Speke Hall

Speke Hall, originally built in 1530, has a atmospheric interior that spans many periods. The Great Hall and priest hole date from Tudor times, while the Oak Parlour and smaller rooms, some with William Morris wallpapers, illustrates the Victorian desire for privacy and comfort.

There is also fine Jacobean plasterwork and intricately carved furniture. A fully equipped Victorian kitchen and servants’ hall enable visitors to see ‘behind the scenes’. The restored garden has spring bulbs, a rose garden, summer border and stream garden, and there are woodland walks and magnificent views of the Mersey basin and North Wales hills from The Bund, a high bank.

Home Farm, a 5-minute walk from Speke Hall, is a model Victorian farm building, restored and part-adapted to provide a restaurant, shop and visitor facilities, and offers estate walks, children’s play area

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Southport

Although many would say Southport’s heyday was in the Victorian era this traditional seaside resort is still one of the most popular in the UK. Much of this has been due to the array of annual events held here which pull in big crowds. However, it is still the town’s vast swathe of sandy beach that is the reason that people keep coming back and life revolves around the seafront.

In summer, the beach is an ideal spot for all those traditional Great British seaside pastimes. Building sandcastles, flying kites or taking a dip in in the safe bathing waters are all as popular as ever.

For an even more traditional experience visi the recently restored Pier which dates back to 1860. It is in fact the oldest iron pier in the country. Visitors can walk or take a tram ride to the end of the pier, which has a viewing platform looking over the estuary. The Pier Pavilion has displays on local wildlife and the history of the pier.

The golden sands of Southport Beach are part of the 22-mile Sefton coastline leading from the Mersey into the Ribble Estuary. Beyond Southport’s seafront things rapidly return to a natural wilderness with some of the largest undeveloped dune systems in the UK.
North of the pier, lies Marshside RSPB reserve, with viewing screens, two hides and a viewing platform.

There are two walking trails through the dunes close to the beach. The Queen’s Jubilee Trail, accessed from the Esplanade has trails, information boards and picnic areas. The Velvet Walk is a circular walk going past dunes, ponds and reed beds

 

Manchester

For almost all of its existence, Manchester has been a bastion of forward thinking. From the industrial revolution, When the first steam – driven cotton mills turned the city into an international textile centre, to the modern urban regeneration projects it has spearheaded, Manchester has embraced the new and ridden the crest of the technological wave.

The city continues to look to the future. Audacious urban regeneration.

Piccadilly Gardens

Tow hall

Chinatown