North West England

Places to visit and things of interest in North West England.  To many visitors, North West England means the Lake District; to others it is the home of the Beatles.  Including the counties of Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside, North West England is a hugely diverse region of Britain.  It has lively urban areas like Liverpool and Manchester, shaped by Georgian and Victorian trade and industry; attractive market towns; large country estates; ruined castles; a heritage influenced by Roman, Norse and Norman invaders (as well as border warfare); countryside ranging from lush farmland to fells, lakes and mountains and a varied, often unexpectedly beautiful, coastline that includes both brash resorts and barely visited backwaters.

The Vampire of Dent (and other stories)

Dent, Cumbria

You’ll find the small village of Dent, sometimes known locally as Dent Town, on the western edge of the Yorkshire Dales.  This was once part of Yorkshire’s West Riding but is now inside the county of Cumbria.  The narrow roads through achingly beautiful Dentdale seem never-ending; it’s almost a relief to arrive amongst Dent’s old …

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The sweetest spot that fancy can imagine

Levens Park, Cumbria

This was the opinion of Thomas West (1720-1779) when referring, not to a lady of his acquaintance, but to Levens Park, in Cumbria. The quote appeared in West’s ‘Guide to the Lakes’, allegedly, the first tourist guide to England’s Lake District, published in 1778. Levens is in the south of the county, just outside the …

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When Cyn and John got it together

Ye Cracke, Rice Street, Liverpool

They seemed an unlikely pair.  That wise-cracking, aggressive, scruffy teddy-boy Lennon was a world away from the demure, composed, Cynthia Powell who came from Hoylake ‘over the water’ on the Wirral, and who spoke posh. It started in the lettering class at Liverpool College of Art.  John Lennon’s speciality was cartoons – often cruel caricatures …

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A different garden centre

La Casa Verde, Larch Cottage

We Brits appear to be obsessed with plant nurseries, or, more accurately, ‘garden centres’.  Garden centres are essentially department stores with a section, somewhere, that sells plants.  They will flog you anything from greetings cards to kitchenware, jewellery to twee ornaments (tree ornaments too), with clothing from Barbour and Burberry.  The earthy-chemical tang of fertilisers …

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Britain’s National Parks

Lake District National Park

We all know what a national park is.  Although definitions vary, they are usually rural areas of natural (or naturalised) beauty designated as ‘special’ in some way by their national governments.  Normally, the environment within a national park, including its flora and fauna, are protected and there are particular rules about what you can, and …

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A bit about North West England

Liverpool, North West England

Including the counties of Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside. North West England extends from the attractive market towns of Cheshire, through the vast urban areas around Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Blackburn and Burnley, to the wilds of Cumbria in the north – the ancient kingdom of Rheged, where place names reflect its turbulent, multi-racial, …

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