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Some of the most picturesque towns and villages near Greater Manchester for a weekend trip

Looking for somewhere to go for a day out?

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Billy Wilson / Flickr & Phillip Halling / Wikimedia

Here are some of the prettiest towns and villages to visit close to Greater Manchester, perfect for a walk on a crisp and sunny winter’s day.

The constant raining has stopped for a while and made way for some sunny yet COLD weather. 

Although temperatures have plummeted, the fresh and clearer days are just the right kind to take a drive and go for a stroll around a picturesque village, followed by a hot beverage and bite to eat.

Kevin Rushton / Wikimedia

Being in the city is great, but sometimes it’s nice to escape to somewhere more rural, less busy and a little quieter.

Here’s some picturesque places not too far from Greater Manchester to visit for a day out.

Number one on the list has to be the village that provided the setting for our beloved Happy Valley, Hebden Bridge.

Billy Wilson / Flickr

This charming market town in the Upper Calder Valley in West Yorkshire will prove a stunning backdrop to a bracing winter walk while you fill your lungs with fresh air.

With a rich history dating back to the 12th century and a thriving arts and culture scene, this village attracts tourists from all over.

It has a fantastic range of pubs, restaurants, cafes and independent shops for visitors to enjoy.

Billy Wilson / flickr

Next up is Haworth, West Yorkshire, which was home to the Bronte sisters.

Set against the backdrop of the Pennines with moody, vast and rugged moorland, you’ll see the landscape that inspired Wuthering Heights and have plenty of opportunity to go and explore Brontë Country.

Attractions include the Brontë Parsonage Museum, which was home to sisters and authors Charlotte, Emily and Anne from 1820 to 1861. It’s like a step back in time, showcasing what their lives were like.

There’s also a shop called the Cabinet Of Curiosities, where you’ll lose hours getting lost in the interesting and unusual potions and treasures.

Phillip Halling / Geograph

Hawkshead is a village and civil parish in Westmorland and Furness, Cumbria. Set in the magnificent vale of Esthwaite in the heart of the Lake District, this village of clustered white houses has some excellent country walks to offer and is a great place to fish.

Nearby, visitors will also find Hill Top House, where author and illustrator Beatrix Potter lived.

In 1905 she bought Hill Top Farm at Near Sawrey out of the proceeds from her recently published book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit. 

Out and About in the UK / Facebook

Great Budworth is a picturesque village and civil parish in Cheshire and features the charming George & Dragon pub.

Early history of Great Budworth is documented in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it mentions a priest at Great Budworth.

There’s plenty of attractive country walks with pretty historic buildings and houses to admire along the way.

David Dixon / Geograph

Cartmel is a hidden gem located on the southern edge of the Lake District. This Mediaeval village offers visitors a delightful setting of traditional lime washed cottages set against rolling fells.

The Cartmel Priory, which can be found in the very heart of the village, has an 800 year history. The tradition of its bell rigging goes back centuries and can still be heard around the village today. 

It is also the home of sticky toffee pudding, for which the town is very proud of.

Steve Houldsworth / Wikimedia

Croston is a village near Chorley, in Lancashire filled with old world character and charm. This quintessential English rural village is lined with beautiful cobbled streets and red-brick cottages and also has a French connection.

Croston is twinned with the Azay-le-Rideau area in France’s Loire Valley and, taking its connection seriously, it has its own boules league and even celebrates Bastille Day in July.

The River Yarrow, which runs right through it, also adds to the idyllic atmosphere of the village. Croston makes for a lovely stroll where you can admire its 18th century weavers’ cottages and pay a visit to a traditional pub.

PangolineOne / Wikimedia

Wycoller is an old village famous for the ruins of its 16th century Wycoller Hall – the inspiration for where Charlotte Bronte set part of her novel Jane Eyre. It is also believed to be haunted.

It has many footpaths leading to local beauty spots which include Bank House and Wycoller Beck. This place was once a handloom weavers’ village but was abandoned during the Industrial Revolution.

Close to the ruins is the late 18th / early 19th century Clapper Bridge. Grooves in the bridge formed by the weavers’ clogs were apparently chiselled flat by a farmer whose daughter fell and was fatally injured on the bridge.

