Excellent transport links ensure that exploring the highlights of this diverse and exciting region couldn’t be easier.
If fashion is your thing, you’ll be spoilt for choice between shopping centres, boutique arcades, bohemian streets and farmers’ markets.
To indulge in retail therapy at famous high street stores or to seek out designer brands, Liverpool One, Metquarter, Cheshire Oaks, Manchester Arndale or the Trafford Centre are the obvious places to start.
There is something to suit the tastes and pockets of all food lovers whenever you fancy a meal out or want to celebrate a special occasion.
For an eclectic dining experience, there’s plenty of unusual venues including quirky spaces such as a disused church (Alma de Cuba), former police station and jail house (Bridewell Bar and Restaurant) and ex-factory warehouses (Camp and Furnace) – and that’s just Liverpool!
There’s also unique establishments such as a circus-themed restaurant (Circo) at the Albert Dock, the UK’s first gourmet grilled cheese restaurant (Northern Soul Grilled Cheese) in Manchester, and a café offering nearly 100 different flavours of tea (Mystery Tea House) in Preston.
The World Museum, International Slavery Museum, Merseyside Maritime Museum, and The Beatles Story are some of the major cultural attractions in Liverpool, while Manchester is the place to explore the Museum of Science and Industry, People’s History Museum, National Football Museum, and Imperial War Museum North.
Art lovers will find the lure of the Walker Art Gallery, Tate Liverpool, Manchester Art Gallery and The Lowry hard to resist, while the Liverpool Biennial delivers the largest international contemporary art festival in the UK. FACT and HOME are the venues where you’ll find cutting edge film, photography and visual arts.
If you’re a theatre buff, you can enjoy some of the best musicals and plays directly from the West End at the Liverpool Empire, Manchester Opera House, Palace Theatre and The Lowry. Innovative new works are performed at the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool Playhouse and Royal Exchange and are also premiered as part of the Manchester International Festival.
If you want to enjoy live comedy, there’s plenty of places with regular comedy nights, from The Frog & Bucket and The Comedy Store in Manchester to Comedy Central and The Slaughter House in Liverpool. Both cities also host annual comedy festivals.
For an evening of street performances, light projections and exhibitions, LightNight, Liverpool’s one-night arts and culture festival, is a must.
When looking for a place to unwind and make a night of it, you will be spoilt for choice.
There’s uber-cool cocktail bars, an unrivalled club scene and an array of cosy country pubs serving locally produced real ales.
Go celebrity spotting at the Albert Dock, experience some of the world’s biggest dance acts at the Warehouse Project, or enjoy the buzz and atmosphere of Mathew Street, Concert Square, Canal Street or The Printworks.
As the birthplace of The Beatles, The Smiths and Joy Division, it’s no surprise to discover a lively music scene in the North West.
It’s easy to see why the city has been crowned the “World Capital City of Pop” by the Guinness World Records. A trip to the famous Cavern Club is a great way to retrace Beatle mania back to where it all began.
Plenty of big names headline the Liverpool Echo Arena and Manchester Arena throughout the year, with more intimate gigs staged at the O2 Academy and O2 Apollo. Other local venues, such as The Zanzibar in Liverpool and Soup Kitchen in Manchester, enable you to discover the best up and coming bands before they hit the charts.
For a classical music fix, Manchester is home to the renowned Hallé and BBC Philharmonic orchestras, who both perform at Bridgewater Hall, while Liverpool Philharmonic Hall hosts the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
North West England lives and breathes football. You can catch live Premier League action at Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City, with live Championship football available at Preston North End.
Alternatively, there’s the adrenaline rush of a day at the races, including the world-famous Grand National, and the rough and tumble of the region’s rugby league teams. You can take to the fairways for a round of golf at Royal Birkdale or Hoylake, or there’s crazy golf in Southport if that’s more your style!
If you’re looking to get active, you can hire a bike and helmet and test the track at the National Cycling Centre, experience the UK’s longest indoor real snow slope at Chill Factore, take to the streets for the Great Manchester Run or Rock n Roll Liverpool Marathon, or try a variety of watersports.
The North West of England has natural beauty and iconic cultural landmarks in abundance.
There’s the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales to discover, the seaside resorts of Blackpool and Southport to enjoy, and a variety of nature reserves and woodlands to visit. These include Formby, with its thriving red squirrel colony, and Martin Mere Wetland Centre.
Whether you want to take a ferry across the Mersey, wander the beach and see the Antony Gormley statues on the Sefton coast, or meet the animals at Chester Zoo, there’s plenty of options to choose from.
For adrenaline junkies, the lure of the tree-top high wires and zip lines at Delamere Forest, karting at Three Sisters Race Circuit, and the tallest roller coaster in the UK at Blackpool Pleasure Beach may prove hard to resist.
A busy year-round programme of events caters for all tastes, from the British Musical Fireworks Championships, annual air show and flower show in Southport, to Blackpool’s celebrated illuminations along the Golden Mile.
Visit England’s North West
Whether you’re looking for rural or urban scenery, or seeking a relaxed or energetic atmosphere, you can discover the North West’s cosmopolitan style, culture, heritage and scenery in more detail at www.visitenglandsnorthwest.com.