With the Jubilee and the Olympics taking place mostly within the South of England this summer, maybe it is time that just a little more attention was paid to the North of England. The North 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 this July, here are a few fun things to do in the North of England (in no particular order)…
The 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.
York Minster, York
Home to one of the most historical buildings not only in the North of England, but also in the entirety of the United Kingdom, York is truly a 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
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.
The National Coal Mining Museum, Wakefield
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.
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.
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.
Keswick Adventure Centre, Keswick, Lake District
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.
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.
The Deep, Hull
Being the world’s only ‘submarium’, The Deep was commissioned by the National Lottery as part of its Millennium Commission Project. With its largest tank holding a volume of 2,500,000 litres, it is home to thousands of sea creatures and includes seven individual species of shark. Discount prices are available online as a full adult will expect to pay £10.50 on the door – A small price to pay for the most successful millennium project in the United Kingdom.
Tate Liverpool, 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.