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“Ey up mi duck, there’s more to England than London you know.” Don’t believe (or understand) us? Here’s our rundown of the best the North has to offer.

There’s a lot that makes England great and, yes, most of it is in London, but not all.

Almost every Aussie can trace his or her roots to Manchester and that must be reason enough to plan a trip north of Watford, right? You’ll open yourself to some weird and wonderful cultures and best of all some of the most epic nights out on the planet (trust us). The North really does have it all.

MANCHESTER: Best for Music

Manchester and the northwest in general is well known for its music, fashion and clubbing and, while most people would probably think of Liverpool first when it comes to music, we’re telling you to head to Manchester instead. Why? A few reasons: The Stone Roses, New Order, Oasis, Happy Mondays, The Smiths, Joy Division, Buzzcocks... we could go on.

The great thing about Manchester is, as well as producing some of the greats, it isn’t afraid of new talent. So if it’s the next big thing you’re looking for then head down to live music venues Roadhouse and Night and Day. The city has a lively club scene and if it is a rave you want (it isn’t nicknamed ‘Madchester’ for nothing) then Sankeys and the Warehouse Project are where you want to go. If it’s the indie scene you’re into then Piccadilly Records and Bridgewater Hall, both in the heart of the city centre, a rea must see. For the big names head to the Apollo and the MEN Arena. visitmanchester.com

LEEDS: Best for Shopping

Leeds has an abundance of designer stores and shops. Its Victoria Quarter is home to names such as Vivienne Westwood, Karen Millen, All Saints, and the first Harvey Nichols out of London. The Corn Exchange is similarly impressive and houses a large number of independent stores, with vintage, craft, record and food fairs taking place regularly. They say good things come in threes and completing the hat trick is Trinity Leeds, the city’s newest and biggest shopping centre with 120 shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.

After all that retail therapy you’ll need somewhere to sit back and relax, have a well-earned dinner and a cocktail or ten. Again Leeds comes into its own here: you could stay in Trinity, but there are absolutely loads of restaurants and bars in the Financial Quarter. We recommend Blackhouse (‘proper’ food done well), Sous Le Nez En Ville (authentic French cuisine) or the Living Room (perfect for cocktails). visitleeds.co.uk


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Th'up North: TNT's guide to the best the North has to offer
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