How to visit Yorkshire. And York!

How to visit Yorkshire. And York!

So York was pretty good!

As you know, I spent the Autumn and early winter, visiting the UK and travelling around Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire! And Liverpool!

If you’re just joining in, here’s a recap:

Yay!

And of course, if you want to read about Scotland and other British things, just follow the link here!

Book your hotel here!

YORKSHIRE

My piece of fudge in York – 3 days in York – 33 things to do!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

You really can’t talk about York, without talking about Yorkshire, the county (state) from which it came!

Yorkshire, otherwise known as Yorks or the County of York, is a county in Northern England, and the largest in the UK!

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LET’S GET A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY!

The Flying Scotsman at the National Railway Museum – York
©Nigel Holland

As far back as 866, the south of Northumbria – otherwise known as modern-day Yorkshire – was invaded and conquered by fierce Norsemen from Scandinavia, which is present day Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, known as Jórvík!

The word Yorkshire, comes from the very same viking word – Jórvík, and the Old English word – Shire – meaning to take care of, or the official charge of.

Thus Yorkshire!

Constantine the Great – Emperor of the Roman Empire in York!

Yorkshire has a very rich heritage and has been around for more than 2,000 years!

In fact, my fellow British blogger – Thomas Peck – reminded me in my previous post that

Constantine the Great was crowned Emperor of the Roman Empire in York in 306AD. He was the Caesar that allowed religious tolerance and thus the survival of the early Christians. He popularised the festival of Christmas and converted to Christianity in 312AD. As a result, York had its first Bishop in 314. He was also the one who moved the capital of the Empire eastwards, and set up the new city of Constantinople. True, he moved from York to Trier (better wine no doubt), but it all started in the great city of York!

And another hilarious British blogger – Mike Snowden – decided it would be fun to sleep outdoors.

In Winter.

In the North York Moors National Park.

Without a tent!

Or anything. Just a bag!

He didn’t really like it!

Oh no. It’s snowing!
This isn’t Yorkshire. But I bet after he woke up. He probably thought it was!

But isn’t it funny?

Even though everyone in the UK knows all about Yorkshire, most people outside it, seem not to have heard of it!

The Humber Bridge in Hull – connecting all of Yorkshire!

Because Yorkshire is so huge, it has been divided into North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull, North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire, and of course, the historical city of York!

Not only that, even though technically, Yorkshire is part of North-West England, remote parts of the county such as Great Ayton, Runswick Bay, Middlesbrough and Dalton-on-Tees, are now considered to be a part of North East England!

It’s been years since I’ve been to Newcastle, Tyneside, Northumberland, and Durham.

In fact, my first MA was actually at Durham University – the Number four (4) ranked university in Britain!

The Yorkshire Dales

Within the borders of the historic county of Yorkshire, are areas which are widely considered to be among the greenest in England, due to the vast stretches of unspoilt countryside in the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors!

Indeed, Yorkshire is also known as God’s Own County or God’s Own Country because of it’s beauty, and is considered to be one of the best places in Europe!

In fact, I initially watched this marvellous film at the British Shorts Film Festival, and now it’s deservedly winning award upon award. As it should!

Take a look below.

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WHY GO TO YORKSHIRE?

Castle Howard in North Yorkshire, is more than 300 years old!

Why not?!

Well, Yorkshire is in England.

And regardless of Brexit, who doesn’t like England?

It’s entwined with civilizations, history and culture, that goes back centuries!

And.

We recognise far more than we realize.

We all know the Tudors! And also the gorgeous – Jonathan Rhys-Meyers!

If you are versed in English history, you’d know well the two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster – a red rose – and the House of York – a white rose.

Think Vikings!

Think Guy Fawkes!

Think the Wars of the Roses!

Think the Tudors!

Think Henry VIII!

Think Harry Potter!

And then, book your hotel here!

Victoria in front of the carousel fairground – York
©Frank Böster – The Music Producer

Ha! Ha! Ha!

You won’t believe it, but before this visit, I had never previously been to York!

I know!

Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

It’s as bad as when I didn’t go to Switzerland, even though Switzerland is literally next door!

Happily, I can say that I certainly changed this situation!

Book your hotel here! 

TAKE ME THERE?

Using the TransPenine Express train!

We started from Blackpool and took the train to York.

The ticket above was from our journey from Cheshire to Manchester, and even though we took the Northern Railway train from Blackpool to York, the seating arrangements and look of the train, is similar!

I booked the tickets online and in advance. If you use the website National Rail Enquiries, it would give you the variety of available train options. Britain isn’t known for having cheap transportation, so the trick is to book well in advance!

Our journey took a little over 3 hours!

Cost: Blackpool North to York – on an Advance Single ticket – Adults – £12.50 each. Children (5-15) – £6.25 – Altogether a very reasonable £31.25 on the Northern Railway train!

If you’re really short on cash, you could of course take the bus-coach using the National Express or Megabus and check for prices, as in many case, the trains were surprisingly, by far the cheapest way to travel through the North!

The trains are not as plush or as spacious as those in Germany, and the train station in Blackpool is rather small, so give yourself plenty of time, as you can’t reserve a seat!

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IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

Victoria outside Monk’s Bar – York City Wall – York
©Frank Böster – The Music Producer

It depends on the time of year!

We were in York during the best time of all – Halloween – and it was thrilling!

