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

Dark Chester: a walk through the shadows of our dark-tourism history

June 21, 2022

We took a walk on the dark side a few days ago. It was the inaugural outing for my new Dark Chester tour [pictured above], a walking tour through the shadows of Chester’s 2000-year-old history. Think Horrible Histories meets Inside Number Nine with a dash of the Uncanny podcast. In… Read more

How to step behind the scenes at Jodrell Bank science centre, Cheshire

June 11, 2022

Sir Bernard Lovell became the father of modern cosmology long before Professor Brian Cox started pondering the wonders of the universe. I went to walk in Lovell’s footsteps recently at the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre [pictured above], the observatory and science park in rural Cheshire. Last weekend saw the opening… Read more

Why you should raise a glass to English Wine Week in Herefordshire

June 7, 2022

I’m inspecting neat, newly flowering rows on a sun-dappled day in the English countryside. But I’m not strolling in the gardens of a stately home. Instead, I’ve come to a vineyard in the rural heartland of Herefordshire to witness an unlikely trend: the rise of quality English wines. No, really.… Read more

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