Millenium Bridge - Newcastle

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Newcastle

Located in the north-east of England, Newcastle (on the banks of the River Tyne) has something very special and distinctly unique, from its 2,000 years of history to the creative, booming world-class city. It is renowned for its excellent shopping and amazing nightlife. But Newcastle has much more to offer - explore the beautiful Georgian architecture including the ancient city walls and castle; enjoy the stunning quayside with its waterfront bars and galleries; and don't miss the fantastic objects of public art on a grand scale, such as the Angel of the North. The inhabitants of Newcastle are known as 'Geordies' and are renowned for their love and pride in their city, their football and of course their beloved Newcastle United.  You will know you're there on a match day - just look around you to see masses of the 'Magpies' - football fans wearing their team's black and white shirts. 

Excursion ideas

  1. A full day tour to Alnwick Castle - the largest inhabited castle in England after Windsor Castle, the home of the Percy family, Dukes of Northumberland since 1309.  Many scenes of Harry Potter were filmed at the Castle! Continue up the coast to visit the stunning beaches and castles in the area, such as Bamburgh and Dunstanburgh
  2. A half day tour to Hadrian's Wall - the most important monument built by the Romans in Britain which is now designated a World Heritage Site.

Manchester

Manchester Old Trafford imageFrom its heavy industrial past Manchester has recently emerged as an exciting modern city with modern architecture and burgeoning cafe, bar and nightlife scene.  It is the largest academic centre in Britain with Manchester University at its heart and is home to the famous Manchester United, where David Beckham rose to stardom and Wayne Rooney now plays. Enjoy old Victorian industrial architecture sitting side by side with the modern 21st century parts of the city. Granada Studios is the setting for the much loved British soap opera 'Coronation Street'. 

Excursion ideas

  1. A full day trip to York - an old Viking and medieval centre with beautiful medieval streets and ancient city walls.  Visit the National Railway Museum with its historic steam locomotives and famous trains. The Jorvik Viking Centre offers a fascinating glimpse into life in Viking days, and the Castle Museum has a recreation of a Victorian street.  
  2. A half day trip to Chester - an old town with traces of Roman and medieval history.  Enjoy stylish shopping in the unique medieval two-tier shopping galleries called The Rows, or follow the Roman city walls along a 2 mile (3km) stretch and see the Roman Garden or the Roman amphitheatre. 
  3. A half day trip to Liverpool - the home of the Beatles and one of the largest ports in Britain.  Visit Albert Dock for the story of the Beatles and enjoy the many art galleries, shops, cafes and bars or take in the sights strolling along the Mersey. 

Birmingham

Birmingham shopping  imageA vibrant city in the heart of England with superb shopping and great nightlife.  Birmingham offers cookery courses and short gastronomic breaks for food lovers.  Shop at the revamped Bullring or The Mailbox, two of the best known shopping centres and eat your heart out at many fine restaurants offering food from world cuisines.  Birmingham is renowned for its public art and cultural diversity and excellence, from music to ballet performed by the Birmingham Royal Ballet.  Birmingham offers a vibrant base a stone's throw away from the charming English countryside, to the home of Shakespeare and the heart of English pottery industry. The National Exhibition Centre hosts some of the world's top trade fairs and shows, and the revitalized canal area is the location for the National Indoor Arena and the SeaLife Centre. Cadbury's World is well worth a visit for chocoholics!

Excursion ideas

  1. Full day trip to Cheltenham and the Cotswolds - a pretty Regency spa town where you can still `take the waters' in the Pittville Pump Room, or indulge in alternative retail therapy in the many specialist boutiques and antiques shops.  The neighbouring Cotswolds exemplifies quintessential English countryside.
  2. Half day trip to Warwick Castle - a historic town with a medieval fortress located on the banks of the River Avon. Make the trip a full day outing by visiting Stratford-upon-Avon, and visit Shakespeare's Birthplace and Anne Hathaway's Cottage
  3. Half day trip to 'The Potteries' - made up of six towns, Stoke-on-Trent is home to some of the world's most famous pottery manufacturers.  There are lots of factory shops from which you can choose your souvenirs often at bargain prices.  Royal Doulton and Spode provide factory tours where you can see first hand the history of design and manufacturing processes.

Glasgow

Glasgow Landmark Chambers imageGlasgow is a great Scottish city with good examples of Georgian and Victorian as well as modern architecture.  The city is laid out on a grid, so it is very easy to get around, alternatively hop on a city tour bus and get off at various places of interest as you please - spend as much or as little time as you wish and then pick up the next bus to the next destination.  The awesome 12th century Glasgow Cathedral is worth the visit, as is the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art where you can explore the world's six main religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. Enjoy the many Glaswegian restaurants and friendly reception by Glaswegians wherever you go.  Don't miss the Charles Rennie Mackintosh House which is now a museum housing some of his avant-garde designs; also see the Glasgow School of Art designed by Mackintosh.  The Museum of Glasgow chronicles the fortunes and hardships of Glaswegians throughout history.

Excursion ideas

  1. Half day trip to picturesque Loch Lomond - the largest stretch of inland water in Britain.  Relax on a boat cruise on the Loch.
  2. Half day tour to Stirling Castle - one of Scotland's grandest castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture, commanding  the countryside for many miles around.It towers over some of the most important battlefields of Scotland, including Stirling Bridge, the site of William Wallace's (Braveheart) victory over the English in 1297.
  3. Half day trip to New Lanark World Heritage Site - the restored 18th century cotton mill together with the historical village can take you back to the past in the award winning visitor centre

Cardiff

Glasgow Landmark Chambers imageCardiff is the young and vibrant capital of Wales. Its history dates back to the Roman times but it gained  international importance in the 19th century, when it become the world's biggest coal exporting port. It is worth visiting the Victorian style civic centre, National Museum and Gallery and the romantic Cardiff Castle. Don't miss the Millennium Stadium, the biggest covered stadium in Europe with a fully retractable roof, the home of Wales' national game - rugby. Enjoy an evening in the trendy Cardiff Bay area full of pubs, restaurants and night clubs.

Excursion ideas

  1. Half day trip to Museum of Welsh Life. This open air museum contains over 30 old buildings, brought there from different parts of Wales, including a school, a chapel, shops and ironworkers' cottages from 1805 to 1985. All this is set in parkland surrounding St Fagan's Castle, a late 16th-century manor house.
  2. Half day trip to medieval Caerphilly Castle - the first concentric castle in Britain (walls within walls) and the largest castle in Wales. The castle is surrounded by artificial lakes and islands and is the second largest castle in Britain after Windsor Castle.
  3. Half day trip to Rhondda Heritage Park - take an underground tour to experience the life of men excavating `black gold', feel changing atmospheric pressures and humidity, and see an explosion detonated.

Cork

A perfect destination for a leisurely break in an historic Irish city with a young heart. Stroll around the picturesque centre full of restaurants and small shops, and enjoy the warm and welcoming hospitality of its inhabitants. See St Carthage Cathedral and visit the Cork City Gaol, housing life-size wax figures, each representing a particular period in Irish history.  Cork is a convenient base for short trips around the beautiful Irish countryside.

Excursion ideas

  1. Half day trip to Blarney Castle - kiss the Blarney Stone to gain the gift of the art of persuasion !
  2. Full day trip to Killarney - see the restored 15th century former residential tower known as the Ross Castle, and the magnificent 19th century manor Muckross House and surrounding gardens on the spectacular Lakes of Killarney.