Summer – and another Bank Holiday weekend – is fast approaching, but many Brits are staying put, opting for a ‘staycation’ instead.

Not only is staying local easier on finances and works around children still in school, but it’s a great way to explore what’s right on your doorstep. For those of us in the North West, there’s plenty on offer to make a stay at home an enjoyable experience this summer.

Walking in Nature

As an area of significant natural beauty, the North West plays host to a wide range of public footpaths and hiking trails. The variety of walks on offer – from Cheshire’s picturesque canals to the breath-taking vistas of the Peak District – can satiate even the most active outdoor explorer and provide plenty of fun exercise the whole family can be part of.

Art & Culture

We’re fortunate to live in a part of the country which is rich in art and culture, with innumerable galleries and musical performances on offer at any one time.

In Manchester, take some time out to enjoy the city art gallery and its colourful roster of events. Meanwhile, the Northern Quarter plays host to regular music gigs including Whiskey Jar’s now famous Open Mic Night and artistic community events, such as Overdrawn.

Elsewhere, make the most of the sunshine to stroll around the Yorkshire Sculpture Park or Macclesfield’s regular Treacle Market, where you can leisurely buy local art and homemade wares.

Retail Therapy

With three world-class shopping destinations available in the area, there are plenty of opportunities to incorporate some retail therapy into your summer plans.

Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester city centres are all easily accessible by train or car, but if you’re looking for a smaller scale shopping experience that’s still high quality, there’s also the  world-famous Trafford Centre and popular designer outlet Cheshire Oaks to consider.

Take in Some History

From Vikings to the Industrial Revolution, there’s a lot of history waiting to be explored across the region. If you’re unable to get away, there are plenty of opportunities to discover more about the local area, whilst keeping things fun and educational for the whole family.

For those interested in social history and politics, Manchester’s People’s History Museum welcomes visitors to learn more about the fight for democracy in the area. However, if you’d prefer a more action-packed outing, Leeds’ Royal Armouries Museum provides a fascinating insight into weapons and warfare over the ages. The opportunity to safely fire a crossbow draws a big crowd!

Chester and York both provide their own unique blast from the past. Chester’s Dewa Roman Experience allows visitors to become a part of history, whilst York’s world-renowned Jorvik Viking Centre explores the city’s Viking roots with extensive interactive displays.

Treat Yourself to Relaxation

If you’re not keen on the idea of shopping ‘til you drop or making your way around historical landmarks, then why not treat yourself to some relaxation? Cheshire plays host to a number of popular spas – including Mottram Hall and Crewe Hall – many of which provide regular discounts via sites such as Groupon, so there’s usually a deal to be had.

If the whole spa experience isn’t for you, but you’d still like an hour to achieve complete relaxation, consider Manchester’s Float Level, where you and a friend can take to flotation tanks to wash your woes away come rain or shine.

Plenty of Fantastic Restaurants!

When it comes to eating out this summer, you don’t need to be on the French Riviera or along the canals of Venice to enjoy a fine dining experience. The likes of Alderley Edge, Didsbury and Worsley make for a perfect evening out, with restaurant such as The Metropolitan, George’s Dining Room and GUSTO all providing the right measure of ambiance and delicious food to make your local stay worthwhile.

If you’d prefer to dine under the bright lights of the city, there’s even more to choose from – with many generous offers extending across the Spring Bank Holiday, Father’s Day and the summer itself. Both Liverpool and Manchester offer a taste of Catalan from the welcoming Lunya restaurants, which regularly offer promotions. For Father’s Day, for example, you can treat Dad to a free drink whilst enjoying a sumptuous steak. Alternatively, treat the whole family to dinner and a show. Enjoy the vibrant tastes of Asha’s Manchester in time for the theatre, with a special pre-theatre dining option.

Food Festivals

If you’d prefer to do some culinary exploration, the North West is sure to satisfy with a colourful array of food festivals across the summer. Kicking things off 15th-28th May is Manchester’s Restaurant Week, whilst Cheshire is playing host to a plethora of food festivals.

Over in Leeds, the Leeds Indie Food festival is bringing together the best of places such as The Whitelock, Tapped and Bundobust to offer visitors to the city an experience like no other. Discover new food pairings, a Victorian banquet and plenty of gin tasting during a four-week calendar of events – a foodie’s dream.

As you can see, there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained this summer – all without having to leave the North West. Don’t be fooled, though: this list is far from exhaustive. Other things we could have mentioned include summer kids clubs, farmers and craft markets, mini music festivals and even a trip to the beach or local lido.

So, before you despair at having to stay put this summer, look at what’s happening locally – you might be surprised by the amazing things already on your doorstep.

No matter what the weather this summer, restaurants and bars can welcome customers with confidence thanks to our range of parasols and all-weather pergolas. To view our complete range, click here. Or, if you’d like to find out more, feel free to get in touch and request a call back from a member of our team.