For those of you, like me, who were born and bred in England and still call it home, you’ll understand me when I say that there are definitely good and bad parts of the country, both in equal measure. I’m not from a particularly ‘good’ place – and my time growing up there consisted of constantly asking myself why on Earth people (mainly those from Yorkshire who don’t live by the sea) were even bothering to go there. Yep, that’s how much I hated it! But, it’s not the worst place in the world – in fact it’s a long way off, and I only came to that realization after doing a bit of travelling.
Even if my hometown isn’t the best part of the country, the fact is that I am so proud of being English. José asked me the other day if I could be born another nationality, which one would I choose? My answer was British, no doubt about it. I could’ve quite easily said Australia or somewhere else equally as exotic and hot, but it didn’t even cross my mind. Okay, so it’s so cold that not being able to feel your hands or feet is considered to be pretty normal, but still.
Best Cities in Northern England to Visit
Whether you’re currently in the UK and want to know a few places to go on a spontaneous domestic getaway, or if you’re planning on visiting from elsewhere when it gets a bit hotter (you’ll be waiting a while…), I thought I’d list a few of my best cities in Northern England to visit.
If you’ve never been to England before and really want to soak up some history, York is your absolute best bet. This Northern Medieval city is considered as one of the most haunted cities in the whole world, and that was proven to me when I encountered a spooky spirit in the middle of the night in the hotel room when I stayed there last year! But that’s another story. Anyway, York is perfect for those who love a bit of history. Visitors can head to the majestic York Minster to get a fantastic view of the city, or stroll along the ancient York City Walls. One of my favourite places to go in York is The Shambles, an old street with buildings dating all the way back to the 14th Century. Many people will agree with me that taking a stroll here feels exactly like walking through Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley would. The only thing missing is the witches and wizards! This isn’t for the faint hearted, but visitors to York can choose to stay in the most haunted hotels, purely to see if they can experience anything for themselves. The most well-known is The Golden Fleece, which dates back to the 1500’s. Some people have even reported seeing the ghosts of Roman soldiers!
I can’t believe I’m even saying this, but I’ve never been to Liverpool. That’s really bad, since I don’t live that far away, and I’m a huge Beatles fan. Just like I’m desperate to go to Prague in the next year, I’ll have to put Liverpool on my ‘to-go’ list, too. Anyway, for those of you who love the Beatles, visiting Liverpool during your visit to the UK is an absolute must. Seeing the ‘Penny Lane’ street sign in the flesh is one of my dreams, and I’m sure it’s probably yours aswell. Visitors can head to the Cavern Club, the place that played a huge role in the Beatles’ success as a band. Afterwards, be transported on an intriguing journey with the award-winning ‘The Beatles Story’, an interactive tour through each and every year of the band’s incredible history. If you’re not that much of a Beatles fan, that’s absolutely fine! Liverpool has so many other things to offer. Visit Liverpool Cathedral, explore the Merseyside Maritime Museum, or see a football match at Anfield Stadium.
This is the city I’m currently having the chance to call home, and I’m pretty happy about that. Situated on the edge of the Peak District National Park, Sheffield is the perfect place for those who want a taste of city life, but also want to experience the beautiful English countryside, too. This city is definitely one of the best in Northern England when it comes to shopping, with Meadowhall Shopping Centre situated one short stop away on the train. This is actually the tenth largest shopping centre in the United Kingdom, which shocks me, because it’s absolutely huge! How can you get any bigger?! Anyway, Meadowhall is the perfect place to go if you’re coming to the UK to do your Christmas shopping. I’ll definitely be heading there myself in the next few weeks!