Other Parts of the North for You to Visit
Now that I have parcelled visitor information for Cheshire, Cumbria, Northumberland and Yorkshire into their own pages, here's where you'll find equivalents for other parts of the north of England. Unlike Scotland or Wales, English visitor information seems to be found at the county level, an ever changing set-up with the seeming contempt that U.K. appears to have for local democracy.
Even with all the changes to local authorities that have happened during the last forty years, counties retain a certain visibility and the Cheshire brand seems to have outlasted its county council and the Yorkshire identity seems to have the same element of permanence about it. It helps that people retain a sense of local identity despite the ephemeral nature of local authorities and their area boundaries. There's also a lot of talk of localism at the moment and it also may be that communities are taking control of matters when it comes to attracting visitors so local identities retain even more of a chance of surviving organisational upheavals.
All of the places included here can be reached on day trips away from my home in Cheshire though travel time eats in the available more as I need to go further away. They also happen to be areas that haven't seen that much of me either, Maybe it just goes to show that you cannot get everywhere and that's a very good thing.
Finding Things to See in County Durham
The official visitor website for the county of Durham unusually does feature the word "visit" in its title. The are may not be among the more visible ports of call for outsiders but the city seems to warrant more attention than the glimpses that I have been allotting it from passing trains. Then, there is its portion of the North Pennines and that's not all. Maybe, I need to return to Teesdale after a solitary visit a few years back...
County Durham has its dales too and Weardale is but one of them. Once upon a time, it was a very industrialised place and that's why Killhope has a mining museum at its heart. Reassuringly for some, the signs of that mining activity have receded with more natural appearances have taken over since it ceased. It's the countryside that's the main attraction now in this part of the North Pennines and there are museums and heritage railways to savour too.
This part of the world has seen me only the once already and it looks as if more visits as deserved. The Pennine Way passes this way for one thing and the Teesdale is another walking option. The surrounding countryside is alluring too with the waterfalls of Low Force and High Force being well known for good reason. Pleasant spots like Barnard Castle and Middleton-in-Teesdale could make for good bases for exploring the area too.
Finding Things to See Around Greater Manchester
The county of Greater Manchester has only been in place since 1974 but the growth of what initially was a village to become a city commenced several hundred years ago. The cause was the industrial revolution so there's a bit history here. After all, there's the Museum of Science and Industry, located where the world's first railway station stood for services between Manchester and Liverpool, and the Imperial War Museum North among many others. To my mind, the area's visitor website is odd in its execution and I am left wondering if something more conventional might be better, especially when it comes to discovering what there is to be seen and experienced around Manchester. After all, there seems to be plenty of industrial heritage to explore.
The formerly Cheshire town of Stockport may not strike anyone as having anything to detain the passing visitor apart from its shops but there's more to the place than that. After all, there is an old heart to the place whose character you'd wish was more pervasive throughout the town. The Hat Museum reflects some of the industrialisation that usurped the older feel to be found around the town's main parish church and its markets. The latter offers an escape from the relative tyranny of red-brick buildings that is much needed.
Finding Things to See Around Lancashire
If Blackpool were the only destination of note in Lancashire, then I wouldn't be bothering with it; well, seasides aren't really my cup of tea, to be honest. However, there's countryside like the Forest of Bowland and the Lune valley to draw my like and being blinded by parts further north has always had me passing through the county. Stopping off for a little while sounds in order then.
The city is Lancaster, the coast is that around Morecombe and the Lune valley is the countryside. What's hard to believe is that all this is governed by Lancaster City Council, a misnamed local authority if ever there was one. After all, all that stretches from the Irish Sea to the county boundaries with North Yorkshire and Cumbria. That this part of the world doesn't strik me as an obvious visitor destination makes me think that it's a good place to frequent if you want to escape the madding crowds.
A hell of a lot of villages in Lancashire have websites as the list on this website will reveal. As a way of getting to know these places, a good number of which are located in hill country, it looks a good place to start. In many of them, there is information both for the locals and for the visitor. In a way, that lets you get under the skin of a place and that's never a bad thing.
Finding Things to See Around Merseyside
Along with the Wirral below, all of these areas are bundled together under the "Liverpool City" Region banner. Liverpool itself needs hardly any introduction and Soutport is a more upmarket counterpart to Blackpool further north along the Lancashire coast. Then, St. Helens plays host to the Haydock Park horse-racing course. Lastly Halton is a borough straddling the River Mersey that takes in parts of areas once included in Cheshire and Lancashire with Runcorn coming from the former.
Though now part of Merseyside, this once was part of Cheshire and was the "spout" of the former county's teapot-shaped profile. Apart from the likes of Birkenhead, there's countryside and coastline to explore here with birdwatching being something of an attractive. The website tells more.