Bath, Manchester, Liverpool, Brighton … some cities in England have no trouble pulling in the punters. In fact, they’re so loud and proud, there’s little opportunity for anywhere else to get a look-in. We salute the silent few that offer great weekend breaks – without shouting about it.

Click the next page to see our first pick.

%TNT Magazine% SHEFF

Best for a city break: Sheffield

WHY Like a small-scale Manchester, Sheffield boasts an iconic musical heritage (Pulp, The Human League, Def Leppard and Arctic Monkeys all hail from here) and thriving student – read: cheap – nightlife scene. A great spot for a bargain weekend of drinking and dancing, with enough shopping, museums and galleries to entertain the most ADHD of visitors.

DO A night on the town should include The Devonshire Cat ( and its 150 varieties of beer, and indie mecca The Leadmill ( – Jarvis Cocker has often been spotted here. Any ventures down West Street and Division Street will end in a good night out. See Meadowhall for all your shopping needs under one roof (, and the Millennium Galleries ( covers everything from contemporary to Victorian art. Gastro pub The Milestone ( was a winner on Gordon Ramsay’s Best Restaurant TV show.


Click the next page for more of unsung England


Best for ye olde charm: Shrewsbury

WHY To discover a historical marvel away from the tourist crowds, unassuming-sounding Shrewsbury can’t be beaten.  The medieval town, described 300 years ago by Daniel Defoe as “pleasant, populous, and rich”, boasts a ramshackle collection of Tudor, Jacobean, Regency and Victorian architecture, the time-worn buildings tilting over a warren of winding streets.

DO A walking tour of the town lets you soak up the olde worlde atmosphere, passing the 16th-century Market Hall, the overhanging Henry Tudor House, where Henry VII reposed before the Battle of Bosworth, and the oddly terracotta-coloured Shrewsbury Castle. A river cruise along the Severn, which swaddles the town, is equally picturesque.


Click the next page for more of unsung England


Best for a horrid history: Lancaster

WHY A pretty place steeped in Georgian splendour, this year marks the 400th anniversary of the Lancashire – or Pendle – Witch Trials. Twenty people were tried for witchcraft in Lancaster in the autumn of 1612, rendering this county seat the almost-Salem of the UK. The town’s theatre, The Dukes, will perform a play all about the trials in the 54-acre Williamson Park later this year (

DO To get a sense of this grisly episode of English history, check out Lancaster Castle, where 10 ‘witches’ were sentenced to death. Here, you’ll see the Well Tower, or Witches’ Tower, in which they were incarcerated, and even get a chance to find out what it was like to be locked up in the dungeon. As the castle still functions as a prison, you can only wander it on a guided tour. Also, make time to see the 17th-century Judges’ Lodgings, which were once the home of witch-hunter Thomas Covell, responsible for putting the unfortunate 20 on trial. Keep an eye on TNT for more on a trip to this spooky town.


Click the next page for more of unsung England

%TNT Magazine% BRISTOL

Best for emerging hip: Bristol

WHY Maybe it’s trading on the cutting-edge cool of its most famous export, elusive graffiti artist Banksy, but Bristol does seem to be eliciting murmurs of appreciation from unsuspecting culture vultures these days. A recent boom in galleries – such as trendy Spike Island (, a former tea-packing factory that now specialises in contemporary and visual arts – and designer bars provides plenty of entertainment for a great weekend jaunt.

DO Style-conscious types pack into Elbow Room (64 Park Street) for a spot of grunge-cool, playing pool and
chugging bourbons to a soundtrack of jazz and funk. Cramped club Native (15 Small Street) is another in-the-know place to go, playing drum and bass, dubstep, hip-hop and jazz to the first 200 punters that manage to cram in.