If asked to name a British spa town, I suspect that for many people Bath would spring to mind. Head 200 or so miles further north and you’ll reach Harrogate, a spa town in the heart of Yorkshire which is frequently considered to be the happiest place to live in the UK. Easily accessible by train from Leeds, Harrogate is another of Britain’s gems. It’s surrounded by the Yorkshire Dales and the Nidderdale AONB, and the characterful city centre is full of boutique shops and cafés, fine architecture and sprawling green spaces.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Delamere Forest. Or perhaps not. Either way, let me introduce you to one of Cheshire’s hidden gems, which is tucked away in the Delamere countryside overlooking the Utkinton Hills. Besides visiting Chester Zoo and devoting an afternoon to making a delicious strawberry tart, I also visited Abbeywood Gardens with my mum during my post-exams long weekend at home in Chester.
Readers, meet Chester Zoo. Easily one of my favourite day trips – or, let’s face it, any sort of trip – Chester Zoo is the UK’s number one zoo, and I’m lucky enough to live right on its doorstep. After finishing exams at the end of last week, I decided to make an impromptu visit home (the first in four years of university) and this naturally entailed a trip to the zoo!
Rain or shine, with its spectacular viaduct and labyrinth of cobbled streets and stone-flagged steps, Knaresborough is one of my favourite day trips from Leeds. A stone’s throw from the spa town of Harrogate – and a direct train away from Leeds – this picturesque market town was the perfect pick-me-up after my brain-draining French speaking exam (une discussion sur l’immigration et le «Brexit», je me suis éclatée!).
Even taking into account the unreliability of British weather, few things beat a trip to the seaside. Enter, Wells-next-the-Sea, a picturesque seaside town on the North Norfolk coast.
In the heart of Norfolk lies the city of Norwich, a city steeped in history and full of cultural gems. Norwich blends old and new seamlessly, with a labyrinth of cobbled streets (featuring an abundance of quirky independent cafés) linking the Norman cathedral and medieval hilltop stronghold to more recent shopping complexes. Over my Easter break, I spent almost a week in Norwich visiting Laurence – and although I’ve visited several times before, there is always something new to see!
The Dales Way links Ilkley, a picturesque market town in Yorkshire, to Bowness-on-Windermere, a beautiful tourist honeypot in the Lakes, taking in 84 miles of moorland, pastures, valleys and fens along the way. Before returning home for Easter, Laurence and I decided to walk a chunk of it – and have since bookmarked the entire route for a future trip . . .