North West England Self-Drive
England's north west is full of beautiful countryside, cultural heritage and a wealth of historic monuments. Why not experience it all in one trip? Britain is extremely easy to travel by car, with relatively short journey times between regions meaning you can explore a huge amount within just a few days. This self-driving tour will take you through the heart of England's north west region, beginning in the vibrant city of Manchester, through the spectacular landscapes of Yorkshire, the Lake District, Lancashire, and culminating in the historic city of Carlisle.
Day 1 Before you set off, why not take the time to explore Manchester? If you're a sport fan, Manchester is home to two of the world's most famous football teams; Manchester United and Manchester City. Book a stadium tour or head to the National Football Museum and learn the history of the world game. If football isn't you thing, there are plenty of cultural hotspots such as the Whitworth Art Gallery, the Imperial War Museum North and Home, a purpose built centre for international contemporary film, art and theatre. From there you can drive 90 minutes through beautiful Yorkshire countryside, stopping at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, home to an impressive collection of outdoor sculptures spread across 500 acres. From there drive to the ancient Roman, walled city of York. York has more attractions per square mile than any other UK city, leaving you spoilt for choice. Why not visit Clifford's Tower, the National Railway Museum or York Castle Museum.
Day 2 From York head drive lovely Harrogate, taking in the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside. You can stop at the the 14th century Ripley Castle, or pop into the famous Bettys Tea Rooms for a cup of tea and a baked sultana scone. From here cross over into the county of Lancashire towards the heritage city of Lancaster. Explore the 1000 year old Lancaster Castle, the city's secret alleyways, historic pubs and Georgian architecture, before a spot of shopping in one of the numerous quirky boutiques.
Day 3 From Lancaster drive 45 minutes to the picturesque Lake District, stopping in the ancient village of Cartmel. Not only is it famous for the 12th century Cartmel Priory, but also for the delectable English sweet treat, sticky toffee pudding. Next you can head into the heart of the Lake District National Park, the wonderful town of Windermere. Take in the gorgeous lakes and incredible scenery from the water onboard one of Windermere Lake Cruises steamers. Children's author and illustrator Beatrix Potter was on the the Lakes' most famous residents and people of all ages can enjoy the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction.
Day 4 The next day why not explore the lovely market town of Keswick? Catch the beautiful views of lake Ullswater, Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite onboard one of the Ullswater Steamers. Or, if you are looking for more of an adrenaline rush, check out Honiester, an innovative adventure attraction allowing you to climb the original miners route, some 1200 feet above the valley floor. From Keswick, drive 45 minutes to Carlisle, also known as 'the border city' for its location just 15 minutes from the Scottish border. Carlisle is a vibrant city with legendary history dating back to the Romans, who settled here to serve the forts of Hadrian's Wall. Finally no trip to Carlisle would be complete without a visit to the medieval fortress Carlisle Castle, giving you a glimpse into medieval life and the castle's turbulent past.
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