Beautiful North West England. 6 Top Choices
From the open rolling planes of Cheshire in the south, up through the spectacular rugged and beautiful landscape of the Lake district, on to the beautiful Scottish borders and back down the incredible beaches and nature reserves of the west coast, North West England has outstanding beauty.
There’s no shortage of places to visit and explore. The really tough bit is choosing which ones.
1. The lake District.
Sunrise at Buttermere in the Lake District
The Lake District National Park is situated in the county of Cumbria. It is a 912 square mile area of outstanding natural beauty.
From it’s highest point at Scafell Pike down to England’s deepest lake at Wastwater, it’s majesty and diversity is truly breath-taking.
Market towns such as Kendal, Ambleside and Keswick on scenic Derwentwater are bases for exploring the area, which is known for its glacial ribbon lakes and rugged fell mountains.
No wonder it is recognised by UNESCO, and has it’s own I.D of 422.
Other places to visit and explore include Coniston Water with it’s surrounding woodlands, the Langdale Valley running west of Ambleside, Grasmere and Rydal Water, Ullswater and Glenridding with dramatic views and stunning walking, Windermere-England’s largest lake with the bustling towns of Bowness and Ambleside, and Wastwater and the Western Coastline.
This of course is only a small representation of places to visit and discover while in the Lake District, and we haven’t even touched upon the literary geniuses from history who lived there and drew inspiration from the dramatic countryside. People such as Beatrix Potter, Wordsworth, Arthur Ransome, and Alfred Wainwright to name a very small selection.
If you want to visit a place where you will be in awe of its’ outstanding natural beauty then you have to plan a visit to the Lake District.
For more in depth information, visit https://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/visiting/plan-your-visit
2. Formby Beach – Merseyside
Formby beach, the sand dunes and woodland forest.
Take a trip through the forest and onto the sand dunes and beautiful beach at Formby near Liverpool.
Northwest England has many miles of stunning coastline, but Formby Beach is one of those hidden gems.
The quickest access to the beach is via the National Trust Formby, where you can enjoy a walk through the pinewoods – home to the red squirrels before reaching the sand dunes.
Take your dog for a walk along the beach, or go for a ride on your horse through the pinewood forest.
Go for stunning walks through the countryside or along the dunes and sands which seem to stretch for miles. Even discover shipwrecks at Formby which is all part of the Liverpool maritime history.
To plan your day out at Formby Beach visit the National Trust Formby.
3. Chester & The River Dee.
Chester city centre and the Georgian charm of the River Dee
According to ancient cartographer Ptolemy, the Romans founded Chester as Deva Victrix in AD 70s in the land of the Celtic Cornovii as a fortress during the Roman expansion north. It was named Deva either after the goddess of the Dee, or directly from the British name for the river. The ‘victrix’ part of the name was taken from the title of the Legio XX Valeria Victrix who were based at Deva. A civilian settlement grew around the settlement, probably starting as a group of traders and their families who were profiting from trade with the fortress.
Chester is famous for its black and white buildings including what is known as the Rows. These are medieval two-tier buildings above street level with covered walkways which today house many of Chester’s shopping galleries.
The Roman Defence
The city is unique for it’s defence walls, originally built by the Romans with walkways linking strategic points to house the guard and the garrison. Today they are a walk of around two miles offering a superb elevated view of the city on one side and the distant Welsh mountains on the other.
The River Dee is about 70 miles long and has it’s source in the Welsh hills above Llanuwchllyn (Gwynedd).
The River was an important part of the city for the Romans and beyond, allowing ships to sale up from the port and bring trade and wealth to the city.
Sadly in later years, silting of the river eventually made it difficult for larger ships to enter the port and sail up. Plus the competition from Liverpool. Runcorn and Manchester with the advent of the newly created Manchester Ship Canal put an end to any serious trade.
However, Chester became popular again in Georgian times as a home for the wealthy industrialists and traders looking to get out of the grime of Liverpool and Manchester.
The city benefitted from the splendour of Georgian architecture and elegance, and this can still be seen and enjoyed throughout the city and all along the river walkways.
4. Lyme Park & Hall-Disley Stockport.
Stunning Lyme Hall, the rolling estate and deer park.
Lyme Park is a large estate formerly in the ownership of the Legh family until passed over into the care and management of the National Trust in 1946. It consists of a mansion house surrounded by formal gardens of 15 acres and is situated in a deer park of some 1359 acres within the Peak District National Park.
The house is the largest in Cheshire, and is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building.
The estate was granted to Sir Thomas Danyers in 1346 and passed to the Leghs of Lyme by marriage in 1388. It remained in the possession of the Legh family until 1946 when it was given to the National Trust.
Dating from the latter part of the 16th century.
Modifications were made to it in the 1720s by Giacomo Leoni, who retained some of the Elizabethan features and added others, particularly the courtyard and the south range. It is difficult to classify Leoni’s work at Lyme, as it contains elements of both Palladian and Baroque styles.
Further modifications were made by Lewis Wyatt in the 19th century, especially to the interior. Formal gardens were created and developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The house, gardens and park have been used as locations for filming and they are open to the public.
To plan your day out at Lyme Park visit the National Trust https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lyme
5. Beacon Fell Country Park.
Beacon Fell Country Park and wooden sculptures
Beacon Fell Country Park is 75 hectares of woodland, moorland and grassland situated in the beautiful forest of Bowland in Central Lancashire.
At the heart is the visitor’s centre and cafe which is the starting point of the woodland trail, a beautiful forest walk taking approximately 40 minutes to complete and brings you back to the centre.
While there, you must also go on the Sculpture Trail. Starting at the Orme Sight by the visitor centre the trail leads along Beacon fell and features a number of sculptures carved by local artist Thompson Dagnall, including The Black Tiger and The Walking Snake.
Other trails to explore include the Fellside Trail which is particularly popular with horse riders, and the Beacon Fell Summit rising to a height of 266 metres above sea level. From here the summit gives fantastic panoramic views of the Bowland Fell and Parlick Fell.
Called Beacon Fell, it housed a torch beacon as long ago ad 1002AD which formed part of a chain of torch beacons to warn of impending attack from the sea such as the Spanish Armada in 1588.
To plan your visit to Beacon Fell Country Park visit https://www.visitnorthwest.com/walk/beacon-fell-woodland-trail/
6. The Fylde Coast
The wonderful Fylde coast and windmills
The Fylde coast is the peninsula of Northwest coastline situated between the estuaries of the River Ribble to the south, and the River Wyre in the North.
It is most famous for the popular seaside resorts of Lytham St Annes, Blackpool, Cleveleys and Fleetwood.
As well as being popular tourist and holidays destinations, the Fylde coast is steeped in history, Victorian splendour, wildlife reserves and of course the fishing industry, with Fleetwood being the home of the Fisherman’s Friend throat lozenges.
Of course there are many places to visit along the Fylde Coastline as well as inland, and in fact you could spend a whole week at least enjoying its splendours.
To plan your visit to the Fylde Peninsula visit.
Many more places to visit.
Majestic Carlisle Castle at night
Of course this is only 6 destinations. There are hundreds more places to visit in North West England from the cultural industrial powerhouses of Manchester and Liverpool that gave rise to the industrial revolution, all the way up to the City of Lancaster (one of only two Duchies in the whole of the country providing income for the monarchy), and further up to Carlisle with its famous castle and protector on the Scottish borders.
For more information and planning your trip around North West England visit: