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Harrogate is also known as "The English Spa." For centuries, visitors have flocked to the mineral hot springs. Today, those springs still soothe the body while the placid RHS Harlow Carr Gardens and Yorkshire Dales national park stimulate the soul. Tea rooms, architecture, and art galleries are the main pastimes in this pleasant town. With four rail stations for easy transport, travellers can board trains running between Harrogate and York, Leeds, Knaresborough, and London.
Just two hours north of London by rail, the city of York holds 1900 years' worth of history in its ancient walls. The Romans built the city in 71 AD, and the Vikings captured it in 866 AD. Stop by the Yorkshire Museum and Gardens for a look at what the Roman and Vikings left behind (they must have packed light when they left). From there, move on to the York Castle Museum for a not-so-quick overview of the most recent 400 years.
With world-class trails, bouldering in the park and more, Sheffield is known as The Outdoor City — but the adventure doesn’t end when you’ve finished exploring its climbs and rides. With brilliant street food markets, independent microbreweries, a vibrant arts and events scene, and plenty of live music, it has everything travellers need to turn an exhilarating day in the sun into a legendary night out.
Famed for its football team and music scene, which has produced the likes of The Smiths and Oasis, this centre for sports and the arts is a down-to-earth and friendly city. The so-called Capital of the North has overcome industrial decline, bombing (in WWII and by the IRA) to become a confident and cosmopolitan city of well over two million. It is well served by a bus and light rail network. Top attractions include the Lowry art complex, arcade Affleck's Palace and Canal Street gay village.
As one of England’s most haunted cities, Derby is awash with ghost-hunting opportunities. The city’s historic cathedral quarter serves as the gateway to the Peak District National Park, where rolling hills, babbling brooks, and traditional country pubs are reminiscent of a Romantic painting.
This town in the very center of England is perhaps best known for its association with the legend of Robin Hood. The men in tights are long gone, though—today, you’ll find a modern city with a fantastic playhouse, ice hockey arena, and many, many shops and clubs.
The UK’s favourite holiday resort continues to attract millions of visitors. Families and couples, young and old, Blackpool’s unique appeal is that it appeals to everyone. Whether you’re looking for thrills and excitement, family entertainment and historic gems or beautiful gardens and stunning beaches, Blackpool has it all. Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Sandcastle Waterpark, Blackpool Zoo, the Blackpool Tower, the Illuminations and a packed year-round events calendar all add to the charms of this seaside spot.
Liverpool's fortunes have historically been tied to shipping. But imports and exports like sugar, spice and tobacco pale in comparison with Liverpool's most famous export of all — The Beatles. Relive the hysteria at The Beatles Story Experience, and check out Paul's childhood home, but also leave time for exploring Liverpool Cathedral and the Walker Art Gallery.
<p>Chester is a picturesque town on the river Dee in Cheshire, in the North West of England, not too far from Liverpool. Chester has a wide range of activities available to visitors, from simply walking round the compact city centre and shopping to visiting the very visible Roman ruins which are dotted through the town. Particularly impressive is the Roman amphitheatre next to Grosvenor Park, and you can also see a reconstructed hypocaust (Roman underfloor heating, more interesting than it sounds) in the Roman Gardens - and another one in the basement of a Spud U Like restaurant! Chester Racecourse is nearby for the family's gamblers and horse fans, and the more active-minded can try their hand at boating on the River Dee. Chester Cathedral is also well worth a visit, as is Chester Zoo (which might be more to the tastes of the younger members of the family). There are also many brilliant restaurants in Chester, but also a large number of traditional English pubs, many of which serve reasonably priced hot food for meals out. </p>
The geographical heart of England, Birmingham began life as a sixth- century Anglo-Saxon village. Today, much of this city of over a million dates back to post-WWII redevelopment in the 1950s and 60s. Cutting edge museums and galleries, innovative theatres and excellent shopping have contributed to Birmingham's appeal as a weekend break destination. Don't miss the Balti Triangle, home to the Pakistani food in the UK, the hopping bars and cafes of Gas Street Basin, or the National Sea Life Centre.
In the "city of dreaming spires", academia takes centre stage. Gaze out at Oxford's world-famous colleges from the top of St Mary's Church tower before heading into the city's pedestrian-friendly streets. The University's Botanic Garden and Ashmolean Museum are Britain's oldest. Follow your nose to the Covered Market for the makings of a picnic to enjoy on a punt or in the University Parks. Mix the historic and modern with visits to the 12th- century village church of Iffley and trendy Cowley's ethnic shops and music venues.
Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital city, renowned for its heritage, culture and festivals.
Take a long walk around the centre to explore the World Heritage Sites of the Old Town and New Town, as well as all the area’s museums and galleries. Then stop for a delicious meal made from fresh Scottish produce before heading out to take in one of Edinburgh’s many events — including the famous summer festivals of culture, or the Winter Festivals of music, light and ceilidhs.
From Shoreditch’s swaggering style to Camden’s punky vibe and chic Portobello Road, London is many worlds in one. The city’s energy means that no two days are the same. Explore royal or historic sites, tick off landmarks from your bucket list, eat and drink in exclusive Michelin-starred restaurants, enjoy a pint in a traditional pub, or get lost down winding cobbled streets and see what you stumble across – when it comes to London, the possibilities are endless.
Known for its restorative wonders, Bath was once the home of Jane Austen. Sure, you could attempt to conjure up this elegant city by reading Pride and Prejudice in your tub, but as Bath has a lot more history than your bathroom (we assume, anyway) you'd be missing out. A stroll through Bath is like visiting an open-air museum, with roughly 5,000 buildings in the city drawing notice for their architectural merit. After your stroll, soak in the natural hot waters of the Thermae Bath Spa, once a favourite of the Celts and Romans.
As Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow is famed for its culture, shopping and people. Spend your day exploring a wide range of fascinating free museums and galleries, enjoying the UK’s best shopping outside of London, and taking advantage of tips from friendly local people on the city’s hidden gems — then choose from 130+ weekly musical events for a special night out. Glasgow is also the perfect base for exploring more of Scotland, with great connections to the Highlands and the islands.