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The most stunning glamping spots with summer availability near Manchester

There are some real beauty spots in this neck of the woods…

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Coolstays & Canopy & Stars

With summer fast approaching and the ongoing chaos in Manchester Airport showing no sign of subsiding, now is the perfect time to embark upon a humble British staycation.

There’s a lot to love about a holiday at home; instead of lengthy airport queues and days of jet-lag, there is an abundance of beautiful English countryside at your disposal, and all on your doorstep.⁠

And luckily for you lot, there’s a massive selection of fantastic staycation glamping spots just a stone’s throw away from Manchester.

So without any further ado, here’s some of the best spots to book this summer…

Airbnb

Beechwood Nook, Rossendale

Nestled within the heart of the Rossendale Valley, Crown Lodge’s brand new Beechwood Nook chalet boasts everything you’d need for a local staycation.

Guests will have full use of a luxury kitchen, luxury bathroom, log burners, a free standing bath next to the bedroom area and their own private hot tub overlooking the valley.

And for those wanting to get out and explore, the site is situated just next to Rawtenstall, a quaint town boasting regular food markets, local pubs and cafes.

Beechwood Nook is just a fifty-minute drive from Manchester, and is easily accessable via public transport routes from the city centre.

Book here.

CoolStays

The Domes at Ream Hills, Weeton

Sitting along a lake in the picturesque Lancashire village of Weeton, The Domes at Ream Hills provide stunning waterside views, making them the ideal spot to hunker down for a little time out of the city.

The pods, which are fully suspended over the water, come complete with transparent windows that boast spectacular views of all their wonderful surroundings.

They also feature both single and double beds, a home cinema system and central heating for those colder nights and mornings.

There is also a cafe and bar on site, and those wanting to explore further afield will find a decent pint, tasty food and a beer garden at the nearby gastropub Eagle at Weeton. The domes are also within driving distance of Blackpool and Lytham St. Annes.

Book here.

Airbnb

Meadow Head Orchard Hut, Lancashire

The magical Meadow Head Orchard Hut is the perfect spot for those looking to de-stress away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Found within the grounds of the Meadow Head Farm in Lancashire, this cosy cabin comes complete with a wood-fired outdoor bath and communal fire pit, perfect for huddling around while watching the stars.

The hut itself is equally as rustic but comes with some modern touches, including induction hobs and an ensuite bathroom. Guests will also find local breakfast essentials in the fridge, with eggs from the ducks and fresh juice from the apple trees in season.

There’s also an abundance of wildlife to be seen within the grounds, including deer and even the hut’s own resident owl.

Book here.

Airbnb

The Shepherd’s Rest Glamping Pod, Lake District

Surrounded the stunning Lake District countryside, The Shepherd’s Rest glamping pod gives guests the opportunity to truly get back to nature.

The pod is completely secluded and boasts panoramic views of the Dunsop and Ribble Valleys. One side holds a log burner, sofa bed and kitchen unit, and the other holds the bedroom and bathroom, complete with double bed, toilet, sink and shower.

But perhaps the most appealing part of the pod is its own private hot tub, which is perfect for sipping a glass of bubbly and enjoying the breathtaking views.

The campsite is within driving distance of pubs, restaurants and the local market town of Clitheroe for those wanting to explore.

Book here.

Canopy & Stars

Foxglove, Preston

Hidden away in a beautiful Lancashire woodland, Foxglove is the ideal escape for couples wanting a little seclusion and relaxation.

The pinnacle feature of Foxglove is the wood-fire tin bath tub and log burner, which has proven to be a huge hit among couples enjoying the night stars with a bottle of bubbly.

Inside, the cabin comes with everything you could need for a glamping trip, including an electric hob, outdoor barbecue, and a fridge-freezer. Guests can also buy and cook local produce from the onsite farm shop, as well as seasonal fruit and vegetables from the owners’ walled garden.

And for those wanting to get out and about and sample some authentic pub grub, Foxglove is situated just one mile away from a local village.

Book here.

Canopy & Stars

Van Goff, Powys

This 1970’s converted ‘time-warped’ caravan could be the most unique glamping experience yet, boasting vintage and pre-loved features and facilities.

Van Goff is hidden away within the wooded grounds of Bodynfoel Hall, and features a raised decking with a table, chairs and barbecue, all overlooking the lush Welsh hills.

The caravan is completely secluded with its own private facilities, and even features a little rowing boat by the lake, which guests are all welcome to use.