The Music Producer and The Tall Young Gentleman had never been in the UK during Halloween before, so they were pretty excited!

There are loads of night events and ghost activities in the city. York is quite small, so we frequently met other groups, but it was pretty well organised, as times were staggered so that you weren’t all standing in the same corner! There were a couple of whoops, and “get them,” but it was all in good fun.

We went on two night-time walking tours and ended up sprinting through the nooks and crannies of historical York with torches, a Dr. Who-like character, and being chased by zombies!

But in the summer, crowds are going to be huge, and the streets are quite narrow, so watch your handbag and wallets, queue smartly, and elbows at the ready!

Plan well.

Book your hotel here!

WHAT IS YORKSHIRE LIKE?

I’m a Yorkshire terrier and I’m impressive. So is Yorkshire!

We were only there for 3 days, but Yorkshire definitely made an impression on me.

Yorkshire as a whole is just wild!

It’s of historical and architectural interest, the local people are common folk, open-minded, loyal, reliable, packed with common sense, and typical of the North in speaking plainly, with a lovely Yorkshire burr!

And it’s quite beautiful!

I DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH VERY WELL.

No need to speak. Let nature do the talking!

Ha! Ha! Ha!

The locals speak with a Yorkshire accent.

The type of working class English that you would find in Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Northumbria, the Merseyside, Cumbria, Cheshire, Leeds, Hull, Middlesbrough, and certain parts of Northern England!

The proud accent of Sean Bean, and pretty much most of the Stark clan and anyone from The North, in Game of Thrones!

But don’t worry.

Just smile.

Have a drink.

And you’ll be fine in a jiffy!

Book your hotel here!

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

You don’t have to live in a Yorkshire Dale barn. Unless you want to!

Ha! Ha!

This is England!

Not unless you want to!

I’M ON A BUDGET, BUT I’M LOOKING FOR A BIT MORE LUXURY AS I DON’T WANT TO ROUGH IT! WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Now, let’s be honest. Britain isn’t cheap. The trick is clever planning!

Now, let’s be honest.

Britain isn’t cheap.

If you’re from Western Europe, the US, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, or any of the Nordic countries, then Britain will be similar, if not cheaper than your own country!

If not, you could be in trouble!

The trick is clever planning!

Book your hotel here!

WHERE WE STAYED:

Our late night snack & a pot of tea at our Clearly Apartments Bootham York!

After our holiday in Madrid last year, we decided to always get an extra hotel / hostel room, or an apartment, so that our teenager doesn’t have to share personal space with his parents!

Frankly, if you’re paying between £35.00 – £60.00 per night, for huge apartments with a working kitchen, a terrace, and in some cases, even a piano, you simply can’t go wrong!

Book ahead to get good prices.

Book your apartment or hotel here!

Use my link and book your hotel!

After much research, I chose the very nice Clearly Apartments Bootham York.

I made our reservation via booking.com.

Use my link and book your hotel!

In many cases, I prefer to use booking.com because you can make hotel / hostel / apartment reservations, and cancel for free, if you’re not sure. Not only do I recommend them, but I use them myself! Note: I’m an affiliate member of booking.com. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

Our living / dining room at our two-bedroom two-bathroom Clearly Apartments Bootham York!

The Clearly Apartments Bootham York is a lovely two-bedroom two-bathroom apartment in a quiet residential neighbourhood.

I loved the fact that the apartment was a mere seven (7) minute walk from the city centre.

We had two bedrooms with two en-suite bathrooms (yes!) which our teenage son liked enormously. There was also free refreshments, milk, WiFi, and a laundry room (with dryer), that we forgot to use until it was too late!

In fact, our bedspread and pillows were so comfy, that I dropped off within minutes!

The en-suite private bedroom of our teenager at the Clearly Apartments Bootham York, was comfy too!

Cost: For a standard two bedroomed – two bathroom apartment in the UK – £143.10 (including tax) per night, or for 4 people – £35.78 a pop!

You’re welcome!

Book the Clearly Apartments Bootham York or your Yorkshire hotel / apartment here!

I’M LOOKING FOR SOMETHING A BIT DIFFERENT. ANY IDEAS?

I’ve got millions of ideas!

Always!

Click here for more inspiration!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

Train travel through Yorkshire is best.
Followed by hiking & cycling through fields, then using the car when you’re utterly knackered!

Yorkshire is huge, so travelling by train is best!

Your next most enjoyable means of transport is hiking, trekking, rambling, walking, & cycling through open fields.

As well as sailing or river cruising.

Or you can of course, use the Yorkshire local services or the car, when you’re utterly knackered!

ANYTHING ELSE?

The Hogwarts Express at the National Railway Museum – York

Most museums and galleries, are free of charge.

Most importantly, if you live in the UK or visit the UK on a regular basis, there is quite frequently, free admission for 12 months included in your ticket, so don’t throw it away!

MY VERDICT:

Camping in Yorkshire. Happy Days!

I have happy childhood memories of camping and hiking through Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Dales, and the North York Moors!

I’m sure you will too.

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WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Totally!

Yorkshire is heaven.

It’s wild and captivating, and makes you feel alive!

I can’t wait to visit again.

Let’s do it!

HOW TO VISIT YORKSHIRE. AND YORK!

How to visit Yorkshire. And York!

This article isn’t sponsored, and all opinions and the wonders of Yorkshire that we gloried in, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

I went on a press trip to Hamburg. Watch out for the details!

