Northern England

England’s north may have cool days and precious few daylight hours, but there’s a warmth and romance to its astonishingly beautiful landscape that is unmatched around the country. Intriguing cities await exploration here, too, some with histories dating back over a millennium, and others with more modern tales to tell. Take, for example, Manchester, which led the world into an era of mechanisation and changed life on this planet forever.

Travel further north and you’ll uncover the Lake District, an area of whimsical beauty that has tugged at the hearts of poets and artists for centuries past. Here, industry couldn’t be further from mind. As you amble through lakeside villages, stroll pretty shores and row the waters of Windermere, England’s longest lake, you’re sure to feel the district’s lure creep into your veins. Don’t worry, Wordsworth, Coleridge and Keats all felt it too.

You’ll find passion of a different kind in York, which still bears the mark of its former life as the capital of Viking territory, when men were more interested in fighting like machines than ploughing fields or painting pictures. There’s no better place to learn about the Viking Era than during an afternoon at the Jorvik Viking Centre, which is set to open its doors again in 2017, after extensive renovations, and which brings to life history from a thousand years ago. Take time to simply explore the streets and admire the medieval walls and churches as well.

The little fishing town of Whitby, on the country’s northeast coast may be unassuming, but its importance should not be underestimated. It was here Captain Cook boarded his ship and set sail for the shores of Australia, and it also dishes up some of England’s best fish and chips. Further up the coast you’ll find Newcastle, which is awash with cultural attractions, like the BALTIC gallery for modern art lovers, great restaurants, bars and pubs.

Another type of revolution came from the north of England too – a musical one. The Beatles, possibly England’s most famous clan after the Royal Family, hark from Liverpool in the northwest. Discover the childhood homes of the Fab Four and uncover the places that inspired them before they became international superstars. Feeling motivated? Perhaps it’s time to get in touch with your creative side on an extended sabbatical in England’s north.