These days this magical village is a country park where cars are not permitted to enter. Visitors will have to use one of the two pay-and-display car parks located a mile away.

Kevin Rushton / Wikimedia

Next is the village of Downham which lies at the foot of Pendle Hill in the Ribble Valley, in Lancashire.

It is located in the Forest of Bowland’s Area of National Beauty, which has remained in the same family for around 500 years. There’s plenty of unspoilt natural beauty to take in while visitors enjoy a crisp country walk.

This village was used as a location for the famous film ‘Whistle Down the Wind’ as well as the popular BBC drama Born and Bred.

Andrew Hill / Wikimedia

And finally, Castleton is a beautiful village situated at the head of the Hope Valley in the heart of the Peak District National Park, Derbyshire.

If you’re visiting here, bring your boots and enjoy a good hike in the hills as well as a stroll around this classic English hamlet.

The village is overlooked by the ruins of Peveril Castle, which you can hike up to for some spectacular views.

It also has four caves, with the biggest of the four being Peak Cavern. This cave boasts the largest cave entrance in Britain at 60ft high – nicknamed the ‘Devil’s Arse’.


Wizz Air launch mystery holiday deal where you find out destination when you land

Enter the competition to win a ticket

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Clément Alloing & Deensel / Flickr

If you’re dreaming of catching a jet plane to just about anywhere, well Wizz Air have launched a holiday deal where the mystery location isn’t revealed until you land.

The Hungarian airline will take a plane full of holiday hopefuls from London Gatwick for a four-day mystery getaway as part of its #LetsGetLostwithWIZZ campaign.

Those who win a ticket to the unknown location, will turn up to London Gatwick on March 7th to board a Wizz Air flight for ‘four days of fun, including cultural, culinary and adventure activities’ – it could turn out to be the trip of a lifetime!

Lars Steffens / Flickr

To be in with a chance of winning a seat on the flight, UK residents can visit the Wizz Air’s Instagram page and follow the prompts on the Let’s Get Lost London pinned post.

“Entries close on February 22nd at 00.01am”, the low-cost airline says. 

The lucky chosen ones will be able to bring a plus one on the trip and winners will be contacted via Instagram.

In a post shared to its official Instagram page, the airline put: “It’s time to get onboard our latest venture to the unknown with Let’s Get Lost London, departing from London Gatwick to…

Charlie Jackson / Flickr

“Do this by the 22nd February and you could be in with a chance of departing with us on an exciting flight to the unknown.

“The trip will take place between 7th – 10th March. Open to UK residents only, please make sure you’re following WIZZ on Instagram and that your profile is public.”

If you’re wondering whether you’ll need your bathing suit, suncream, hiking boots, rain coat or winter woollies, don’t worry, the 35 lucky winners will be told the climate to pack for a few days before the trip.

No other clues will be given away until touch down in the unknown destination.

UK Wizz Air Managing Director, Marion Geoffroy said: “We love connecting our passengers to new countries, allowing them to meet new people and try new experiences. 

“Going on a flight to an unknown destination is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we are pleased to be able to offer this to lucky winners here in the UK.

“Let’s Get Lost is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to our British passengers and we hope to continue serving them as they travel the world and make new memories.”

Pedro Szekely / Flickr

Wizz Air flies to more than 70 destinations from the UK. Last year, the most popular destinations among Brits included Morocco, Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and Spain.

It is unclear whether the airline will jet the 35 lucky ticket holders and plus ones off to one of its more popular destination choices, or whether it will choose to take them somewhere a little more alternative and secluded.

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P&O launches ‘80s and ‘90s themed mini cruises to Amsterdam from £89

Sounds great!

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P&O & Tambako The Jaguar / Flickr

P&O is offering two-day ‘80s and ‘90s mini cruises to the Netherlands from £89.

If you’re curious about going on a cruise but not sure you could manage a long trip, look no further because P&O is offering short cruises to the Netherlands, perfect for you to give it a try.

The cruise line company has a wave of deals on mini cruises so you don’t have to splash out. But these aren’t just any old cruises, they are ‘80s and ‘90s themed cruises playing music from both decades for all those who love a bit of nostalgia.


