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Top 12 best places to visit in Northern England

Sometimes overlooked as a travel destination, the North of England is filled with some extraordinary scenery, architecture and attractions and is an area definitely worth exploring. It also has the added bonus of being less expensive (and dare we say friendlier!). So, if you find yourself wanting to escape the crowds in London, here is our Top 12 of the best places to visit in Northern England…

York Minster, York – one of the most stunning attractions to explore in North England

York minster - places to visit in northern england

This is easily one of the best (and most beautiful places to visit in Northern England). York is home to one of the most historical buildings not only in the North of England, but also in the entirety of the United Kingdom, the city which belongs more to the past than it does to the present day. With the Minster taking root from its original wooden structure reputably from 627, the modern Minster as it stands today, is dated from around 1080, just fourteen years after the invasion of William the Conqueror. With adult prices being at a £14 standard, it is important to take your time, learn and truly appreciate the wonders of gothic medieval architecture which is in fact, the largest example in Northern Europe.

The Beatles Story, Liverpool – a musical mecca

Beatles Story Liverpool

One of the most popular museums within the City of Culture, the Liverpool based museum offers a fascinating insight into the greatest and most successful bands in the history of music. Brimming with interactivity, insight, guitars and a pair of round sunglasses, the museum is quite simply a tribute to a band that lasted only a decade, but in fact managed to sell more than a billion records.

Whitby, Yorkshire – one of the most popular places to stay in Northern England

Whitby seaside town Yorkshire

The ever-popular seaside resort town offers a potent mix of charming coastal scenery, fresh salty air and a good handful of alternative subculture. Also known as where goths gather (probably because Whitby Abbey was Bram Stoker’s inspiration for “Dracula”) this is a seaside like no other. It’s located in Yorkshire, is split by the River Esk. Also check out the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, in the house where Cook once lived and the photogenic west part of town which is home to West Cliff Beach, lined with colourful beach huts.

Theatre Royal, Newcastle

Theatre Royal, Newcastle

Having being opened since 1837, Newcastle’s Theatre Royal is one of the grandest and significant buildings in the North East. Officially a Grade I listed building, it has had recently a large sum spent on it in order to improve it to the highest standards of comfort, as well as bettering energy and carbon saving efficiency. Currently celebrating its 175th birthday, the theatre is this year showcasing some of the best international acts and has been claimed as ‘Newcastle’s Cultural Temple’ by the BBC.

Yorkshire Dales National Park – one of the most beautiful places to visit in the north

Yorkshire Moors

The beautiful jewel in the crown of Northern England, The Yorkshire Dales National Park is easily one of the best places to visit in northern England. It covers thousands of miles of absolutely stunning moors, lush valleys, rolling hills and traditional villages. Must-see highlights include the River Wharfe, Bolton Abbey Estate includes the ruins of a 12th-century monastery, the pretty Malham Village which features a towering cliff, and a limestone ravine with waterfalls.

The Royal Armouries, Leeds

Royal Armouries Leeds


Opened to the tune of £42.5 million back in 1996, the Royal Armouries is quite simply one of the best museums in the whole of England and is especially enticing if you regard yourself as a bit of a history buff. One of the most important and recognised exhibits is the Peace – Farewell to Arms? It’s an exhibit which ponders the end of all wars and a world without weaponry – imagine, it’s easy if you try. It’s a free museum located just outside of Leeds so it may be a good idea to try out a local hotel, apartment or B&B and really make a weekend out of your city trip.

Keswick Adventure Centre, Keswick, Lake District

Keswick Adventure Centre

Looking towards more of the natural side of things, in the heart of some of the most beautiful scenery in the United Kingdom, the Keswick Adventure Centre offers some of the most exciting activities in the wildest of places; from climbing, abseiling, and canoeing to rafting, ghyll scrambling and ww tubing, there isn’t much that the centre doesn’t offer. If you’re looking for a birthday present with a difference, gift vouchers are available from the site and are valid for 12 months.

Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester

Museum of Science & Industry Manchester

One of the largest museums in the North of England, the Museum of Science & Industry is devoted to exciting exhibits of transport, power, textiles and computing. A brilliant place for a family visit, the museum offers steam rides on weekends and bank holidays along with a 4D theatre and an upcoming Transport Festival which takes place between the 4th and 12th of August. Like the Royal Armouries and National Coal Mining Museum, admission is totally free.

Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

Crucible Theatre Sheffield

Built in 1971, the Crucible Theatre is the most important venue in the world of snooker with it annually playing host to the World Snooker Championship. Built to replace the Playhouse Repertory theatre, the Crucible Theatre is indeed one of the most iconic buildings in Sheffield and hosts many theatre productions along with other sports including table tennis and squash.

Tate Liverpool, Liverpool

Tate Modern Liverpool

Until 2003, the Tate Liverpool art gallery was in actuality the largest gallery of art outside of London in the United Kingdom. Officially the 24th most visited attraction in Britain, the gallery regularly hosts a series of live events as well as differing seasonal exhibits.

The National Coal Mining Museum, Wakefield

National Coal Mining Museum on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Another museum that is totally free entry, the National Coal Mining Museum, found just within the borders of Wakefield, is one of the most interactive museums in the whole of England; if only for the fact that it offers the opportunity to travel hundreds of feet below the ground to a real mine. Packed with information of one of the most important industries in Britain’s History, the museum is a treat for just about anyone.

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Scott started his travelling life back in 1999, when he headed off on a solo jaunt to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia with just a backpack, a camera and a spirit for adventure. After that, the travel bug bit hard and now he is always seeking to head off somewhere new. Over the years he has lived in Italy, Qatar, Ireland and the UK but his spiritual home will always be Rome as this is the city which most satisfies his unrelenting craving for culture, good food and football. Scott loves nothing better than to be behind the camera and has also just started his own blog called Bars and Spas. As well as Rome he also counts Melbourne and Tel Aviv among his favourite places and now permanently resides in Dublin. Follow Scott on Google+ and Twitter

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