I’ll be continuing my last visit to the UK next year!

In January, I’ll be visiting Belgium!

I’ll be at the British Shorts Film Festival taking place between 11th – 17th January, 2018. If you’re an aspiring film-maker submission is free of charge, so hurry!

I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week taking place between 16th – 18th January, 2018

I’ll be at the 33rd British Council Literature Seminar – #BritLitBerlin taking place between 25th – 27th January, 2018. If you want to attend or join in, registration is now open!

Save the Date!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in winter, you’re missing out!

December is going to be glowing!

Yay!

How to visit Yorkshire. And York!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How to visit Yorkshire. And York!
How to visit Yorkshire. And York!

Have you ever been to Yorkshire? Do you like camping, or would you prefer a sandwich and a pint! Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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3 days in York – 33 things to do!

The real Diagon Alley or The Shambles - a 14th century cobbledstone street in York!<br /> 3 days in York - 33 things to do! ©VistBritain / Andrew Pickett
The real Diagon Alley or The Shambles – a 14th century cobblestone street in York!
3 days in York – 33 things to do! ©VistBritain / Andrew Pickett

So, last week, I introduced the city of York to you, including ten (10) exciting things you probably didn’t even know!

Oh, and if you didn’t know, where have you been?

 

 

 

Our very own Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are finally engaged!

You know how much I adore the Royal Family, not only doing documentaries about the Queen, but getting to hobnob with Prince William and Kate Middleton too!

I am delighted for them.

North America. You’re welcome!

Book your hotel here!

How I went to Liverpool, and I wasn’t robbed!
© Liverpool 360

As you know, I spent the Autumn visiting the UK and travelling around Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire! And Liverpool!

If you’re just tuning in, here’s a recap:

Ye-Ha!

And of course, if you want to read about Scotland and other British things, just follow the link here!

Book your hotel here!

YORKSHIRE:

3 days in York – 33 things to do!

Yorkshire, otherwise known as Yorks or the County of York, is a county in Northern England, and the largest in the UK!

Within the borders of the historic county of Yorkshire, are areas which are widely considered to be among the greenest in England, due to the vast stretches of unspoilt countryside in the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors!

The emblem of Yorkshire is the White Rose, of the royal English House of York.

The War of the Roses – Elizabeth Woodvill (Rebecca Ferguson) – The White Queen

If you are versed in English history, you’d know well the Wars of the Roses between the two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster – a red rose – and the House of York – a white rose. If you enjoy watching British cultural dramas, you might recognise the name in the wonderful BBC TV series – The White Queen!

I have happy childhood memories of camping in the Yorkshire Dales, but this time we visited the lovely historical city of York!

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The Music Producer & Victoria on Bootham Bar – York City Wall – York

Ha! Ha! Ha!

You won’t believe it, but before this visit, I had never previously been to York!

I know!

Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

It’s as bad as when I didn’t go to Switzerland, even though Switzerland is literally next door!

In order to rectify this, I reached out to the very nice people at Visit York, and they were great! We used VIP press passes in order to experience the attractions of the York Pass.

Thanks so much!

Book your hotel here!

YORK

 

 

York is one of the oldest cities in the UK!

York is a historic city, and like Chester, is also a walled one! It has a rich heritage, and has been around for more than 2,000 years!

It was previously an Anglo-Saxon trading port known as Eoforwic, and then became more established under the Romans.

In 71 AD, it was known as Eboracum!

Return of the Vikings – Wolf Burning

As far back as 866, the south of Northumbria – otherwise known as modern-day Yorkshire – was invaded and conquered by fierce Norsemen from Scandinavia, which is present day Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, known as Jórvík!

In medieval times, York became a most important political region via the House of York and an even more important religious symbol from which people did pilgrimages, and the seat of the Archbishop of York since AD 735!

Trains were an important part of the Industrial Revolution
North York Moors Railway – Yorkshire © Welcome to Yorkshire

By the 19th & 20th century, York was part of the Industrial Revolution that would turn the fortunes of Britain forever!

Today, the population of York is roughly 153,717, and is otherwise known as the City Of York, but certainly, not to be confused with any Cities of York ork Cities in the United States of America!

3 DAYS IN YORK – 33 THINGS TO DO!

My piece of fudge in York! 3 days in York – 33 things to do!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

1.  Ramble through the cobbled streets of York

2.  Put on some horns and be a viking for the day at the JORVIK Viking Centre

3.  Heave yourself up the York City Wall – the longest medieval town walls in England – and walk along ’em!

4.  Have traditional Afternoon Tea at Bettys Café Tea Rooms – one of York’s best, and oldest places to have High Tea!

5.  Climb the magnificent York Minster – the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe!

Victoria & The Tall Young Gentleman outside the York Castle Museum – York
©Frank Böster – The Music Producer

6.  Climb up the last remaining part of the intriguing medieval Norman York Castle – otherwise known as Cliffords Tower! 

7.  Visit Kirkgate (built in 1938) at the York Castle Museum, and put yourself in the streets of Victorian England!

8.  Search for magic in the original Diagon Alley and get yourself a bit of Potter memorabilia at The Shop That Must Not Be Named!

9.  Lose yourself in the historical street of York – otherwise known as the Shambles – a 14th century cobblestone alley, and the most medieval street in England!

