Things to do in York

Things to do in Windermere

To many visitors, a visit to the Lakes implies nothing more strenuous than mooching around the shops of Windermere and Bowness, and perhaps a relaxing boat trip on the lake. These twin towns – almost joined into one these days – attract a disproportionate number of holidaymakers. If you do want to shop, you’ll find lots of quirky and interesting shops here and a buzz of activity. On the other hand, if you’re looking for the National Park’s ethos of ‘quiet recreation’, you should look elsewhere.

Things to do in Whitby

Whitby is a seaside town that offers much more than most. To start with, it has a long and illustrious history as one of the country’s most important seaports, and can claim associations with a remarkable variety of historical figures. Even Whitby’s setting is dramatic, with houses clinging to the steep slopes on either side of the River Esk. Whitby traditionally offered the only safe harbour between the rivers Tyne and Humber. The town’s large harbour is still at the heart of the town, though today there are more pleasure craft passing the breakwaters than fishing cobles.


Things to do in Waterford

Ireland’s oldest city, Waterford has the largest collection of medieval walls and towers still standing in Ireland. It dates back to 7000 bc, when Stone Age hunter-gatherers congregated on the banks of the River Suir. By 2000 bc settlers were mining copper all along this coast. Viking raids in ad 795 turned to settlement after 914, with a fort called Dundory built on the triangle of high ground between two rivers, and the establishment of a town they called Vadrafjordr.

Things to do in Wakefield

Wakefield owed its earliest prosperity to its role as an inland port and trading centre, linked to the canal network and thus the East Coast ports. Three canals came through here – the Aire and Calder, the Calder and Hebble Navigation, and the Barnsley Canal. Trade in cattle and grain was overtaken by manufacturing – based around textiles, glass and engineering. In the 19th century, coal mining around the city brought huge changes – and considerable prosperity which is reflected in some of Wakefield’s grander Victorian civic buildings.


Things to do in Truro

At the heart of Cornwall, Truro is one of the county’s great towns, with cobbled streets, independent shops selling artisanal cheese, homemade bread and surf clothing, and a great cathedral right in the middle. Holidaymakers tend to head to seaside towns and villages but missing Truro would be missing a treat: there’s always something going on here, thanks to its year-round programme of events, from fashion shows to hip hop.


Things to do in Tenby

People have been singing Tenby’s praises enthusiastically since the ninth century, when an anonymous Welsh poet composed verses in honour of the fine fortress on the bright headland and the courage and generosity of its late lords. More recently, people have fallen in love with the beautiful old harbour, handsome Regency houses and narrow medieval streets, all hemmed in by the best-preserved town walls in south Wales.


Things to do in Swansea

There’s no getting away from it – when it comes to image, Swansea is a bit of a mixed bag. During its heyday in the 19th century, as king of the copper industry, it was known as ‘Copperopolis’. Dylan Thomas then called it – probably the most accurately – an ‘ugly, lovely town.’ Home-grown megastar Catherine Zeta-Jones raves about it. Surveys have concluded it’s the best place to live in Britain.

Things to do in Sunderland

Sunderland, at the mouth of the River Wear was a 19th-century boomtown that prospered on shipping coal and building ships until both those industries collapsed. That happened within living memory, and you can tell that the city is still battling gamely to find a new role for itself.


Things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon

‘I am a stranger here in Gloucestershire: These high wild

hills and rough uneven ways draws out our miles, and makes them wearisome.’

Richard II