Manchester, Liverpool & Blackpool
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Before you go jumping to conclusions and despite popular opinion... I loved it! Manchester city has been remarketed, brand new buildings, social squares and hip cafes line the beautiful city. I went on a public holiday so all that populated the city was busy restaurants, shoppers and holiday goers. I didn't get the chance to go out at night for a drink or even a meal but from what I saw during the day it would definitely be something i'd be interested in doing this year. Public transport was fairly orgainised. We caught the train to preston where I was lucky enough to stay with a friend for the following couple days after my arrival in manchester. I loved Preston. It was everything a small town needed and was close enough to the big cities and easily assessable by car. There was so much grass land and empty land that was a perfect back drop for any sunset or sunrise.
Blackpool was next on our adventure list and I can see the potential it had. Unfortunately most of the small city was dated and unused but there was still enough to get the general idea of what was happening. The rides and arade games are a must try if you have the time. Also try a donut- I personally have never had a freshly made warm donut and it was unreal! The food and attractions are fairly cheap but do save asdie some money if you want to venture into Madame Tussauds, the aquarium etc. Parking isn't to bad for the day so if you can for your convenience I'd say drive, so you're not relying on public transport. I'd recommend half a day to a day here no more as after a while it all get repetitive.
Next stop was Liverpool. What am amazing city, personally I think Manchester is more liveable but for a weekend or a few days Liverpool is perfect. The beatles shop is a must see, although not a fan myself i still enjoyed the experience. The wharf is a great walk and boasts some really nice views and small shops along the way. There is a museum along the way and if you're interested be sure to head in. The buildings are historical and some have a story with them. When we visited there was a bar along the wharf which was a bit expensive for a drink or two but it defiantly took up some time! We stayed in an airbnb just outside the city, it was in a bit of a shady area which having someone with me worked out well. As long as you stick to your own you'll be fine! I was very thankful I had something with me. The airbnb was cheap for the night/s we stayed but had a few flaws, so make sure you check out the photos and comments if airbnb is your way to go!
Do you want to stay where I did? Click here.