Anyone who reads my “Something From The Weekend” posts will know that I’ve enjoyed a few brilliant weekends up North lately. And those posts have been some of my most popular too, which makes me wonder if a lot of my readers are up North or perhaps just everybody loves the North. I can understand how. Either way, I thought that this week I would steer away from my usual London-based ideas for the weekend, and bring to you some ideas of what to do in the North of England. Pack your fleece……
Last week I visited Yorkshire Sculpture Park and had the most wonderful time there. It’s amazing to see huge works of art out in the open air, and a great excuse for some fresh air and gentle exercise! It’s free to get in, although a few pounds to park your car. There’s a little cafe too, but if you’re brave there are tables outside for you to take your own picnic too!
Another successful visit from last weekend was the Marks in Time exhibition at Leeds University. Showing hundreds of items from the Marks and Spencer Company Archive, it’s a great way to chart fashion history and social history. It’s free to get in.
And after that, I expect you’ll be in the mood for some shopping! And I’m the first to admit that London isn’t the be all and end all for shopping in the UK. In fact, some of my favourite areas to shop are up North……
Head to Liverpool One for all the high street shops in one open air arcade (no nasty shopping centre crowds!).
For vintage shopping I love Afflecks Palace in Manchester….. I have many fond memories of shopping trips there as a teenager and there are dozens of wonderful little shops within this gorgeous, huge building.
For a little decadence, pop into Chester to roam about the shops in this charming town…. plenty of boutiques and designer stores are nestled into the stunning, historic town centre within its ancient walls!
And for weather-proof traditional charm, I adore Leeds’ Victorian Quarter, which includes Harvey Nichols, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood, Mulberry and my favourite Reiss store, all under one incredible glass roof.
My favourite new discovery is Little Tokyo in Leeds. Fabulous Japanese food at very reasonable prices, plus cocktails to boot!
For an authentic Northern meal out though, get to Whitby for The Magpie’s legendary fish and chips…. you’ll have to queue if you want a seat inside, but for me half the joy is in eating from their paper boxes, sat overlooking the Harbour.
For a drink…..
To me, the quintessential Northern drink has to be tea! And where better to enjoy a brew than Betty’s Tea Rooms in Harrogate?
If you’re after an evening tipple though, Nancy’s Bordello in Newcastle serves excellent cocktails in wonderfully quirky surroundings.
Here’s to a marvellous weekend!