17 things to do in Liverpool at Christmas

17 things to do in Liverpool at Christmas | PACK THE SUITCASES

I’ve just got back from a magical Liverpool Christmas day out and wanted to share what I got up to. I’m trying to type this up as quickly as possible because I’m very aware of how close Christmas is now and for this post to be useful for anyone planning a Liverpool Christmas trip, it needs to go live ASAP. So apologies for it being slightly shorter than my usual mammoth essays, but I hope you enjoy it anyway and that it helps you if you’re planning a Liverpool Christmas trip.

Christmas is my favourite time of year. Although I no longer live there, I usually spend Christmas back ‘home’ in a village near Liverpool, where I grew up. I always try to cram a day out in the city centre in if I can, because it’s so good for getting festive and doing some Christmas shopping. But I love it at any time of year. If you want to read more about my general Liverpool recommendations (non-festive!), have a look at my best UK city break post, which has Liverpool at the top.

Anyway, let’s pour a hot chocolate and start planning a Liverpool Christmas trip with these festive things to do…

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A guide to Manchester, UK: things to do, see and eat

Manchester: places to visit, eat/drink at and see | PACK THE SUITCASES

If you’re planning a weekend away or if you’re local and looking for new places to visit in Manchester, this might be handy for you.

After years of research (read: eating and drinking too much), I’ve put together a bit of a city guide featuring all my local haunts that I regularly tell my friends to go to. It seemed daft to have so many travel posts about more far-flung destinations and absolutely nothing about Manchester, the city I know best. So here it is…

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18 of the best UK city breaks for a weekend getaway

18 of the best UK city breaks for a weekend getaway | PACK THE SUITCASES

Here are 18 of (in my opinion) the best UK city breaks for a weekend getaway when you don’t want to venture further afield. And as well as sharing my own favourite UK city breaks, I thought I’d rope in some other travel bloggers as well so that I could cover more of the country and include tips on UK cities that I’ve never visited or have visited but don’t know well enough to write about in any detail.I asked around and some fellow travel bloggers obliged me with their own UK city break ideas, which I’ve included below after my ones.

You’ll notice that London is not listed. Before anyone asks why, it’s because a) I don’t like it, b) it’s already been done to death online and c) I wanted to write about great UK cities that don’t get as much attention.

So, get comfy with a cup of tea. It might take you a while to read this one…

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20 things to do in Southport, UK

20 things to do in Southport, UK | PACK THE SUITCASES

After a gorgeous autumnal day out there, I decided to write up some of the best things to do in Southport. I grew up in a village near to Southport, so I spent a lot of time there when I was younger and used to know it really well. But since I moved away over 10 years ago, SO much has changed. I’ve only ever been back on flying visits rather than for a full day out (usually just drunken evenings to be honest). So returning for a day in Southport this autumn was like visiting an entirely new town for me.

If you don’t know it, Southport (or ‘Sowie’ as locals used to call it – possibly still do) is a seaside town in the North West. It was a popular Victorian holiday destination and like most coastal towns, has had its fair share of shops closing down and an air of faded grandeur. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised to return, sober and in the cold light of day, to find it’s actually a really nice day out now. Southport even has pockets of real brilliance in the form of art, craft beer and food.

Anyway, onto 20 things to do in Southport – in no particular order…

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10 things to do in Stockport: a town of vegan eats and vintage treats

Things to do in Stockport UK | PACK THE SUITCASES

I thought I’d put together this little list of some of my favourite things to do in Stockport, one of the 2 nearest large towns to where I currently live (the other is Macclesfield, which I also recommend). Stockport is often overshadowed by the city of Manchester being so close to it, but it actually has some brilliant places to eat and drink as well as some lovely vintage shops worth seeking out. Unfortunately, it also has a fairly run down shopping area, a generic retail park and a brand new chain restaurant/cinema complex, so this can give a negative first impression. I wasn’t taken with it at all when we first visited. It wasn’t until we ventured to one of the food events on that I found all the little hidden gems round the old town and lovely market area and started to see a different side to Stockport.

So here are a few things to do in Stockport that I take friends to when they come for a visit or that I recommend to people who are in the area…

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A guide to Macclesfield Treacle Market, Cheshire

A guide to the Macclesfield Treacle Market | PACK THE SUITCASES

The Treacle Market, Macclesfield, Cheshire, is something we’ve been meaning to go to for ages. It’s a food/craft/vintage market that runs on the last Sunday of every month.

I don’t know why we’ve taken so long to get round to going – it’s only a few stops away from us on the train. Being on a Sunday, it’s perfect for us because we’re always busy with horses or nights out on Saturdays. So we finally got round to going to the one in August and it was brilliant. I do love a market, but it’s hard to find a good’un. Food ones are a bit boring once you’ve actually eaten and they’re often overrun with screaming children, which I am allergic to. Vintage/craft ones are frequently full of old junk and someone’s hideous homemade Celtic jewellery. You end up wandering round and never actually buying anything. The Treacle Market is the opposite of this situation – we came home with loads of actually nice stuff.

And Macclesfield turned out to be lovely. It’s not somewhere we know very well, even though it’s so close to where we live now. It’s really pretty and has lots of good places to eat and drink, so it’s a good place to wander round when you’ve wrung the market dry too. We’ve already planned to go back to try a Scandinavian restaurant we had our eye on and I want to take my mum to the market. That’s how good it was.

So this is what we got up to…

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