10.  Invest in a York Pass so that you can get into many places of interest for free!

Horrible Histories – Vikings

11.  Scare yourself silly at the York Dungeon, where the Horrible Histories of York can be learnt, audience participate in the stories, and actors pop up surprisingly!

12.  Learn about the history of chocolate in York where not only is it an important industry, but it also has it’s own museum!

13.  Walk along the beautiful riverside in Bishopthorpe. Simply one of the best things that you can do, in any riverside city-destination!

14.  Go on the River Ouse, sail along on a river cruise, and listen to the history of York at the waterside.

15.  Explore life in the Middle Ages, touch, feel, dress up and hear, as you imagine yourself living in mediaeval times, as the Lord Mayor of York, at his 14th century home at Barley Hall!

 

16.  We all know Henry VIII, but did you know his father – Henry VII – who was the first Tudor King of England! Why not visit the Henry VII Experience to find out who he really was!

psst. If you’ve watched the BBC version of the White Queen, you’ll know!

17.  And while you’re at it, you might as well get to know Richard III, the last Plantagenet King of England, and also it was rumoured, the person who gave the word for the two (2) little princes (Edward and Richard) to be murdered in the Tower of London in 1483, and their bodies never to be found, until 1674! But is it true? Visit the Richard III Experience and find out for yourself!

18.  Hop on the historical train and learn all about 300 years of history at the National Railway Museum. And it’s absolutely free of charge too!

19.  Learn all about Guy Fawkes, and his 1605 Gunpowder Plot. Thankfully, he didn’t succeed, and every year on November the 5th, we celebrate that fact with singing, fireworks, an effigy, and a bonfire!

20.   York’s history is full of death, blood and gore. Join a sinister production of the York Terror Trail, and be a part of the story!

The Original Ghost Walk of York, believed to be the first exclusive ghost walk in the world!

21.  Go on a ghost walk. There are plenty throughout the city of York. We went on two of them! Not only did we go on a terror trail, but on the Original Ghost Walk of York, believed to be the first exclusive ghost walk in the world!

Gulp!

All you have to do is choose one, and go screaming through the streets!

22.  See great drama at the 270 year old York Theatre Royal. With a wide variety of performances, events, activities, and pantomimes featuring the UK’s longest-running Dame, there’s bound to be something you like!

23.  Have a drink at the Golden Fleece Inn – reputedly the most haunted pub in York. And see whether you actually see ghosts. Or something else!

24.  And if you’re full of courage, visit the Kings Arms Pub – said to be the most famous pub in York – otherwise known as The Pub that Floods –  due to the fact that when the city floods, the pub floods with it! It has even been known to have punters standing on upturned crates and floating in and out with canoes, so that they can keep on drinking! Now that’s what I call the British spirit!

25.  Marvel at the smallest street with the longest name in the world – Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate!

Victoria in front of the carousel fairground – York
©Frank Böster – The Music Producer

26.  Get yourself a home-made roast beef sandwich at any of the locally owned sandwich cafés

27.  Indulge your inner-child and take a horse-ride on the carousel fairground, which has been around for over 100 years, and is a well-loved York institution!

28.  If you’ve never had English fudge, you’ve never lived! And don’t even get me started on treacle toffee. I have very fond memories of almost breaking my jaw ‘cos of all the toffee, that I had bought. Yum!

29.  Go shopping in York. And why not?!

30.  Visit the farmers market and other traditional markets, opened on various days of the week, in York

My mojito cocktail – 2 for the price of 1 in York!

31.  Have cocktails during Happy Hour! We found a gastro-pub – the Slug & Lettuce York – which had fantastic cocktail prices. I mean, on the day that we “stepped in, it was a Monday night, the offer on was 50% Off Food Monday! And cocktails were 2 for 1, ALL day EVERY day! And with mocktails going for as little as £3.95 for a Bambini Bellini, thus £1.97 a glass, my pocket was very happy! We didn’t have our dinner there, but a few snacks and a couple of drink, certainly went down very well…!

32.  While in York, visit any one of the UK’s loveliest national parks – the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors.

33.  York is home to the Yorkshire Pudding! A Yorkshire pud is often served with roast beef, roast potatoes, a selection of seasonal vegetables, generous lashings of thick gravy, and is one of Britain’s most important food item, when having the all-important traditional Sunday roast!

Oh yeah!

So, there you have it.

Book your hotel here!

3 DAYS IN YORK – 33 THINGS TO DO!

My pint of beer at the Kings Arms Pub – The Pub that Floods – York
3 days in York – 33 things to do! ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

This article isn’t sponsored, and even though we received VIP press passes, courtesy of Visit York, all opinions and the great #YorkAdventure that we experienced, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

I’ll be writing about my visit to the UK, and travelling around Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire! And Liverpool!

I’ll also be visiting Hamburg in December. Watch out on Twitter!

Yippee!

December is going to be sparkling!

Victoria outside Monk’s Bar – York City Wall – York
©Frank Böster – The Music Producer

Watch this space!

It’s Black Friday!

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Let’s do it!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

3 days in York – 33 things to do!

Have you ever been to York? What would you choose to do if you could have a #Yorkadventure? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

51 reasons to visit Manchester. And more!

Imperial War Museum North – Manchester

Ay Up!

As you know, I’m The British Berliner, and my original home country, is England.

You know the one.

Ye Olde England!

That’s right!

That famous and historical city – Manchester!