Van Goff is accessible by car, and can be found around a thirty minute’s drive away from the Gobowen train station.

Book here.

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Feature

Here’s what happened to the infamous Kersal Massive after their early viral fame

The ringleader of the notorious rap trio was tracked down a few years ago…

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YouTube

Back in the early days of the internet, before the birth of TikTok and when YouTube reigned supreme, an unassuming rapping trio from Manchester were catapulted to viral stardom.

C-Mac, Little F*****g Kevin and Ginger Joe, all from Salford, made up the Kersal Massive, a rap trio that would go on to become instant internet stars thanks to their rap song about day-to-day life in Manchester.

Instead of using their music to address social inequality or political issues, the Kersal Massive instead opted to rap about life in Manchester, grand theft auto and using their day saver bus passes. 

Their rap song was actually an entry for a contest to win a Kano-themed BMX, hosted by former record label 679 Recordings. Shockingly, the Kersal Massive didn’t win, but the video wound up on the internet, where they found online fame instead.

The video was one of the first viral sensations to ever grace the internet, and today has over 1.8m views on YouTube alone. 

For years people have been trying to decipher the meaning behind the song, with one YouTuber optimistically commenting: “By referring to a ‘day saver’, Little Kev highlights the struggle of the working class, while at the same time bringing up questions about religion and culture with the following ‘laid low, did a grand theft auto’ line, and how the incarceration of the young in today’s western world is affecting our society.

“Such a lyrical genius. A poet in his own right.”

Another commented: “It has been said Ginger Joe now travels the globe giving lectures on philosophy and ethics… and is also a UN spokesman answering questions on the [meaning of] being human.” 

Someone even went to the bother of creating a lyric page to search for any hidden meanings or political agendas behind the track – unsurprisingly, none were found. 

Despite their initial success and claims of having ‘all the money ’cause we know how to rap’, however, the Kersal Massive only ever released the one song, and were as quick to slip out of the spotlight as they were to enter it. 

This has caused many people to wonder what exactly happened to the Kersal Massive over the years, and what the rapping trio are up to these days. 

Well, The Tab claimed to have tracked down the infamous ringleader of the Kersal Massive, C-Mac, back in 2016.

They said at the time that C-Mac – real name Callum – still lived in Salford and was working for a law firm in Manchester.

He told the publication of the video: “It was uploaded to the internet over ten years ago. It was done as a joke and then it just went viral. I don’t actually know who uploaded it to YouTube, it wasn’t me.”

Then, Callum went on to break the hearts of Kersal Massive fans far and wide by adding: “I am not in touch with the other two lads anymore.”

While the beloved Ginger Joe is yet to be identified or tracked down, many social media users believed a man on the run from GMP for a series of gun-related offences was in fact a grown-up Little F*****g Kev… though this was never proven. 

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Feature

Did you know the NHS was born in Manchester 74 years ago today?

Happy birthday to the NHS!

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University of Liverpool Faculty of Health & Life Sciences / Wikimedia Commons & Peter McDermott / Flickr

Today, as our treasured National Health Service marks its 74th anniversary, we’re taking a look back on its extensive history and the substantial role Manchester played in its creation. 

Life before the NHS was a bleak one; before 1900, healthcare was typically provided by charities, poor law (the local welfare committees who operated workhouses) and a criminally unregulated private sector.

Others, including many in the lower middle class, struggled to afford treatment, relying on hospital casualty departments, kind-hearted doctors or dubious folk remedies – as a result of these archaic conditions, women frequently died during childbirth and the life expectancy for men was just forty-eight.

But in 1911, that was all set to change.

Science Museum Group / Wikimedia Commons

The National Insurance Act of 1911, something that many regard as the original groundworks for the NHS, was introduced and, for the first time, provided access to general practitioners for manual labourers and lower paid non-manual workers earning under a certain income. 

However, this groundbreaking new system wasn’t without its flaws – fees for GPs were increasing for the middle class and wealthy who were outside the system, and the wives and children of National Insurance members were excluded, as was hospital treatment, meaning that many had to pay further fees or rely on older workers’ society insurance schemes or free, less reliable clinics for mothers and children.

Something needed to change.

Nearly two decades later, the Local Government Act 1929 gave authorities the power to transform Poor Law institutions and develop them into the modern hospitals we know today. And, fast forwarding another two decades and another world war, Aneurin Bevan was appointed as the minister of health and thus, the wheels for the UK’s first National Health Service were set in motion.

