Hit the North

This deep-dive regional travel blog draws on my expertise as a destination expert, based in Chester. With the focus on UK staycations still prominent, I’ll be highlighting the most interesting new travel projects, the hidden-gem boltholes, and offering my expert-knowledge tips on what to do around the region I live in and know so well. Sign up to my new monthly newsletter from the bottom of the Home Page, or in the menu bar under Newsletter.

And expect new, offbeat and insider-secret travel news and tips from:

  • Chester and Cheshire
  • Liverpool and Manchester
  • North Wales and the wider area
  • The Lake District and Lancashire
  • Wider content exploring the North of England

How to spend a weekend in North Shropshire’s Oswestry and Ironbridge

May 11, 2024

I spent a couple of days recently in the North Shropshire region, visiting the town of Oswestry with its deli-cafe Niche [pictured above] and the nearby World Heritage Site at Ironbridge. The story appeared in this weekend’s iNewspaper travel section. Read an extract here: This border market town is a… Read more

The best places to celebrate Cheshire Day across my home region

April 28, 2024

To mark Cheshire Day, I was commissioned by Marketing Cheshire to write a guest blog post for their public-facing website for visitors. The blog includes references to some of the attractions across the region from Chester via Crewe to Macclesfield with its former Art Deco cinema turned food court [pictured… Read more

How to mark the bicentenary of the death of Lord Byron in Nottinghamshire

April 28, 2024

My Lord Byron feature appeared in print in the Daily Mail travel section last week. The story was based around a visit to Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire [pictured above]. The original copy was edited for space, so here’s my first draft of the article below. He was notorious for drinking… Read more

A weekend away at a stately pile fit for a Prime Minister in North Wales

February 7, 2024

He was a four-time British prime minister and dominant figure of the Victorian era. Clashing regularly in Parliament with his arch-rival Disraeli, he was described by Queen Victoria as a “half-mad firebrand”. But a weekend visit to his ancestral estate in North Wales reveals his lesser-known passions for literature and… Read more

Why a Peak District village is the UK’s best place for the real Christmas spirit

December 29, 2023

A festive, pre-Christmas break in the heart of the Peak District National Park. I was on assignment for Telegraph Travel to find the real spirit of Christmas away from the tacky gifts and gimmicky light shows. Here’s a taster of the text: Castleton’s tight-knit community grew from the building of… Read more

How to spent a winter-warmer weekend in Wrexham, North Wales

December 29, 2023

A winter weekend in Wrexham. I was on assignment for the iNewspaper travel section as part of its Winter Weekend series. The North Wales city is an unlikely hot ticket for a UK city break in 2024 — and not just for football fans. Here’s a taster of the text:… Read more

How to spend a spooky Halloween weekend in haunted Nottingham

October 31, 2023

Nottingham is home to some of Britain’s most haunted buildings. I spent an autumnal weekend in the East Midlands city to get a feel for its dark-tourism heritage on a Halloween assignment for the Daily Mail travel section. My feature was published at the weekend and here’s a taster: The… Read more

What the HS2 decision means next for Crewe’s fledgling tourism industry

October 17, 2023

  What does the HS2 decision mean for rail-heritage-central Crewe? That’s the question posed by this article, a postcard from East Cheshire for Telegraph Travel. The story went live today but behind the paywall, so here’s my full, unedited draft, including an interview with former railwayman Brian Bailey [pictured above].… Read more

A slow-travel journey along the North Wales Way reveals hidden gems

September 27, 2023

    A summer assignment for Wanderlust Magazine took me on a slow-travel odyssey along the North Wales Way. It’s one of three new routes devised by Visit Wales to look afresh at regions most people think they already know. In terms of North Wales, visitors often drive from the… Read more