Now if you’ve met me in really life, you’d be shocked to discover that I actually hail from the Northern part of the country.

But you wouldn’t know it if you heard me speak!

When I talk, I sound as posh as any Sloane in Chelsea.

Put that down to an independent private education!

The Angel of the North – Gateshead – Tyne and Wear

Having said that, even though I sound rather plummy, I am in fact, a Northerner, and my original home town is Manchester.

Not industrial steel Manchester mind you, but the leafy suburbs of Cheadle!

In fact, not far from my parent’s home is Abney Hall Park – the inspiration for country house life, and indeed, many of the scenes – of Agatha Christie!

Makers Market in Cheadle Village

What I’m trying to say is that even though I sound as if I come from the manicured landscapes of Surrey, I’m from Up North!

And what was once the suburbs of Greater Manchester in Lancashire, is also part of the suburbs of Cheshire!

Follow the path and route in Cheshire

If you would like to know a little bit about England, Scotland and other British things, just follow the link here!

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MANCHESTER

Manchester really needs no introduction, but if you insist…

Manchester began as a Roman fort called Mamucium or Mancunium, in about AD 79 and was historically a part of Lancashire, and until the 20th century, became a part of Cheshire.

The lovely Just So Festival is an annual weekend camping festival that’s actually in Cheshire, but billed as Manchester!

Manchester is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the South, the Pennines to the North and East, and an arc of little towns surrounding it!

In fact, where I grew up, is technically no longer known as Manchester, but Cheshire!

Throughout the Middle Ages, Manchester remained a manorial township, but began to expand around the turn of the 19th century, brought on by a boom in textile manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution, bringing extreme wealth to Manchester, and making it the first industrialised city in the world!

Now even though I’m a Mancunian, I haven’t lived in Manchester since I went to university!

I haven’t been back to Manchester for quite some time!

And that’s quite some time ago!

I had planned some day trips but we went to Liverpool instead!

That notwithstanding, we did a historical walk, had a few beers, and then went to hipster Ancoats and the Northern Quarter!

Yippee!

Book your hotel here!

Grab a few beers at Pot Kettle Black in Manchester!

There are so many things to do in Manchester that you need at least a week to do them all, so here’s a list of things you could do whenever you get there.

Go on then, choose your poison!

Book your hotel here!

51 REASONS TO VISIT MANCHESTER. AND MORE!

Dracula, starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, in Victorian England
© Nino Munoz/NBC

1.  Discover the Victorian historical past of Manchester
I found a large collection of self-guided walking talks distributed by Discovering Britain and created by the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers – IBG), which you can find online! I picked The Slums, squalor and salvation – A self guided walk around Victorian Manchester. Being that I was named after Queen Victoria, I’ve always had a fascinating interesting in the era of that period! I enjoyed it very much, but ran ut of time!

2.  Read a book at one of Manchester’s oldest libraries
The John Rylands Library is one of Manchester’s most majestic buildings, and as a little girl, I was very much a bookworm and a bit of a boffin, so this library was one of the libraries of my dreams! It’s a masterpiece of Victorian Gothic architecture and looks more like a castle than a library! Go see for yourself.

3.  Go to Victoria Square – the first “industrial suburb”in the world!
Victoria Square in Ancoats was built in 1894, and is the first “industrial suburb” in the world! Ancoats became a cradle of the Industrial Revolution and was a thriving industrial district before it suffered economic decline and became quite a horrible slum! You can still see bit and pieces of it’s historical past, but you’d have to hurry as Ancoats is being turned into a gentrified Quarter of horrible glass and steel!

4.  See the home of one of North England’s most famous writer
Once the home of famous novelist Elizabeth Gaskell, the building – Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is now open to the public, exhibiting her old kitchen, servant’s hall, a tea room, and beautiful recreated gardens.

5.  Learn about Manchester’s industrial past
The Museum of Science and Industry is one of my favourite museums and is based on the site of the oldest passenger railway station in the world! As you know, I really like museums but most importantly, it’s completely free of charge, so why shouldn’t you visit?

Walter Greenhalgh in Tudor costume at Ordsall Hall – Manchester

6.  Travel through time
Ordsall Hall is a fine example of Elizabethan architecture. Dating back to 1340, Ordsall Hall is one of Manchester’s oldest buildings and was built by the Radclyffes, an influential local family with close links to the monarchy! And certainly, when I was a young girl I never forgot the importance of Tudor and Stuart! Oh, and it doesn’t cost a penny!

7.  Explore Art!
The Manchester Art Gallery is an amazing gallery that houses a huge collection of paintings, craft and design, and early 20th Century British art. Entry is free!

8.  Imagine life during WWII
Be a modern day Doctor Who and wander through time via the original tunnels from the Stockport air raid shelters used during 1940 Wartime Britain. Opened in 1939, the shelters were the largest purpose-built civilian air raid shelters in the country, and provided shelter for up to 6,500 people!

9.  Visit one of England’s finest Grade II listed buildings
One of the finest pieces of architecture is the Manchester Central Library. With it’s original historic features, cutting-edge design, impressive Wolfson Reading Room, as well as a fascinating collection of reading material, as a young girl, it inspired in me a love of dusty books!

10.  Hail the Suffragettes!
The Pankhurst Centre was the home of Emmeline Pankhurst and her family, who led the Suffragette campaign for Votes for Women & the Women’s Social and Political Union. She was named as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century, and is a must visit for anyone interested in political history at the turn of the 20th century! It’s also free of charge!