Bradford Timeline / Flickr

On July 5th 1948, after years of hard work from various medical and political figures who felt the current healthcare system was insufficient and needed to be revolutionised, the first NHS hospital offering free healthcare for all, regardless of class, was launched at Park Hospital Manchester – known today as Trafford General Hospital.

On that historic day, Bevan arrived to inaugurate the NHS by symbolically receiving the keys from Lancashire County Council. Nurses formed a ‘guard of honour’ outside the hospital to meet him and, from that day forward, the healthcare of the nation changed forever.

In the early days, there were of course some teething problems – not long after its launch, expenditure was already exceeding previous expectations and charges were considered for prescriptions to meet the rising costs. However, by the time the 1960s rolled around, these early adjustments were altered and it was considered to be a strong period of growth for the NHS, characterised by new developments in the availability of drugs.

Since its birth here in Manchester, our NHS has gone through many changes, improvements, updates and modernisation processes, with no one back in 1948 ever fathoming the way in which the service has developed, pioneered and expanded from Manchester across the entire country.

Nicolas J Leclercq / Unsplash

However, there’s still room for improvement.

Today, the NHS continues to face a national crisis – the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the impact that years of underfunding has had upon our health care service and the long-serving staff members and medical professionals that continue to hold it together.

In October 2020, it was revealed by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) that as many NHS nurses died from Covid than were killed during the entirety of the First World War.

But regardless of the hurdles thrown in its path, the NHS continues to valiantly serve the British public – the idea of a National Health Service once upon a time would have been unheard of, yet today we cannot imagine a life without it.

Happy 74th birthday to our wonderful NHS!

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Feature

FORGOTTEN MANCHESTER: The rise and fall of Tommy Ducks

From coffins as tables and knickers stapled to ceiling, there wasn’t a lot that didn’t happen at Tommy Ducks…

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Salford_66 / Flickr

Out of all of Manchester’s weird and wonderful institutions, the legacy of Tommy Ducks remains today as one of the all-time greats.

 But what exactly happened to this infamous boozer?

Tommy Ducks stood proudly down what is now Lower Mosely Street, and is known to have roots dating all the way back to the 1800s. 

While it is widely believed that it was originally named The Prince’s Tavern, the pub underwent a name change at some point in the 1870s after its egotistical landlord Thomas Duckworth wanted to name it after himself. 

Manchester Libraries

But rumour has it that the painter-decorator hired to replace the pub’s sign either ran out of paint and supplies or found he didn’t have enough room to fit in the full name, so improvised and come up with the name Tommy Ducks, instead.

Of course, there’s no solid evidence for this mishap actually happening, but it is certainly one of the more believable rumours about the pub’s namesake.

Anyway, the pub settled with its abbreviated name and went on to quietly serve the good people of Manchester throughout the 1900s.

But then the 1970’s arrived, and Tommy Ducks started to gain a different kind of reputation, with it quickly becoming one of the most sought after boozers in the city – quite the accomplishment considering it was stood in the middle of a recently-demolished estate.

Rose McGivern / Facebook

One of the pubs more popular legacies is its makeshift tables – for reasons unbeknown to most Mancunians today, someone had the bright idea of using glass-topped coffins as tables, one of which was kidnapped by a rival pub for a while.

One of the coffins even featured a skeleton, which many people were adamant was a real one.

Tommy Ducks was also renown for having ladies knickers and bras stapled to the ceiling above the bar, with female punters allegedly been invited to remove their undies upon arrival (yes, before their first drink!).

The pub played home to these kind of shenanigans for the next couple of decades and, by the 1990s, it was one of the last standing buildings in the area, which lay in ruin following a mass demolishment.

Andrew Simpson

However, in 1993 the pub’s temporary preservation order – arranged by punters and supporters back in the 1970s – expired, plunging its future into uncertainty and doubt.

Greenalls Brewery, which ran the pub, was also coming under increasing pressure by fat cat developers to sell up and shut shop.

Tragially, the temporary preservation order expired on a Friday, meaning that the council offices were closed for the weekend. And because the order couldn’t be renewed until Monday morning, demolition began in the early hours of Saturday.

While Greenalls was eventually fined £150,000 for their act of destruction, it was still too late – Tommy Ducks and its abundance of coffins and bras was gone forever.

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