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On the road from Manchester
Manchester isn’t just one of the UK’s biggest and most vibrant cities: it’s also a gateway to the north, and all that this beautiful part of the country offers. From the mountains of Snowdonia National Park to the stunning landscapes of the Lake District, you’re within easy driving distance of picture-perfect natural retreats. But if it’s urban energy you crave, lively cities like Liverpool and Leeds are also only a hop, skip, and a jump away. On your next getaway up north, be sure to complement your Mancunian adventures with a side-trip out of town.
Snowdonia National Park
Across the Welsh border — and just over two hours from Manchester — is Snowdonia National Park: one of the most superb areas of natural beauty in the whole of the United Kingdom. Go trekking on wildly beautiful mountain trails, drink in coastal views, see the spectacular Swallow Falls and, once you’ve gotten your fill of fresh air, hunker down in the region’s beautifully rustic cabins and eco retreats.
The Peak District
The Peak District National Park, located just east of Manchester, has plenty to recommend it. For starters, there are the scenic slopes for which it’s named, as well as wild moorlands and beautiful rivers. With such an abundance of natural beauty, it’s no wonder the Peak District has appeared in a number of television shows and films — including Pride and Prejudice, The Duchess, and The Other Boleyn Girl.
The Lake District
One of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK — upwards of 15 million visitors head here each year — the gorgeous Lake District is, as its name suggests, famous for its many lakes. Also home to Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England, it’s the perfect place to go on a hiking trip, sailing outing, or other outdoorsy adventure.
Looking to experience another side of life up north? It’s only an hour’s journey to Liverpool, which, like Manchester, has shed its gritty, industrial past in favour of a vibrant and thriving present. Head to the revitalised Albert Dock, visit The Beatles Story to learn more about the local legends, and explore cultural landmarks like the Walker Art Gallery.
Few other British cities can rival Leeds when it comes to hosting a good pub crawl. Local breweries like Northern Monk, pubs like the North Bar, and beer-centric restaurants like Bundobust all cater to craft beer enthusiasts. But even if sampling the city’s brews isn’t on the top of your agenda, there’s plenty to do in this Yorkshire city, from browsing shops in the historic arcades to catching some live music or visiting the scenic ruins of Kirkstall Abbey.