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Manchester is officially the top UK destination to visit in 2020

Of course it is…

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David Dixon / Geograph

It’s official, Manchester is the number one destination to visit in the UK next year – which is convenient, as most of us won’t have to commute very far at all.

That’s right, while the United Kingdom has a vast bank of beautiful and interesting locations to visit, our fair city took the top spot.

This is courtesy of the good people at Big 7 Travel, who ranked the top 25 destinations in 2020.

Mike Peel / Wikimedia

The travel company asked their 1.5 million-strong social audience for the places they’re most excited to visit next year, and they combined this with their editor’s top picks.

A lot of the usual suspects made the list, including natural beauty spots like The Cotswolds (21), Scottish Highlands (18), Lake District (16) and Devon (15) – as well as the whole of Northern Ireland (7).

As well as that, a few gritty cities made the cut, like Nottingham (25), Newcastle (14), Birmingham (13), Liverpool (12), Glasgow (10), Leeds (8) and London (4), alongside some more picturesque offerings, like Edinburgh (22), York (19) and Bath (6).

David Dixon / Geograph

But 2020 is definitely the year of the city break, with eight of the top ten being city destinations – which is why Manchester was destined to take the crown.

Here’s what they had to say about Manchester: “Manchester might already be popular, but it’s worth the hype. It has always been an important city in the United Kingdom, with a rich history and strong industrial heritage.

“These days, the city is a vibrant and cultural melting pot with amazing sports teams, restaurants and museums. Plus, the food scene in the city has been exploding over the last couple of years. What more could you ask for from a city getaway?”

The top ten in full:

10) Glasgow
9) Brighton
8) Leeds
7) Northern Ireland
6) Bath
5) Bristol
4) London
3) Cornwall
2) Cambridge
1) Manchester


You can check out the full list here, enjoy!

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Sir David Amess MP has died after stabbing incident, police say

JUST IN…

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Sir David Amess / Twitter & Richard Townshend

A Conservative MP has died after being stabbed multiple times in his constituency.

Sir David Amess was attacked during an incident at his constituency surgery, Sky News reported earlier this afternoon.

According to police, he was treated by emergency services but died at the scene.

Sir David represents Southend West in Essex, and was reportedly attacked at the Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea.

According to Sky News, a man walked into his constituency surgery and stabbed the MP multiple times.

He received treatment at the scene for his injuries, with emergency services at the scene.

The road surrounding the location has been closed off while the incident is dealt with. 

Police said in a statement: “A man has been arrested on suspicion murder after a man was stabbed in Leigh-on-Sea.

“We were called to an address in Eastwood Road North shortly after 12.05pm today (Friday 15 October).

“We attended and found a man injured.

“He was treated by emergency services but, sadly, died at the scene.

“A 25 year-old man was quickly arrested after officers arrived at the scene on suspicion of murder and a knife was recovered.

“He is currently in custody.

“We are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident.”

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Conservative MP Sir David Amess stabbed multiple times in ‘major incident’

JUST IN…

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Richard Townshend

According to reports this afternoon, a Conservative MP has been stabbed multiple times in his constituency.

Sir David Amess was attacked during an incident at his constituency surgery, Sky News reports.

Sir David represents Southend West in Essex, and was reportedly attacked at the Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea.

According to Sky News, a man walked into his constituency surgery and stabbed the MP multiple times.

The latest updates suggest he has been receiving treatment at the scene for his injuries, and police are reportedly at the scene.

The road surrounding the location has been closed off while the incident is dealt with.

Essex Police have confirmed a man has now been arrested. 

They wrote on Twitter: “A man’s been arrested following an incident in Leigh-on-Sea.

“We were called to reports of a stabbing in Eastwood Rd North shortly after 12.05pm.

“A man was arrested shortly after & we’re not looking for anyone else.

“We’ll bring you more info when we have it.”

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The Manchester Christmas Markets is moving to Piccadilly Gardens this year

Big changes for the Christmas Markets this year…

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Manchester City Council & David Dixon / Geograph

Manchester’s beloved Christmas Markets are making a grand return to the city this year, but its main hub will be found in a different location.

While the heart of the markets is usually centered around Albert Square, ongoing renovations to the Town Hall have forced them to move to Piccadilly Gardens, the council have confirmed today.

The area will be transformed into the ‘Winter Gardens’, with all the usual yuletide bars, market stalls and food huts.

Plans for the Winter Gardens also include a one-way system and separate entrances and exits, as well as a strict limit on visitors to limit the spread of Covid-19.

David Dixon / Geograph

They are also adding a fully accessible toilet to make the Winter Garden as inclusive as possible.

Councillor Pat Karney, Manchester’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “It’s wonderful to welcome back our world-famous Christmas Markets and the addition of the Winter Gardens for the very first time.

“Manchester has been the capital of Christmas for twenty-two years since the very first Christmas Market arrived in the UK in 1999 and we know it was a huge disappointment that we had to scale back our celebrations last year.

“We’re making up for lost time this year and I can’t wait to see the transformation in the city centre into the festive wonderland we know and love.”

@mcrchristmasmarkets / Instagram

Last year, in what would have been the markets’ twenty-first birthday, the festivities were cancelled as a result of the pandemic, much to the dismay of Mancunians all across the region.

At the time, Councillor Karney said that even the proposed smaller markets didn’t meet public health approval, adding that the council ‘could never take any risks’ with people’s wellbeing.

He said: “We’ve cancelled everything. It’s not met our commercial and public health tests, so the three markets in those locations have been cancelled, and won’t take place. It was a million miles from the traditional Christmas Markets, which obviously people would have been very anxious about.”

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