Once you’ve discovered the legacy of The Beatles in their hometown, cruised along the famous Mersey River and got your culture fix at the city’s top museums and galleries, Liverpool’s excellent transport links make it easy to explore further afield. Whether you want a day at the beach or a hike in the hills, there are plenty of great day trips from Liverpool – here are a few ideas.
Pop-up bars and restaurants have been springing up all around the UK in the last few years, with everything from quirky theme bars in unique locations to gourmet eateries adding a new dimension to British cuisine. Lasting anything from a single day to several months, some of the pop-ups have become so popular they’ve become regular events or even taken to touring around England, and Manchester has wasted no time jumping on board with the new trend.
Famed around the world for its historic breweries and thriving pub culture, beer lovers won’t have to go far to get a pint in England, but the British Isles are also renowned for their production of quality ales, many of which date back to medieval times. With temperatures plummeting and Mancunians huddling indoors, winter ales – stronger, richer brews designed for their warming effect – quickly become the drink of choice for locals and there’s no better place to sample England’s best than at the National Winter Ales Festival.
With Santa’s grottos popping up around town, storefronts adorned with fairy lights and the scent of roasting chestnuts filling the air, Christmas in Manchester is the most atmospheric time of year to visit. The holiday season kicks off on November 8th with the city’s legendary Christmas Lights switch-on – a task typically undertaken by a celebrity guest and accompanied by live musical acts and a dazzling fireworks display in the central Albert Square.
Tucked away in the limestone gorge of Winnats Pass, the Blue John Caves are one of the highlights of England’s idyllic Peak District National Park and a popular day trip from nearby Manchester. Renowned as some of the finest natural caves in Western Europe, the caves are most famous for the semi-precious mineral ‘Blue John’ from which they take their name.
Whether you’re seeking the perfect Biryani or a cheap takeaway curry, Manchester’s famous Curry Mile has it all. Located along a mile-long stretch of Wilmslow Road in the Rusholme district of Manchester, the Curry Mile is crammed with ethnic cuisine from fine curry houses to kebab shops, and even a number of Asian food stores and supermarkets.
As the sun sets over Manchester’s Salford Quays, the illuminated glass façade of the Lowry transforms into a prism of multicolored lights, casting an eerie blue glow over the canals. The futuristic glass and metallic building is one of Manchester’s flagship designs – a beacon of modernity, erected in celebration of the Millennium. The ingenious creation of acclaimed architect Michael Wilford, Manchester’s most stylish building was fashioned to a space-age maritime theme, fronted by a ship-like steel and glass structure and dotted with porthole windows and gangway like walkways.
Whether you’re straight, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, or simply looking for an excuse to celebrate, few events are as vibrant as the annual Manchester Pride Festival. Much more than just a street party, Manchester Gay Pride is a mammoth 10-day event, including the famous ‘Gay Village’, which takes over Canal Street for the duration of the festival.
England might be more famous for its legendary rock and pop festivals like Glastonbury or Reading Festival, but for fans of classic and contemporary jazz, the Manchester Jazz Festival is the hottest ticket of the summer.
Inaugurated in 1996, the Manchester Jazz Festival was initially held in the form of a one-day showcase, but proved so popular it was soon transformed into a 9-day event. Today, the festival presents around 80 live concerts and music workshops, held around many of the city’s top music venues and drawing in crowds of over 35,000.
With the eco-travel boom shifting the focus to slow travel and new-age travelers realizing that the journey really is as important as the destination, it’s no wonder that England’s canal cruises have had a comeback of late. Whether you’re looking for a romantic cruise for two or a tranquil getaway with the family, few journeys are as unique as drifting downstream on a narrowboat and enjoying an ever-changing backdrop of waterfront villages, forested riverbanks and historic locks.