Buying records in the Northern Quarter is a very good thing!

11.  Stay trendy and cool in the Northern Quarter
Similar to Berlin’s Kreuzberg, the Northern Quarter is one of the most popular places to head to. Situated between Piccadilly and Ancoats, the Northern Quarter retains a unique character and charm, and is Manchester’s urban creative, urban heart and home, to countless independent fashion designers and stores, record shops, cafés, bars, restaurants, street art, and other creative hubs! We spent a little bit of time hanging out here. Note that the Quarter also has the bohemian hippy air of Copenhagen’s Freetown of Christiania!

12.  Lose yourself in music
Since it opened in 1978, Piccadilly Records has become one of the world’s best independent record shops selling a wide variety of musical genres spanning from indie, disco, funk, house, psych and everything in between. If you can’t find what you’re looking for there, they’ll tell you where you can!

13.  Rip your jeans at the centre of Manchester’s punk scene!
Manchester was very much a prominent part of the punk scene in the 1970’s where the Buzzcocks, the post-punk band The Fall, and Joy Division used to play before they hit the big time! Occupying a grand old Victorian building is the pub where it all started – Band on the Wall – with a reputation for hosting respected artists from all over the world. Visit, if you want to reveal Manchester’s 20th century music scene!

14.  Take a stroll and do business
Situated in the heart of Manchester, Spinningfields is one of Europe’s most successful urban regeneration projects! It’s the leading regional business quarter in the UK and the centre of Manchester’s corporate community, over 165 world-class financial and commercial services organisations, luxury international fashion brands, restaurants and bars, and over 5.5 million tourists a year!

15.  Be dramatic. Do theatre!
Once the largest trading hall in England, the Royal Exchange Theatre is soaked in history and was a prominent target in the Manchester Blitz in 1940! Today, the Royal Exchange Theatre attracts the very best acting and writing talent to the seven-sided, glass-walled capsule, and is uniquely suspended in the middle of the historic Cotton Exchange, so that each and every seat, is less than nine metres from the circular stage. We went to see a play there and it was remarkable!

The Imperial War Museum (IWM) North – Manchester

16.  Experience the reality of war at the Imperial War Museum North
The Imperial War Museum North (IWM) at Salford Quays was initially established during the First World War! Housed in an iconic aluminium clad building, it represents a globe shattered by conflict and is the first museum in the UK to be designed by the internationally acclaimed architect Daniel Libeskind, and of course, is free of charge.

17.  Power to the People!
My second favourite museum in Manchester is the People’s History Museum. It’s a national museum that shows the way ordinary people used to live, as well as the history of labour and democracy, in the UK. It’s very interactive and hands on. We visited a few years’ ago, and The Tall Young Gentleman was amazed to see an 1800 telephone that had both a mouth piece and an ear piece. He was so astonished, he didn’t know how to use it!  Absolutely free of charge!

18.  See the oldest library in the world. Probably!
Chetham’s Library was founded in 1653 and is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world! It’s housed in a building from 1421, and it’s entire collection is deemed to be a national and international treasure!

19.  Visit Whitworth Park Gallery
The Whitworth is a gallery that I remember well as a young girl! It’s located in Whitworth Park, and is now a part of the University of Manchester and exhibits an extensive and eclectic collection of art and design, which is of international significance. It’s free of charge.

20.   Run away to the circus. No! Visit the theatre!
The Lowry represents a diverse programme of theatre, opera, musicals, dance, music, comedy and visual art, as well as events and activities to expand the horizons of audiences and artists alike. One of the most familiar childhood places that I remember is that of the Lowry Gallery. The Gallery presents paintings, sculpture and photography, as well as the exhibitions of one of Britain’s best loved artists – LS Lowry.

Party on in Manchester!

21.  Party on!
Housed in a venue built in 1878, The Deaf Institute, is a music hall ballroom with velvet curtains, a domed ceiling, a massive mirror ball, and parrots on the wall! It also hosts live gigs, comedy and club nights for big names in the early stage of their career, as well as craft beers served to rock ’n roll sound tracks!

22.  Listen to live classical music
As one of the BBC’s six performing groups, the BBC Philharmonic offers a wonderful opportunity to experience live classical music at its very best. The BBC Philharmonic gives many concerts, nearly all of which are broadcast on BBC Radio 3, it also appears at the annual BBC Proms. If you’re interested, you can apply for free tickets for concerts in the studio, or purchase tickets for the annual season at Bridgewater Hall.

23.  Experience musical talent at the Hallé
In my younger days, I used to play the clarinet and was a member not only a jazz-like Big Band, but also a symphony orchestra! And one of the places that I delighted in visiting was the Hallé. The Hallé is an 1857 English symphony orchestra that ranks among the UK’s top symphonic ensembles and supports youth choirs, children’s choirs, and youth orchestras, as well as releasing its recordings, on its own record label! It was a huge deal to perform there, and we did!

24.  Listen to music under the Arches! 
It can’t get any more authentic when you dive under the arches along the railway tracks. Gorilla is a mixture of film, comedy, live and club music space. It’s also a little gritty and is one of Manchester’s music haunts. And isn’t that what we all want!

25.  Get it in, at Manchester City FC!
Enjoy an exciting Manchester City Stadium and Club Tour and bask in the pride and heritage of Manchester and it’s very own football team – Manchester City!

