type of attractions that they have on offer. In fact, it would be entirely fair to say that this is the northern version of the more popular London attraction. Interestingly, the city of York used to be the capital of Northern England and some firmly believe that it is the city with the most gruesome and grisly stories of torture in all of Europe.
5) Lightwater Valley Theme Park, North Yorkshire
If you are visiting Northern England with your children, then it is almost compulsory for you to take them to an exciting amusement park. Lightwater Valley is a highly enjoyable theme park for people of all ages.
It features more than 40 different rides. Some of the more exciting ones among them include Eagle’s Claw, Wild River Rapids, Skeleton Clove, Raptor Attack, and Whirlwind. Special mention of The Ultimate must be made as it is the longest rollercoaster in Europe.
If you are a little tired and hungry, you could lounge in one of the many places to eat and drink within the amusement park. Seasoned tourists who love adventure and thrills will find Lightwater Valley well worth their time.