First-time cruisers can travel between Hull and Rotterdam, and go on a day trip to Amsterdam, with return ticket prices starting from £89 per person.

The mini cruises include a two-night stay in an en-suite cabin, sailing across the North Sea from Hull to Rotterdam and back.

These short themed cruises will be filled with music, fun and entertainment for all to enjoy on board during the journey. 

Tambako The Jaguar / Flickr

The Jam’d Mini Cruise welcomes guests to party like it’s 1985 and prepare for a mini cruise full of the ‘nuttiest, loudest and best loved tracks from the ’80s onwards’.

Live tribute bands The Jam’d and Ultimate Madnezz will play on board to keep the ‘80s party flowing as it sets sail for Rotterdam on Friday, March 8th 2024.

And that’s not all – when you arrive in Rotterdam, you’ll also enjoy return coach transfers to Amsterdam for your day trip.


A P&O spokesperson said: “The Jam’d’ are now the UK’s best-known and most popular tribute to the live performance and sound of The Jam, and are totally committed to giving an unforgettable, authentic performance with all the energy, passion and style of the Woking three.”

The ’90s Mini Cruise sets sail from Hull on Friday, February 23rd 2024, offering guests a nostalgic throwback filled with all your favourite music of the decade.

P&O promises a voyage packed full of incredible entertainment including live bands, DJ’s, and a dynamic live production on stage – all while you sail to the Netherlands.


Entertainment will be provided by Ultra 90s – a ‘premier Dance Anthem Production Show’, which promises to ‘take you back to the most exciting musical movement in decades – the unforgettable era of dance anthems!’

Take That tribute band Re-Take That will also be performing.

After a night of entertainment, cruisers will disembark the ship in Rotterdam, and take a coach for a day trip to Amsterdam.

John Morgan / Flickr

Holidaymakers can explore the city’s elaborate canals lined with beautiful architecture and visit art galleries and museums before tucking into local cuisine. Whatever you choose to do in this fascinating city, you’re sure to have a fantastic time on a short Amsterdam break.

So, if you’re thinking about trying a cruise and love the ‘80s and ‘90s, you can book a ticket today on a P&O Ferries Amsterdam Mini-Cruise and make the most of a short break in the ‘Dam. Click HERE to book and find out more.

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EasyJet launches ‘grans go free’ holiday deal on trips to Europe

The operator wants to encourage families to go on holiday with three generations or more

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Rob Mitchell & Bil Benzon / Flickr

EasyJet Holidays has announced it is offering ‘grans go free’ places on family holidays to Europe.

It comes after research found half of families had never gone on a holiday abroad with their grandparents.

The ‘first of its kind’ offer will allow one grandparent on the trip to travel free of charge to countries including Spain, Greece and Italy.

Bill Benzon / Flickr

The deal has been launched as part of easyJet’s Big Orange Sale where holidaymakers can save up to £400 on trips, though places are limited and the offer will end soon.

The tour operator says it hopes the deal will encourage Britons to go on ‘3G’ holidays – with families of three generations or more.

In easyJet’s survey of 2,000 British adults, just over half said they regret not spending more time with grandparents and hoped to take them on upcoming holidays. 

Dronpicr / Wikimedia

Matt Callaghan, chief operating officer at easyJet holidays, said the company was proud to offer ‘thousands of free kids places’ but also wanted to ‘recognise the grandparents’.

The poll found that 77% of Brits agreed the bond between grandparents and grandchildren was one of the most special relationships within a family. Yet, 27% of those who took the survey said they spoke to their grandparents less than once a week.

Mr Callaghan said: “This research shows how important grandparent and grandchild relationships are and how much can be learned from making time for them.

“We’ve launched our ‘grans go free’ offer to tighten these important family relationships.”

Rob Mitchell / Flickr

The offer begins today February 1st and will be available for a limited number of customers only, with the easyJet Holidays website saying the offer ‘ends soon’. The operator said some additional spaces would also open on Monday (February 5th).

To qualify for the deal, the grandparent must be travelling as part of a family booking with at least one child.

To find out more about the easyJet Holidays ‘grans go free’ offer, click HERE.

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