As we approach that time of year when people are planning their holiday trips and city breaks, I think it’s about time we all looked closer to home; towards the vast culture that the UK has to offer. Believe it or not, the UK has a lot of culture beyond the big cities of London, Birmingham, and Manchester.
Liverpool has undergone a complete regeneration in recent years after being named European Capital of Culture, 2008.
Liverpool, the home of The Beatles; premier league football rivals, Liverpool FC and Everton; and the European Capital of Culture, 2008, Liverpool is definitely a place to visit. For Beatles fans, Liverpool holds an annual ‘Beatleweek’ to celebrate the amazing music that the Merseyside city has to offer. Not to mention a Beatle’s convention for the crazier of fans. Liverpool, however, is not just a city with a brilliant music scene. Liverpool has undergone a complete regeneration in recent years after being named European Capital of Culture, 2008. The city’s riverfront is now a World Heritage Site, with former dock warehouses being turned into one of the UK’s biggest art attractions: Tate Liverpool. Housing the work of Yves Klein, one of the most influential figures in post-war Britain, as well as the work of one of America’s most famous pop artists: Roy Lichtenstein. But if all you want to do is try some traditional delicatessens then how about some Scouse “Bubble and Squeak”, whatever that might be!
If you have a real interest in the historical routes of the UK, York is the place to be.
The UK also presents some brilliant history. York is a city situated in the heart of Yorkshire, founded in Roman times. One of the best historical highlights of York has to be the popular attraction of The Shambles, an old street with overhanging buildings, which traditionally housed butchers. The Shambles, alongside York Minster, York Castle, and the Jorvik Viking Centre truly highlights the medieval culture of this beautiful Yorkshire city. But of course you cannot go to York without going to one of the best cafés around for some afternoon tea. Large ornate windows and mirrors surround Bettys Café of Helen Square. Offering some of the tastiest food around – I definitely recommend the scones with jam and cream. York does not just accommodate for those who are after some afternoon tea and cake though; the Assize of Ale pub crawl is a yearly event to raise money for local charities. This only adds to York’s reputation as one of the UK’s top beer destinations, serving 328 unique real ales, as York CAMRA found in 2016. So, if you have a taste for real ale or traditional British afternoon tea, or more importantly if you have a real interest in the historical routes of the UK, York is the place to be.
Hull is by far the best place to be in 2017, with a wide array of events; many interesting museums and art galleries; and incredible architecture and sites.
Finally, and most importantly Kingston upon Hull the City of Culture, 2017. You are probably thinking what culture does Hull have? Or maybe even where on earth is Hull? But, for a matter of fact, Hull does have culture and is Yorkshire’s only waterfront city. Hull, or ‘ull to many locals is definitely on the up, with the recent investment of German company Siemens and complete revamp of Hull City Centres’ streets, there is a lot to see in what was the most bombed city outside of London during WWII. Hull homes the world’s only submarium, The Deep, so go and have a look at some beautiful sea creatures; stand in a lift that goes up the centre of a shark tank; or even visit the penguins, a recent addition. This isn’t the only unique attraction; the Humber Bridge is one of the world’s longest suspension bridges offering beautiful walks in the Country Park and beautiful photo opportunities all year round. But of course, Hull wouldn’t be without its annual fair, one of the oldest and largest travelling fairs in Europe, offering fun for all the family, and some delicious, traditional fair food, you might even enjoy some proper northern fish and chips, or maybe even a pattie, if you dare. Kingston upon Hull is by far the best place to be in 2017, with a wide array of events; many interesting museums and art galleries; and incredible architecture and sites. Hull is the cultural destination of 2017. Believe me, it’s my home city.