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VOL. 131 | NO. 55 | Thursday, March 17, 2016


Lance Wiedower

Road Trip Across Northern England

LANCE WIEDOWER | Special to The Daily News

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American families considering travel to Europe often think of London, Paris and Rome.

But for those travelers wanting to get a real feel of a country and its people, immerse themselves in history, and discover the natural beauty and literary heritage of a nation, Northern England provides ample opportunities.

For many Americans, Great Britain means London, Shakespeare and castles. It’s hard to argue with that assessment, but there is more to explore, and Northern England is a region rich in cultural experiences.

A Northern England road trip could start in London, but if possible, fly directly into Manchester and spend a few days or a couple of weeks exploring these highlights in the beautiful countryside.

Squelch the urge to check into a hotel for a nap when you arrive in Manchester and instead hire a car for a drive just north of the city to Blackpool to experience a quintessential British holiday at the sea. Blackpool might best be described to Americans as a mix of Las Vegas, Coney Island and the Jersey Shore. Enjoy its six-mile promenade with amusement rides, fish-and-chip shops and arcades.

One day is enough there before driving north to the Lake District, a national park in northwest England known for glacial ribbon lakes, rugged mountains and a number of literary landmarks. Spend a couple of days exploring the South and North Lake Districts with an abundance of hiking and outdoors adventures. For the literary fans, William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter are celebrated in the South Lake District.

For travelers who appreciate history, drive north to Carlisle and follow Hadrian’s Wall east. This was the northern boundary of the Roman Empire, and much of the wall remains with a number of castles and posts to explore this nearly 2,000-year-old monument.

Stay a night in Newcastle and explore the nearby UNESCO World Heritage sites of Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle.

When you’re ready to depart Durham, head south through the western reaches of North York Moors National Park on your way to York, the region’s ultimate destination for history, architecture and shopping.

York is known for the massive Gothic church, York Minster, and the historic district it sits in. Much of this large district’s streets are zoned for pedestrians only during the day, and there are a number of attractions to fill a couple of days.

If time allows – and if you enjoy English literature – make a detour to Haworth, a tiny village filled with its own special charm. A visit to Haworth is a must for anyone who is a fan of the Bronte sisters, authors of classics such as “Wuthering Heights,” “Jane Eyre” and “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.” Their works are set in this beautiful countryside.

Back in Manchester, fans of the game England created will enjoy a visit to the National Football Museum. Of course if the Premier League is in season, a stop at Old Trafford for a Manchester United game is a must.

Contact Lance Wiedower at tripsbylance.com.

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