Sculptures of football legends, at Manchester United

26.  Kick a ball for Manchester United
Travel to the home of the most successful football club in the world! Book yourself a Manchester United Museum & Stadium Tour, and enhance in the experience of a life-time as a premier league football player and a behind the scenes look at the most recognised football team in the world at Old Trafford!

27.  Be a Viking and throw an axe!
If you’re looking for something different, why not visit the Great Northern Warehouse where Whistle Punks will show you how to throw an axe. Jaaaaaa!

28.  Go to the clouds on the 23rd floor!
The highest point in Manchester is a unique venue on the 23rd floor! Cloud 23 at the Hilton has the most fabulous views of Manchester’s skyline as well as genteel afternoon tea, and elegant cocktails. Dress smartly. Note: Children under 18 are only allowed between 11:00 and 17:00.

29.  Sip gin at the City of Manchester Gin Experience
The City of Manchester Gin Experience is a purpose-built space with a cinema screen and private bar. Take your time and tour the distillery, explore the history, learn about the intriguing history of gin, as well as drinking it. And then top it off by creating your own personalised bottle of gin!

30.  Welcome to Chinatown!
Manchester, twinned with Wuhan in China, has the second largest Chinatown in Britain, and the third largest in Europe! Originally created in the 1970’s as a cultural hub for Chinese families in the north of England, Chinatown is now famed for its restaurants, grocery shops and bakeries, as well as Chinese New Year celebrations which attract thousands of visitors. In 1987, an impressive archway (a paifang) shipped from China – was built!

The original Bury Black Pudding – a breakfast delicacy of the North!

31.  Put your finger in a Bury Black Pudding!
Black Pudding traditionally served with hearty favourites like bacon and fried egg is the ultimate Lancashire delicacy and dates back to 1865! There is an English speciality called Bury Black Puddings! It’s a Bury institution and a must have, when having an English breakfast in the North of England! I’m not a fan myself, but why not give it a try at least once!

32.  Eat street food at a Farmers’ Market
Manchester has a huge number of local food and drink, produce, and Farmers’ Markets, so why not enjoy all that Manchester, and the North of England has to offer!

33.  Sing carols at the Manchester Christmas Market!
Step into winter with a dose of European / British  local food from the number of Christmas Markets scattered around the city. It won’t be traditionally German, but you’ll get food, drinks, wooden gifts, hand-made products and a good sprinkling of glühwein and sausages!

34.  Visit Manchester’s Edwardian Corn Exchange
Take a step back in time and immerse yourself in Manchester’s rich past via the Edwardian Corn Exchange. Bask in the Gothic Quarter and take your senses through the quaint medieval cobbled streets, away from the hustle and bustle of Manchester city centre.

35.  Sip coffee at Pot Kettle Black
Established in 1871, Manchester’s Barton Arcade is an  industrial vintage space that is home to a speciality coffee shop – Pot Kettle Black. We went there for a snack and a few drinks, but sadly, they stopped serving meals at 16:00, and the cakes they had on offer were either filled with nuts, or crammed with chocolate! A beer it is then!

Manchester craft beer – Chorlton Pale Ale –
©thebeerinreview.co.uk

36.  Enjoy craft beer
Manchester has a growing craft beer scene, with more than 80 breweries operating across Manchester! Try the beer, slap someone on the back, and buy a round for the locals!

37.  Laugh your head off!
Located along Deansgate Locks, the Comedy Store Manchester is right in the heart of a popular nightlife spot. Housing a spacious bar and canal-side restaurant as well as an auditorium, this hugely popular venue showcases some of the best comedic talent from around the world building on its impressive heritage from the original London venue, which helped launched the careers of French and Saunders, Jack Dee, Paul Merton, Julian Clary, and Eddie Izzard. We went to one of the performances, and it was pretty alright!

38.  Pub crawl through Deansgate Locks
The Deansgate Locks’ is home to not only the Comedy Store Manchester,  but also ten converted railway arches with six bars, a walkway, and a bridge hanging over a part of the Manchester canal beneath! Not far away is the real Deansgate and also the longest road in the city centre, one of the oldest thoroughfares ,and dating right back to Roman times! Can you imagine that just 30 years ago, many of the gentrified gastro-pubs used to be working men pubs, or packed with underaged kids either wearing tightly ripped jeans and second-hand leather jackets, or listening to the 70’s post-punk music of The Police, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Smiths, and The Cure, before the area beame a desolated mess! In fact, when I went back a few years ago, I was shocked at how gentrified Deansgate Locks had become!

39.  Drink at some of Manchester’s finest pubs and ale houses
You wouldn’t be in Manchester if you didn’t have a bevy of good old British pubs, serving real beers and traditional ales. Check out the Peveril of the Peak – one of Manchester’s most celebrated pubs – as the only ‘detached’ pub in Manchester city centre, and it’s distinguished two-tone green tiled exterior. It dates from the early 19th century and is said to be named after a stagecoach that ran from Manchester, across the Pennines. It’s an architectural gem, has original wooden benches, stained glass, etched mirrors and bells. Or perhaps The Briton’s Protection – a historic, grade II listed pub dating back from 1806! As well as serving real ale, it is known for offering a wide range of over 200 whiskies. A real British find!

