There’s something special about the humble day-trip, and while a few weeks ago I posted a list of 10 day trips from London (here), today I’m going to talk about my 5 favourite day trips from Lancaster, the place I called home for 7 months last year.
1 The Lake District
You can’t come this far north in England and not see the absolute star that is the Lake District. I had the pleasure of visiting twice, once by bus (because the train line was undergoing construction) and another by car. While there are definite advantages to both, if you can manage to get hold of a car then that is definitely the better option, as we were able to explore the far reaches of the Lakes that we just couldn’t once we were dropped off in Windermere by our bus a few weeks earlier. But why visit the infamous Lake District? Without mentioning the sheer awe-inspiring scenery (the photo says it all, really), there’s also myriads of hikes and off-the-beaten-path walks to explore, there’s one of the windiest roads in Britain to conquer, boats to paddle Lake Windermere, and it’s the home of Beatrix Potter!
I know what you’re thinking – Scotland?! From Lancaster?!? But trust me, it’s doable, and although the day I did this with the university’s exchange society it snowed and the trip took a good 5 hours, normally it’s a 2.5 hour drive north and across the Scottish border. And once you’re there, what a treat you’re in for!! From the historic alcoves and details of Scotland’s very own Hogwarts (otherwise known as Glasgow University by mere Muggles) to one of the eeriest graveyards I’ve ever encountered, set high on a hill and bursting with ornate tombs.
If what you’re looking for is a chocolate-box town, then you’ll hit the nail on the head with Chester. Chester’s plethora of Tudor buildings are nestled neatly in a small town, set inside ancient walls, protected and in good shape given their age. In the centre of the high street stands a clock tower, it’s ornate gold trimmings an ode to more elegant times. I hear Chester Zoo is quite the adventure for a day out, too!
I never managed to make it to Manchester during the day (I won’t count the many trips to Trafford Centre as a day trip) but I did head into the city at night, and what a perfect change it was from the quiet of the countryside. I never felt bored of seeing the dewy fields of Lancaster, but as soon as the lights of Manchester came closer, I couldn’t help but feel buzzed for a busy city night! I can’t quite give too much advice as to what to see and do in Manchester as all I got up to was to go to a gig at one of the clubs right in the centre of town, but I cannot wait to go back and explore the city properly!
One of my favourites, saved until last. I know people have very different opinions on Liverpool, but I LOVE it. Watching the greyness of the Mersey, with the Liver Building tall behind me, is one of the best memories I have of my second ever trip to England. Granted, the lure of the home of the Beatles was enough to tempt me to visit every single time I come to England, but Liverpool really does have a lot more going for it than you might assume on first glance. For one, it has a thriving art culture, and you’ll find the Superlambanana’s EVERYWHERE. It also has an airport named after John Lennon. And nearby Speke is gorgeous – a country escape within the big city. If these reasons haven’t convinced you to give Liverpool a go, then maybe it’s amazing State Library will, or else it’s incredibly diverse and interactive museums! Oh, and the nightlife is one of a kind here too!
There you have it! If you find yourself in Lancaster’s neck of the woods, I definitely recommend taking the time to visit these nearby areas and enjoy the wonderfully diverse region that is northern England xx