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Britain’s ‘most luxurious train’ costing up to £570 will stop in Greater Manchester for first time ever

Wine and dine yourself on this incredible luxury rail journey.

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Luxury Train Club/Flickr

A luxury train where passengers can enjoy a seven-course meal as they take in the scenic views, is coming to Greater Manchester this spring.

Dubbed ‘Britain’s most luxurious train’, The Northern Belle — a 1930’s Pullman-style train — will be making its VIP visit to Rochdale Station on Friday April 21st. Passengers will feel like they’ve stepped straight onto the set of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express as they dine inside its elegant carriages.

Perfect for railway enthusiasts and food-lovers, this unique experience will cost between £295 and £570, which includes a champagne arrival drink and gourmet meal accompanied by live entertainment.

After departing Rochdale, the Northern Belle will stop off at Hebden Bridge and Brighouse, before weaving its way around the Yorkshire countryside for five hours, as passengers tuck into a champagne afternoon tea or seven-course Spirit of Travel lunch.

Luxury Train Club/Flickr

Adding to the opulent experience, guests will be entertained by strolling musicians and the train’s resident magician. The Belle will then make a return to Rochdale just in time for tea, dropping off the lucky lot at around 4.35pm.

The Northern Belle was once part of the iconic Orient Express group, and each one of its carriages are named after a castle or stately home, detailed with bespoke marquetry and mosaics. Last year, the train was voted the ninth most luxurious in the world by readers of Condé Nast magazine – the only British train to be named in the top 10.

Diners can feel like Celia Johnson or Trevor Howard in the film Brief Encounter as they sip on tea or champagne and tuck into a delightful lunch — with prices starting at £295 for a champagne afternoon tea or £375 for lunch with fine wines.

Northern Belle

For an extra £195 passengers can also upgrade to Krug Champagne Class in the special carriage, which was once part of the Royal Train, or Glamis, named after the former Queen Mother’s childhood home.

Rumour has it that the Duart Carriage houses what was once the Queen Mother’s favourite seat, where she liked to relax with a gin and tonic while looking out the train window and waving. 

It’s no wonder Hollywood actor Bill Nighy called the train the ‘Grand Dame of luxury travel’, while narrating The World’s Most Scenic Railways Journeys on Channel 5 last year – and is an opinion the team behind the Northern Belle are very proud of.

Book yourself onto this wonderful piece of history and travel in style. Tickets are available via the Northern Belle website.

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New makers market with everything from dog accessories to house plants and jewellery coming to Manchester

Get this one in your diary!

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A brand new makers market is coming to Manchester this late May Bank Holiday weekend, with something for everyone.

Taking place at New Jackson – a new urban neighbourhood located at the southern gateway to the city – Manchester Made Market will be held on Saturday May 25th and Sunday May 26th.

Over the two days you’ll be able to browse a selection of local artisanal traders and small businesses from across the region.

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There’ll be everything, from food produce, homewares, crafts and creations to dog accessories, house plants, jewellery and homemade soap.

Among the traders will be Manchester and Cheshire-based florist and floral artists Dot & Flora, graphic artist Ablott MCR selling music prints, HGT with crochet fashion and homeware designs, and artisan candlemakers Leaves and Prickles.

Elsewhere, there will be essential oils and other treatments from Grounded Wellness, permanent jewellery from Sealed Links, and desserts from Cake With Heart.

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There will be plenty of street food options to keep you topped up while you shop, including The Wild Grill, Food Sorcery, Salvi’s and new favourite Medlock Canteen.


Neighbourhood Brew will be supplying some great drinks as well.

Supported by Renaker, the market is free, but you can upgrade your experience with a limited, free VIP ticket with access to the dedicated bar area.

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Manchester Flower Festival returns with tributes to Sarah Harding and Caroline Aherne

It’s taking place later this month!

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The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

The legendary Manchester Flower Festival is returning to our city later this month, complete with pop-ups, installations and tributes to some local icons.

Taking place over the late May Bank Holiday, the event will be headlined by its ‘Floral Trail’.

This year’s theme is Manchester Icons, with a host of names past and present being honoured in flower form, including the late comedy legend Caroline Aherne, pop star Sarah Harding and suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Collaborating with Manchester illustrator Stanley Chow, floral designer Liv Woodward will create a portrait of Caroline Aherne at the Floral Marquee on New Cathedral Street, using sustainably sourced plants and flowers.

Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding will be remembered in a ‘tribute garden’, sponsored by the AO Arena, with visitors able to donate to the Sarah Harding Breast Cancer Appeal by scanning the QR code at the display.

The homage to Pankhurst has been created by female-led Decordia, featuring an ornate wooden Manchester Town Hall-inspired planter with sashes, posters and colourful icons, alongside a wicker figure of the suffragette herself.

This can be found at the corner of Cross Street and King Street, adorned with purple, green and white plants – the colours of the suffragette movement.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Other local legends will also be honoured with their own installations, including Happy Mondays vocalist Rowetta and iconic Manchester brewery Boddingtons .

Fringe events will be taking place too, at locations including Northern Quarter art shop Fred Aldous, The Bridgewater Hall, the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel and the National Trust’s Castlefield Viaduct.

Selfridges Exchange Square, El Gato Negro, Tast Catala, Franco Manca, Grand Pacific Manchester and Urban Playground will also be taking part, with alfresco dining, festival-related dishes and cocktails.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Now in its seventh year, the Flower Festival, which is put together by Manchester City Centre Business Improvement District, attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, with live entertainment, workshops, and arts and crafts markets.

It all happens from May 24th to May 27th – head over to the website HERE to find more information.

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Billie Eilish announces FOUR Manchester shows as part of world tour

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Billie Eilish / Instagram & Co-op Live

Pop star Billie Eilish is coming to Manchester, with four dates confirmed at the new Co-op Live arena.

The Grammy and Oscar-winning pop icon will be playing Manchester’s newest arena on July 19th, 20th, 22nd and 23rd, 2025.

The dates are part of a full world tour taking place next year, in the wake of Hit Me Hard And Soft, her fourth studio album which is due out on May 17th.

The full UK dates:

  • 7 July 2025 – OVO Hydro, Glasgow
  • 8 July 2025 – OVO Hydro, Glasgow
  • 10 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 11 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 13 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 14 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 16 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 17 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 19 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester
  • 20 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester
  • 22 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester
  • 23 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester


Presale tickets go live tomorrow, Tuesday April 30th, at 12pm and are exclusive for Co-op members only.

To become a Co-op member, click HERE, and enjoy exclusive benefits.

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