40.  Be fabulous and glow, at Manchester’s Gay Village
Located just south of Chinatown, along and around Canal Street, the Manchester Gay Village is both a place to party, and a piece of the people’s history. Like New York, London, and Berlin, Manchester is one of the world’s leading gay-friendly cities, so whether you’re part of the LGBT community or just a supporter of the cause, head out to Canal Street and paaarty!

Head to Manchester University!

41.  Head to university!
Manchester is a university town and has over 99,000 students across four universities namely the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Salford and the University of Bolton. It’s also home to the University Campus Oldham and the Royal Northern College of Music. Like London and Berlin, Manchester has one of the largest student populations in the UK, and therefore, one of the largest entertainment and nightlife available and very cheap beers!

42.  Shop ’til you drop
Manchester Arndale, otherwise known as the Arndale Centre, or the Arndale, is one of the largest shopping centres in the UK, and receives up to 41 million visitors every year! The Arndale was built in the 1970’s but was redeveloped after the 1996 Manchester IRA bombing, making it Europe’s third largest city-centre shopping mall! It’s so worth a visit!

43.  Hop on the train
The best way to explore the North England region is by train! Northerners have a soft spot for heritage trains which can’t really be used for travel, but are a picturesque reminder of how we used to live! One of such, is the East Lancashire Railway. With a history stretching back to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the East Lancashire Railway is the steam-powered heart of the Irwell Valley, pumping goods and people around the region for nearly 200 years!

44.  Be a Children’s BBC (CBBC) presenter for a day
The CBBC, otherwise known as Children’s BBC, is the British children’s television strand owned by the BBC and aimed for older children aged from 6 to 12. BBC programming aimed at the under 6-year-old child is broadcast on the CBeebies channel. If you have young children, let them go behind the scenes, join one of the interactive tours, and discover how it feels to be a TV presenter. The CBBC tour lasts about 1.5 hours and is suitable for ages 6 to 11! Note: You can only watch the CBBC videos and games online, if you’re actually in the UK!

45.  Visit a farm!
Set on 70 acres of rolling countryside, the Smithills Open Farm is a family run business, where children can meet and learn about a mixed bag of animals such as goats, cows, pigs and sheep, as well as reptiles, and more unusual species like Burmese pythons. Most animals can also be fed and held!

Hats off!

46.  Hats off!
Hat Works is Stockport’s hat museum! It’s an attraction with two floors of interactive exhibits, taking you on a journey through the history of Stockport’s once thriving hatting industry. At Hat Works, visitors can step back in time and experience the world of hatting from its humble beginnings in the cottage industry, to the mass production of the early 19th century when hat manufacturing was a thriving industry, with over 100 hat factories and businesses in the area. You can even try on a huge collection of hats, or try your hand at making your own! Utterly free of charge!

47.  Go rambling through the country
Manchester isn’t just city centred, but encompasses rural environments too. The Dovestone Reservoir lies at the convergence of the valleys of the Greenfield and Chew Brooks, above the village of Greenfield, on Saddleworth Moor. The reservoir is on the edge of Oldham and the Peak District National Park in the South Pennines, offering several walks amongst picturesque landscapes. The reservoir has its own sailing club, a permanent orienteering course, an extensive network of footpaths, and good links to areas of open access moorland. If you’re looking to ramble in the countryside, go sailing, cycling, orienteering, or horse-riding, then this is the place to do it!

48.  Sail across the oldest man-made canal in the world!
Pack up your troubles nd put it on a barge by river cruising along the historic Bridgewater Canal opened in 1761! The canal flows through Dunham Massey, Sale, Stretford, Barton-upon-Irwell, Old Trafford, Boothstown, Worsley Village, and beyond. Relax in the gentle sounds of Manchester’s most historic waterways, or use Manchester Water Taxis, or a Waxi, to travel around!

49.  Travel for free with the hop-on, hop off bus!
Within the Manchester city centre, you can travel for free! Yes, for free! The Metroshuttle is a free of charge ‘hop on, hop off’ service, linking all of the main rail stations, car parks, shopping districts and business areas. There are three services which operate on circular routes and operate in Manchester city centre (routes 1, 2 and 3), Bolton and Stockport. When in “town”, we also used the metroshuttle, and it’s very efficient. Just look for the bus stop signs dotted around the city centre. Free of charge!

50.  Pop into Greggs for a meatpie
Greggs is the largest bakery chain in the United Kingdom! It specialises in savoury products such as pasties, sausage rolls, sandwiches, vanilla slices, and cream finger doughnuts! The first Greggs was opened in 1951 and is generally considered to be primarily based in the North of England. Prices are low and quality is really good for a quick snack. To be candid, you’re not in Manchester if you don’t pop into Greggs for a cheese pasty or a sausage roll!

That’s it for now!

Book your hotel here!

51 REASONS TO VISIT MANCHESTER. AND MORE!

The beautiful Edwardian Corn Exchange – Manchester.

This article isn’t sponsored, and even though I thoroughly enjoyed myself in my original home town, and some of the ideas are inspired by Visit Manchester, absolutely all opinions, and the great times I had in my childhood, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

In the Autumn, I’ll be visiting the UK and travelling around Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire!

Yippee!

November is going to be exciting!

The Music Producer at Piccadilly Gardens – The Northern Quarter – Manchester

Watch this space!

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51 reasons to visit Manchester. And more!
51 reasons to visit Manchester. And more!

Have you ever been to Manchester? Do you like black pudding? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

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