Things to Do in North West England
The North York Moors have provided creative inspiration for a number of celebrated writers, including Bram Stoker, Sylvia Plath, and the Brontë sisters. Situated on England’s northeastern coast, the stunning landscape is wild and rugged with an untamed beauty that draws visitors from all over the world.
With its stone station building, crow-stepped gables, and steam trains puffing by, this quaint little station in the rural North Yorkshire Moors is a relic of a bygone era. The station’s good looks have not gone unnoticed, with it having been chosen as the set for Hogsmeade Station in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
The Peak District became Britain’s first national park in 1951 and remains one of its most popular outdoor destinations. From fertile farmland and stately homes to towering peaks and underground caves, there’s much to explore across the 143,700-hectare park, including the beginning of Britain’s best-known trail, the Pennine Way.
In the midst of the Wiltshire plains, this 29-acre (12-hectare Iron Age settlement stands as a testament to England’s long history of invasion, defense, and development. Explore the foundations of Salisbury’s first cathedral, soak up views from the hilltop castle, and learn about the Roman, Norman, and Saxon influence on the English culture and countryside.
Situated on the Wensleydale moors, Bolton Castle is one of England’s best-preserved medieval castles. Built in the 14th century as a fortified residence by Sir Richard le Scrope—whose descendants still own the property today—the building is one of the Yorkshire Dales’ most distinctive landmarks.
The Aysgarth Falls lie on the River Ure, in the heart of Yorkshire Dales National Park. The falls—made up of three tiers that cascade down limestone steps, surrounded by lush trees—have been popular with tourists for more than 200 years. To visit, hike through the surrounding woods and farms and enjoy the area’s natural beauty.
Spanning 125 acres (51 hectares, Chester Zoo features 35,000 animals from more than 500 different species, including exotic and endangered species from around the world. One of the most popular zoos in the UK, Chester Zoo draws nearly 2 million visitors a year. It’s also a leader in wildlife education and conservation.
The mighty Etihad, also known as the City of Manchester Stadium, is the home of Manchester City Football Club. Built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, the award-winning venue is among the UK’s largest with seating for more than 55,000. In addition to football games, the stadium hosts live concerts, other sports matches, and stadium tours.
Anfield Stadium, home turf for Liverpool Football Club, is hallowed ground for fans of the Reds. The 54,000-capacity venue not only hosts matches, but also contains the Liverpool FC Story, a museum chronicling the club’s history, and the Steven Gerrard Collection, comprising memorabilia relating to the former captain.
With a capacity of nearly 75,000, Old Trafford is the UK’s second-largest football (soccer) stadium and home of Manchester United since 1910. Beside Premier League fixtures, the venue has hosted Olympic games, rugby league finals, and several international cup matches. The on-site museum houses the team’s famous continental treble trophy.
More Things to Do in North West England
John Rylands Library
Also known as the University of Manchester Library, the John Rylands Library is widely considered one of the world’s most beautiful libraries. Built in 1900 and celebrated for its Victorian, neo-Gothic architecture—which includes a soaring, vaulted entryway and ornamental carvings—the landmark houses a vast collection of rare books.
Famous as the stage where the Beatles made their debut in 1961, Liverpool’s Cavern Club has become a place of legend, hosting not only the Fab Four, but the Who, the Kinks, the Rolling Stones, Queen, Elton John, and many more household names. The influential club remains one of Liverpool’s top live music venues to this day.
Stretching for 70 miles (110 kilometers), the River Dee (Afon Dyfrdwy) flows from the mountains of Snowdonia in Wales to the sea along the Wirral Peninsula, passing Bala Lake, Llangollen, Chester, and the Dee Estuary along the way. The scenic river offers opportunities for outdoor recreation, wildlife spotting, and industrial transport.
Housesteads Roman Fort (Vercovicium)
High on an escarpment on UNESCO-listed Hadrian’s Wall, Housesteads Fort is one of 16 forts along what was the Roman Empire’s stone-built north-western frontier. The ruins of the AD 123-built camp, and a museum and visitor center take guests back to the days of Roman Britain 2,000 years ago.
Inspiring the 1967 Beatles’ song Strawberry Fields Forever, Strawberry Field in the Liverpool suburb of Woolton functioned as a Salvation Army children’s home from 1936 to 2005. As a boy, Lennon would sneak in to play, and enjoyed watching the band at the annual garden party. These experiences would go on to inform his later songwriting.
Built by the order of William the Conqueror in 1072, Durham Castle has stood the test of time and remains one of England’s most important Norman attractions, as well as a striking example of the elevated “motte-and-bailey” fortress style. Now used as university residences, history buffs will still enjoy the vast Great Hall, 17th-century Black Staircase, and the Bishop’s Rooms.
This Beatles-centric museum is stuffed full of Fab Four memorabilia, from George Harrison’s first guitar to John Lennon’s orange-tinted glasses. Exhibits trace the journey of Liverpool’s hometown heroes and the rise of Beatlemania, and include a full-scale replica of the famous Cavern Club and a walk-in yellow submarine.
The Grade I listed Manchester Cathedral is one of the city’s oldest and most important religious landmarks. With origins dating back to 1421, the soaring cathedral was constructed in the English Gothic style, and later renovated during the Victorian period, and following World War II. Today, the landmark is celebrated for its striking interior.
Royal Albert Dock
Liverpool’s Royal Albert Dock, formerly an important industrial center, is now home to popular attractions including Tate Liverpool, Merseyside Maritime Museum, and The Beatles Story. Explore its cobbled paths to gain insight into the city’s heritage, marvel at its architecture, or simply unwind in one of the dock’s many bars or restaurants.
Science and Industry Museum
Delve into Manchester’s inventive and industrial heritage at the Science and Industry Museum. Housed in a building that served as the world’s first passenger railway station, the museum includes a wide collection of vintage vehicles, historical machinery, hands-on exhibitions, and other engaging offerings.
Made famous by the Beatles song, Penny Lane is lined with shops and small businesses. Before the Beatles hit the big time, John Lennon and Paul McCartney used to catch the bus from here. Some of the places name-checked in the lyrics—such as the shelter in the middle of the roundabout and the barbershop—can still be seen today.
Discover a symbol of Liverpool and gain insight into the city’s history with a visit to the National Heritage-listed Liverpool Cathedral. As the largest religious building in Britain, the Anglican cathedral boasts neo-Gothic architecture, distinctive artwork, and a 328-feet (100-meter) tower that provides sweeping views across River Mersey.
Northumberland National Park
Known as the home of Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland National Park in the northwest of England is dominated by incredible, untouched countryside—from the peaks of the Cheviot Hills to the lush heather-covered moorland—and a wealth of typical English towns and villages. Combining the ancient with the modern, there’s plenty to see and do, whether you prefer markets, hikes, or pints at the pub.
Merseyside Maritime Museum
Discover Liverpool’s status as a British port city at the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Its three exhibition floors reveal the city’s nautical history, from its role in both World Wars to its darker past as a slaving port, as well as waterfront views of the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Royal Albert Dock and its industrial architecture.
- Things to do in Liverpool
- Things to do in Manchester
- Things to do in Yorkshire
- Things to do in North East England
- Things to do in East of England
- Things to do in Middlesbrough
- Things to do in Newcastle-upon-Tyne
- Things to do in Birmingham
- Things to do in Belfast
- Things to do in Dublin
- Things to do in Northeast Scotland
- Things to do in South East England
- Things to do in South West England
- Things to do in The Scottish Highlands
- Things to do in Western Ireland