Things to see in northern England

Come on, let’s take a journey through northern England. A visit ‘up north’ is a must when you come to England!

There are so many places to visit in England that it’s easy to remember when you’re planning your schedule that there are many beautiful places in England that are off the tourists’ track.

So, try not to limit yourself to just the famous names you recognize. 

Remember, this is an adventure – there’s far more to the north than just Hadrian’s Wall.

Think outside the box and discover a world of history, culture and beauty that until your trip, you may never have even heard of.

Just think of how wonderful it will be on your return when you can regale your friends with stories of places in quaint ol’ Blighty that they too, may not have realized existed until you enlightened them!

‘Up north’

So just where is the north/south divide in this country supposed to be?

A southerner would claim the north begins anywhere north of Watford. 

A northerner thinks anywhere from the Midlands upwards.

Does it matter?

Well, yes, if you want to discover the real England with its beautiful rolling hills, forests, mountains and charismatic countryside, all seeped in history dating back to even before the medieval times.

It’s not just places of historical beauty that send people off on their journeys north.

Theme parks with unusual ideas and rides, aquariums with incredible voyages of discovery are just a few places well worth a visit when you venture off the tourists’ beaten track.

So, before you go on this amazing northern adventure ask yourself some vital questions:

  • Will my family enjoy this – what places of interest will interest them?
  • I’m single, will I get lonely on this kind of adventure – perhaps I should go for a tour where I can meet likeminded people.
  • I’m disabled, how will I get around?  Are there facilities for me?
  • My partner hates walking far – will we have to?
  • We love shopping – are there many shops in the north of England?

You must also think about how you intend to travel around the north.

Using a car will give you far more flexibility.  You’ll also be able to venture into some of those quaint English pubs along the way!

Trains are good and do go to places you wouldn’t expect in remote areas of the north-east and the like, however, be prepared for long waits and steep prices, in some cases.

Culture vultures

There’s nothing more exciting than seeing first-hand some of the places we’ve read about in the history books.

We can’t talk about the north though without a good mention of Hadrian’s Wall and its almost 2000 years of age and 86 miles ‘through rolling hills, rugged moors, and a dynamic urban landscape’.

Once known as the boundary of civilization by the Romans as it divided England from Scotland.

Can you imagine seeing for yourself the castle where Queen Elizabeth I lived outside of London?  Or where her arch rival, Mary Queen of Scots, lived in the north before she was beheaded?

How about where the dramatic tale of ‘Dracula’ was inspired and written?

Whitby, with its awe-inspiring abbey and harbour was where Bram Stoker wrote his mysterious Gothic story which has evoked many horror tales ever since.

This atmospheric, lonely area in the haunting area of Esk are definitely on the ‘must-see’ list.  Their traditional English fish and chips are award-winning too!

Perhaps classic romance is more your style?

Then, the home town of the Bronte’s family is a definite.

A visit to the Yorkshire moors and the town of Haworth will have you searching for your Heathcliff in no time!

York is a northern city well-worth a visit with its Viking Centre where you can smell, taste and touch Viking life – an experience not to be missed!

With its City of York Dungeons where you can imagine Orc-like warrens and hordes of treasure, these spooky places are amazing place to take the family!

A real must-see is the island of Lindisfarne Priory, built by monks 1,400 years ago and birthplace to the Lindesfarne gospels, one of the world’s most precious books. 

Now in ruins, due to Viking invaders, you can still visit the castle which is surrounded by amazing wildlife.

Whereas in Saltire, west Yorkshire is the UNESCO World Heritage Site which is a mix of Victorian and modern brilliantly blended.

This is also home to the ‘1853 Gallery’ which permanently houses David Hockney pictures.

Leeds Royal Armouries, however, is home to the UK’s largest collection of arms, armour and artillery.

Their collection dates back to the Tudors and even has a suit of armour built for an elephant – and we’re not talking about Henry VIII…

If you have a panache for the way the worker used to work, then look no further than Beamish which has The Living Museum of the North.

This museum brings 200 years of English history  to life in England’s largest open-air museum.


If you have a shopper amongst you, then York, Chester, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle are a must.

England houses huge shopping malls, factory outlets and farmers’ markets – all worth a visit.

They have all the shops London has and sometimes more but without the crowds – a no-brainer!

All set amongst the medieval buildings of yester-year – culture and shopping!

Add in theatres, cafes, restaurants, galleries, museums to mention but a few but at a fraction of the cost!

These shopping treasure troves are set amongst vintages shops, independent boutiques, hipster cafes with abundance of coffees, teas and cakes to choose from!

The Great Northern Road

Just like anywhere in a country full of history, culture and innovation, there are just too many places to suggest in your pilgrimage ‘up north’.

For your journey of a lifetime, we suggest you take to the high road and head beyond London to see for yourself what amazing cities, towns and places of real interest the north of England has to offer everyone whatever their tastes.

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