Jack Greeney takes a look at some of the greatest places to visit a little closer to home over the Easter break period, so get planning your trips now
The maritime city of Liverpool, under an hour’s train ride west of Manchester, makes for a great day trip this Easter. Whilst The Beatles Story museum attempts to encapsulate the home of The Beatles, there’s more to Liverpool than that alone. The Walker Art Gallery displays a great range of European paintings and sculptures, whilst the Victoria Gallery and Tate Liverpool are also must-visits. For history enthusiasts the World Museum is large and extensive, and the unusual Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral is another sight worth seeing. Of course, there’s always the football, too: and with Anfield and Goodison Park, Liverpool is rarely shy of it.
The Lake District
By the time students run free from university for Easter at the start of April, Spring will have sprung: hopefully, anyway. For a more outdoors experience to finally get out and about after months of the Winter weather, the Lake District is a great area sitting just waiting to be explored. The Windermere train station is around an hour and a half’s journey north from Manchester and from there the mountainous Cumbrian region is ready to be delved into. There are wonderful gleaming lakes, the very same ones which inspired the writings of Wordsworth, and a range of pikes and fells to hike and admire the view.
Only an hour and fifteen minutes by train from Manchester, the historic walled city of York is a must-visit for those living in the north of England. York Minster, the city’s enormous 13th century Gothic cathedral, has impressive medieval stained glass and bell towers. The York Museum Gardens feature Roman ruins and a medieval abbey, and the City Walls form a walkway on both sides of the River Ouse. Another top attraction is the Jórvík Viking Centre: a time capsule Viking village and museum from the city’s era of Scandinavian rule. The old town streets of The Shambles are lined with timber framed buildings and touristy shops.
For something a little different, catch a Megabus down to the south-west of England and spend a few days in some great southern cities. Bristol, straddling the river Avon, is a cultural hub. The harbour’s old warehouses now contain restaurants, shops, and The Arnolfini contemporary art gallery. Two other places of interest are then only a train ride away. Cardiff features a wonderful bay area, the National Museum of Wales, and the wonderfully striking Senedd building. Meanwhile, Bath displays the famous Royal Crescent, the Grade 1 listed Bath Abbey: and of course, the Roman Baths from which the town was named.
For a visit to somewhere off the well and truly beaten trail, why not have a look around Clitheroe, a small town in the Ribble Valley. Just 35 miles northwest of Manchester, Clitheroe is easily accessible by regular train services from Manchester Victoria. The town is well-known for its 12th century Norman keep: Clitheroe Castle. Whalley Abbey also finds its home in Clitheroe, with beautiful grounds, gardens and ruins. On top of this, the town is the most popular base for those wishing to walk among the trees in the lovely Forest of Bowland, which features some of the loveliest walking routes in the north west.
Come back next week for a follow-up piece of five more UK destinations to visit this Easter. Enjoy your travels!