These tranquil hidden islands are only a short drive from Manchester
The perfect local get-away…
While beautiful nature spots may be few and far between here in Manchester city centre, there is actually an abundance of hidden gems located among the region’s outskirts.
And three of those somewhat less hidden beauty spots come in the form of the Hilbre Islands, three tidal islands boasting beautiful views, rare wildlife and even seal-spotting.
Hilbre is the largest island of the three, followed by Middle Eye and Little Eye.
The trio of islands are situated just off the West Kirby coast, at the mouth of the Dee Estuary, and are the ideal location for those wanting panoramic views of North Wales, the Wirral coastline and, on a clear day, Liverpool’s skyline.
Like most remote islands, the Hilbre Islands don’t have a lot in term of facilities, so visitors are advised to bring their own food and drinking water to have on hand throughout the day.
There are toilets situated on the island, and dogs are more than welcome.
But what the islands lack in shops and restaurants, they certainly make up for in wildlife and scenery, with one of the most popular spots been the Hilbre Island Bird Observatory, which often welcomes rare species of visiting birds.
Read More: UK’s most beautiful waterfall is only a couple of hours from Manchester
According to Visit Wirral, its unique location makes it one of the ten most important estuaries in Europe for overwintering wildfowl and waders.
Particularly in the summer, visitors can also see seals swimming in the distance, explore the coastal rock pools and enjoy a picnic along the waterfront.
However, if you’re planning a trip to the Hilbre Islands, timing is essential.
The rocky peninsula is cut off from the mainland by the tide for up to four hours out of every twelve.
So if you are planning a visit, you must allow yourself enough time to leave Hilbre at least three hours before high water, or longer if any of your party walks slowly.
It is of the utmost importance to remember to check tidal times before visiting. Tide tables are on display at Dee Lane slipway, though you can also get an idea of the tide times here.
Disney is hiring staff in the North West to travel on their luxury cruise liners
Save for a deposit while travelling the world — a magical opportunity!
Disney is hiring youth staff members to work on their luxury cruise ships and set sail around the world.
If you love anything Disney and want to travel the world, are looking for a new career path or just simply want to get away from the humdrum of life, this unique role could be right for you. Disney Cruise Line is hiring for youth staff and it’s paying a minimum of £1,872 per month — you could save for a deposit on a house while having the time of your life!
If you’ve had experience and enjoy working with children, love Disney, and love travel, this job could be the perfect fit. Basic qualifications needed to apply for the role include:
- 3+ seasons (3 months each) of overnight or day camp experience
- A minimum of 18 months experience working in a high-volume, fast-paced environment in recreation, resort, day care, classroom, or a before/after school care setting.
- The candidate must be able to command the attention of a large group of children — up to 200 children at one time.
- Must have strong English oral and written communications.
- Bilingual or multilingual abilities are a plus.
As well as travel, accommodation and a decent wage, perks of the job also include: company events, employee discount, free or subsidised travel, private dental insurance, private medical, insurance, referral programme, store discounts, and wellness programmes.
Part of the job description says: “Interacts with and supervises children by providing a safe and entertaining environment. Provides set-up, clean-up and program support to Youth Entertainment Hosts during facilitated programs and activities.
“Extensively cleans youth spaces throughout the day to uphold United States Public Health and company standards. Meets and greets all guests and could assist with onboard registration and check in/out process.
“Preps food trays for children during meal or snack periods. Spontaneously entertains large volumes of children in absence of planned activities.
“Occasionally facilitates and presents smaller-scale activities to groups varying in size, requiring the use of a microphone. Functions as Nursery Counsellor during high volume periods.”
You can set sail on a magical experience and reap the benefits of a ‘supportive team’ and make it your ‘home from home’, as the website says about career life working on the cruise ship: “Join us at sea and receive unique benefits and the opportunities for growth you need to live out your dreams.”
If life at sea sounds exciting to you, you can read more about it and apply for the role here.
The record-breaking Northern waterfall that’s only accessible twice a year
There’s a record breaking waterfall you can visit in the North of England but it’s only accessible twice a year.
Situated in the Yorkshire Dales, near Clapham — about an hour and a half’s drive away from Manchester — Gaping Gill is definitely worth a day trip out to see. It’s a really unique waterfall as it spills deep into the belly of a natural cave from the surface.
Although this Fell Beck waterfall is 110 metres tall — twice the height of Niagara Falls — it’s quite difficult to see and it is only accessible to the public twice a year. Those who are lucky enough to embark on this combined waterfall and cave adventure are lowered into the huge chamber on a winch by one of the two the local pothole clubs.
It’s certainly an adventure not for the faint-hearted and definitely made for daredevils as you’ll be lowered down from the surface until your feet touch the floor at the bottom of the cave — where, as your eyes adjust, you’ll suddenly find yourself surrounded by a breathtaking setting.
