North West covers the region spanning north and west from the Peak District. It includes the long northern coastline which stretches from Liverpool up to the windswept bleakness of Northumbria and Carlisle, which lies close to the Scottish border.
Landscape of the North West is perfect for those who enjoy the great outdoors. The far north is dominated by the rugged mountain scenery of the Lake District with its towering fells and picturesque villages, such as Penrith, Patterdale, Grasmere and Grange-over-Sands.
To the south and west, arable flatlands stretch for miles, flanked by desert dunes and the flat golden beaches of Morecambe and Southport, the vibrant seaside resort of Blackpool and its more sedate, yet no less appealing neighbour Lytham St Annes.
To the east, the fells and moorlands of the Pennines, often referred to as ‘the backbone of England’, stretch for 250 miles from the Scottish border and through the stunning Yorkshire Dales down to the Peak District.
History of this region is as diverse as its landscape. The 73 miles of Hadrian’s Wall, which begins at Carlisle and stretches eastwards as far as Newcastle, mean that the wall is still, even after almost 2000 years, the largest piece of military engineering anywhere in Europe.
The north west is rich with industrial heritage and towns such as Bolton, birthplace of soap manufacturer Lord Levershulme and Warrington, home to several famous names in the brewing industry, are reminders of the county’s role in the industrial revolution.
The Isle of Man, which lies approximately 50 miles off the west coast, boasts the world’s oldest Parliament, ‘Tynwald’, which was started by the Vikings around the 8th century.
Towns and Cities
Liverpool Tourist Information Tel:0151 907 1057
The former European Capital of Culture and UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts an excellent range of shops, restaurants, galleries and museums and an impressive redeveloped waterfront.
Manchester is a vibrant and entertaining city with fantastic shopping, superb museums and a nightlife to rival that of the world’s major cities.www.visitmanchester.com
Lancaster Tourist Information Tel:01524 32878
The historic gateway to the Lake District boasts a fascinating Roman and medieval past and offers high quality shopping.
Chester Tourist Information Tel:01244 555002
Beloved of the Romans and Samuel Johnson, Chester is the historic county town of Cheshire. One of the many highlights of the city are the ‘Rows’ of double decked Tudor style shops which are unique to Chester.
Pick of the Attractions
Blackpool Tower Tel:01253 622242
Attractions include the ballroom with its mighty Wurlitzer organ, the Tower Circus and several bars and restaurants.
Birdoswald Roman Fort Tel:01697 747602
Set on a high spur with panoramic views over Hadrian’s Wall, the centre stages battle re-enactments and displays a number of fascinating Roman artefacts.
Follow the most amazing piece of Roman engineering in Europe to the northernmost point of the Roman Empire.
Snaefell Mountain Railway
Travel through 65 miles of beautiful scenery aboard the Victorian trains and trams.
Chester Zoo Tel:01244 380280
One of the finest zoological gardens in the country is home to hundreds of species, many of them endangered.
Holker Hall and Gardens Tel:01539 558328
The family home of Lord and Lady Cavendish is set in award-winning gardens surrounded by 125 acres of deer park.
Carlisle Castle Tel:01228 591922
An imposing and formidable fortress, Carlisle castle’s history covers over 900 years of conflict, seiges and turbulence.
Port Sunlight Tel:0151 644 6466
This is a beautiful garden village, created by William Hesketh Lever for his Sunlight soap factory workers in 1888. The museum tells the story of the founding of the village and how living and working here was in its heyday. The Lady Lever Art Gallery contains the best of Lever’s personal collection, including paintings, tapestries and classical antiques. The village also has its own theatre, church and tea rooms.