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 Roman-heritage weekend in Hadrian’s Wall country

May 2, 2022

My latest assignment took me to the wide-open spaces of Northumberland. I was there researching a feature for Discover Britain magazine about events to celebrate the 1900 years since the Romans started building Hadrian’s Wall [pictured above]. The Wall, built over seven years from 122AD, comprised a series of a gates… Read more

Why the hidden-treasure town of Nantwich should be your next staycation

April 19, 2022

Spring finds me driving the rural backroads of south Cheshire. I’m here on assignment for Telegraph Travel, writing a postcard from Cheshire as part of a series of articles by writers around the UK. Each one is about an under-the-radar destinations for UK staycations with a sprinkle of celebratory stardust.… Read more

How to mark St David’s Day in Wales for food lovers and walking fans

March 2, 2022

St. David’s Day in Wales this week and I’ve got two articles out to mark Wales’ patron-saint day. The first is a piece about foodie breaks for spring and my contribution focused on the local flavours and fairytale architecture at Portmeirion [pictured above], North Wales, one of my favourite places… Read more

How to discover hidden Manchester on an alternative city tour

February 13, 2022

I’m always on the look out for an alternative city walking tour. It’s a great way to see a city in a new light and gives me with inspiration to help design my own themed tours of my home city of Chester. I was introduced recently to Hayley Flynn, whose Skyliner… Read more

Why walking with the Northern Saints is the perfect spring break

January 23, 2022

The dawn of Christianity remains imprinted on the landscape of County Durham and Northumberland. There are over 100 ancient, stone churches, many dating from the Saxon period, plus various spiritual sites, and pilgrimage routes. The region is now celebrating its ancient heritage with six new pilgrim routes, known collectively as… Read more

Winter light festivals? I think it’s time to pull the plug.

December 12, 2021

My final feature of the year was an opinion piece following a recent visit to Durham. Here’s a sample of the story: The light-festival idea is nothing new, of course. Lyon first came up with the bright idea in 1999 and the Fete des Lumieres has become a major visitor… Read more

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