The Gaping Gill chamber is 129m long, 31m high and 25 m wide, making it large enough to fit York Minster cathedral inside — we hope you’re not afraid of heights! When you look up, all you’ll be able to see is light pouring in from the cave’s opening resting on the slopes of Ingleborough.
For just £20 daredevils can be lowered into this underground world and marvel at its natural wonder. It’s only possible to descend into the cave two times a year: once in May – operated by the Bradford Pothole Club and again in August – operated by the Craven Pothole Club.
Gaping Gill was formed by thousands of years of erosion by the Fell Beck stream, which flows from the flank of the 2,373 ft Ingleborough mountain — the second highest peak in the Yorkshire Dales. In 1985 famous French caver Edouard Martel was the first person to make a successful attempt on the Main Shaft of the cave using wood and rope ladders. Martel stayed in the Main Chamber for about two hours and completed a remarkably accurate sketch plan.
You can hike to Gaping Gill on a well marked but rough trail and you can only book a winch ride down once you get to the tent. Bookings can not be made in advance and there can be a bit of a wait but you’ll be given a decent time. The Craven Pothole Club says about this awe-inspiring Northern gem: “At first the darkness hides the bulk of this vast cavern from the visitor gliding down the Main Shaft in the winch chair.
“But as eyes slowly become accustomed it is possible to pick out a gentle arc of rock curving upwards to form a vaulted roof some 150 feet above. Nearby, two columns of water crash to the floor; fragmented to a myriad of droplets they whip the air into violent winds.
“Finally, aided by subdued artificial light the chamber appears, longer than it is wide and with a level floor of water washed pebbles, sand and silt. A walk in the pool of light provided by a guide’s light takes us first to the western end of the chamber with its silt floor and burbling stream, and then on to the foot of the East Slope. A glance back here reveals that the Main Chamber is indeed one of nature’s wild places.”
World’s first three year cruise is setting sail this year on the ultimate voyage
Just make sure you don’t suffer with sea sickness before you book this one!
If you fancy getting away on a long sabbatical and want out of the 9-5 rat race, there’s now a three year cruise that might float your boat.
If you’re the type of person that hates the part when your holiday comes to an end and you have to go back home and face reality, this lengthy cruise might be the ideal getaway for you — hurry, don’t miss the boat!
The world’s first three-year cruise has just been announced, giving passengers the chance to live away at sea while they get to travel and see the world as they tick off their bucket list one country at a time.
Making its launch on November 1st, the MV Gemini by Life at Sea cruises will voyage to 135 different countries, covering 130,000 miles and visiting 375 ports across the globe. The magnificent vessel will depart from Istanbul with pickups in Barcelona, Spain and Miami, Florida.
On this epic voyage of discovery, travellers will get to see 13 out of 14 of the world’s wonders including the Colosseum in Rome, the Taj Mahal in India, the Great Wall of China, and Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio De Janeiro in Brasil.
Sun worshippers can relax and unwind on the unspoilt beaches of the Caribbean while more intrepid travellers can explore Antarctica and see the penguins in their wild habitat while they marvel at the region’s majestic glaciers.
With stops in every continent, it really is the trip of a lifetime. The ship docks in every port for up to a week giving cruisers plenty of time to really get a feel for a place without rushing their visit. On board, there are 40 offices to work from for those who choose to work remotely during the long expedition away.
There’s also 400 rooms housing 1,074 guests, who you’ll probably come to know really well in your three year journey, as your neighbours become family.
And, in case you’ve been wondering… this isn’t a budget trip, it’s going to be costly. A standard cabin will cost $29,999 a year per person (£25,022), though there are finance options available. These rooms will provide 130 sq ft and upwards of space to relax in and enjoy some privacy after a day of exploring.
The most expensive cabin suites have wide balconies and cost around $109,999 (£91,804) per person, measuring 322 sq ft — including the balcony space. Although these seem like huge price tags, when you compare the cruise’s starting prices with London’s average monthly rent at $2,499 (£2,099), it doesn’t seem all that bad — especially when you take into account it’s all-inclusive.
All tickets include meals, beverages, accommodation, WIFI, medical visits, and all activities onboard, as well as port taxes and service charges. You will also get free alcohol with dinner — a rarity on cruises. However, alcohol outside dinner time is not included so you will have to pay extra for that.
Spa services, medical procedures and medicines, shore excursions, certain premium services and if you want a permanent office space to call your own will all cost extra, and are not included in the package.
And finally, it’s an all or nothing kind of deal, meaning you must commit to the full three years of your life and no partial stays are available — so make sure you’re really sure before you book this one!