Hull: City of contrasts

In this age of staycations, I left Manchester for a few days and crossed northern England to visit the East Yorkshire city of Hull. CONTINUES BELOW

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Hull sits on the Humber estuary and has an interesting mix of grand civic buildings, industrial facilities and modern architecture.

The city has suffered from a shady reputation over the years but I found it both impressive and having plenty worthy of exploration.

The marina area has been extensively restored and Humber Street is an excellent spot for eating out. And with its independent telephone company, Hull is famed for its cream phone boxes.

The city also has a rural and coastal hinterland to visit – more on that in future posts.

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Manchester oasis

Walkden Gardens is a beautiful little place tucked away near Sale, a suburban area of south Manchester.

I visited for the first time on a hot day and was struck by the peace, quiet and cool little corners.

It’s a relatively small plot, criss-crossed with hedges and pathways which make it feel like a maze. I ran into someone who was lost and asked where the entrance was!

The gardens are understated but peppered with delightful blooms, while the dovecote and pergola walk are special features. Enjoy this little tour…

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Shugborough: A photographer’s paradise

A true getaway from Manchester, with a 90-minute drive to the rolling countryside of Staffordshire and a magnificent country estate.

Shugborough was the home of famous royal and society photographer Lord Patrick Lichfield, until his death in 2005.

This connection added an extra dimension to a day out exploring and photographing the vast estate, including its beautiful walled garden, fabulous follies and lavish interiors of the big house.

It was an absolute pleasure on a summer’s day. You should visit if you get the chance.

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Wide open Wirral

The Wirral is a little peninsula that juts into the Irish Sea between Liverpool and north Wales.

But there’s nothing small about this place in Merseyside, with its open wide skies, vast tidal beaches and army of offshore wind turbines.

I visited the small coastal town of Hoylake, which is quiet, understated and charming – the perfect escape from the urban heft of Manchester. Do you fancy a trip there?

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