WHERE TO GO
NORTH The north of England is rich with natural wonders – explore the Lake District, the Northumberland coast, or the wild moors. It’s also home to the man-made, industrial past of the country – take in mines, museums celebrating our manufacturing heritage and the grand houses built with the wealth created by them.
There’s something truly English about tramping across the North Yorkshire moors (northyorkmoors.org. uk) – spectacular views – some right down to the coast – studded with ancient stone crosses, spires of steam rising from the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, and boats bobbing in Robin Hood Bay. The area is great for off-road cycling, with tracks that criss-cross the moors, plus two dedicated cycling centres, at Sutton Bank and Dalby Forest. Try riding some (or if you’re feeling strong, all) of the Moor to Sea Cycle Network, which snakes for 150 miles around Scarborough, Whitby, Dalby Forest and Great Ayton.
ROBIN HOOD BAY
Ever seen a real-life fairy? If you want to find one, Aira Force and Ullswater is a good place to start. Walk through the ancient woodland, and you might spot a little winged creature in one of the leafy glades. If magical beings are scarce on the ground, you may spot an even more beautiful beast – a red squirrel. Venture further, and you’ll find the 20m high waterfall, which tumbles beneath a stone bridge. Steamers criss-cross the beautiful, still Ullswater – take one to or from Aira Force, or hire a dinghy from Glenridding Sailing Centre (glenriddingsailing centre.co.uk) and live out your Swallows and Amazons fantasies.
Over to the east, the Northumberland coastline is studded with spectacular castles, high rocky cliffs and horizonhogging sands. Bamburgh beach (visitnorth umberland.com/ coast/bamburgh) is spectacular – one of the UK’s most iconic castles stands at one end, and the Farne Islands sit off the other. There are huge dunes big enough to roll down, white sand, and acres of wide-open space. The dramatic shoreline makes for big waves; take a surf board out and try to catch a big one. If you’d prefer something a little safer, the rock pools clustered around the lighthouse on Stag Rocks are fun to explore.
FAMILY HOLIDAY GUIDE 2016