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

Why the North Wales town of Wrexham is basking in Hollywood glamour

November 12, 2021

Another autumn feature: the unlikely tale of Wrexham as a hub for the Hollywood A-list. Wrexham may seem an unlikely contender for frissons of Tinseltown glamour with its industrial heritage, pockmarked landscape and border-town status as the gateway to Northeast Wales. But Wrexham is taking the spotlight. It currently features… Read more

How to spend a fun weekend in Blackpool for the illuminations

November 10, 2021

I’m finally catching up on posting assignments over the autumn and the first stop? Blackpool. The nights may be drawing in, but autumn finds brassy Blackpool bathed in “artificial sunshine”. The world-renowned Blackpool Illuminations along the promenade (pictured above) have been extended this year until 3 January, building on a tradition… Read more

Wales has a new Unesco World Heritage Site. Let’s use it wisely then.

July 29, 2021

Wales has a new Unesco World Heritage Site. The industrial heritage of North Wales has just been named as the UK’s 33rd Unesco World Heritage Site. The award reflects the international significance of Welsh slate in “roofing the 19th century world”. It’s the fourth site in Wales alongside the castles… Read more

How to spend a weekend in Manchester for the International Festival

July 9, 2021

*Map via The i Paper The Manchester International Festival is now under way across the northern-powerhouse city. If you’re planning a visit, then you might just find my guide to what’s new and interesting around Manchester useful. Amongst the highlights is the exhibition Use Hearing Protection: the early years of Factory… Read more

Why Liverpool could survive loosing its Unesco World heritage status

July 2, 2021

It looks like an own goal for Liverpool — not Klopp’s team facing the wrath of The Kop but the announcement by Unesco that it could strip Liverpool of its World Heritage status. The port city of Liverpool is currently one of 32 Unesco World Heritage sites in the UK.… Read more

Facebook Live ghost tours live-streamed for the Chester Heritage Festival

June 24, 2021

The Chester Heritage Festival kicked off last weekend with a series of live and online events across the city. My contribution was a pair of short Facebook Live videos from two haunted locations around the city. It was based around my Haunted Chester audio tour, bringing a frisson of ghost-story… Read more

How to drink to English Wine Week at the Carden Park Hotel in Cheshire

June 21, 2021

Cheers! It’s English Wine Week. I went to raise a glass at my nearest vineyard, nestled in the Cheshire countryside at the Carden Park Hotel and Spa estate [pictured above], for a national newspaper feature. * The edited article was published yesterday in the Sun on Sunday. This is my… Read more

20 good reasons to spend your next UK staycation in Chester & Cheshire

June 15, 2021

UK staycation? Of course you are. So it’s timely that I had a two-pager in the Daily Telegraph at the weekend as part of the Staycation Nation series. It was packed with my local-knowledge tips about summer events and activities around my home patch of Chester and Cheshire. From Storyhouse’s… Read more

Walking Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail as it marks its 50-year anniversary

April 5, 2021

This year marks 50 years of the Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail. There are local walking festivals to look out for and a revamped visitor centre in the Welsh border town of Knighton to open later this summer. An ITV series about the Path, Wonders of the Border, will be shown… Read more