If you fancy getting away from the rock this half-term, why not take inspiration from our round-up of unusual places to visit?
The “Adjacent Isle” is well known for its castles, pubs, museums and popular historic attractions, but if you want to experience something different, where you’re less likely to bump into a fellow Manxie over half-term, try one of these more unusual trip ideas that you may not have even thought about.
All the destinations featured are less than three hours away from Heysham Sea Terminal, so you don’t have to listen to endless “are we there yet?” moans from your little angels. They’re also all family friendly and easy to find with the help of Sat Nav. Or if you want to do it the ‘old school’ way, all the destinations are well signposted to avoid any map reading relationship breakdowns!
Hire a boat on England’s oldest canal
Location: Bridgewater Canal
Drive time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Constructed over 250 years ago by the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, the Bridgewater Canal is believed to be the first true canal of its kind in England. It stretches an impressive 65Km across some of England’s finest countryside, you’ll be treated to some insta worthy unspoiled beauty.
There are a number of well-known tourist attractions to be found along the Bridgewater Canal – such as the Trafford Centre, Museum of Science and Industry and The Barton Aqueduct. Hiring a narrowboat and travelling along the Canal is the perfect way to visit these attractions as part of a great short break.
Walk in the footsteps of the famous Brontë sisters
Location: Haworth Drive
time: 1 hour 30 minutes
The Brontë sisters created some of the most widely read novels in the world, including ‘Wuthering Heights’ and ‘Jane Eyre’.
Explore the beautiful home and surroundings that inspired classic novels with a trip to Haworth. Even if you aren’t familiar with the books, you will fall in love with the picturesque village, cobbled streets, romantic ruins, and quirky vintage shops.
If you are a Brontë fan you can pay a visit to the Brontë Parsonage Museum, its library contains the world’s most comprehensive collection of Brontë manuscripts, letters, early editions of the novels and poetry, and secondary material on the famous family and their work.
Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem Inn
Drive time: 2 hours
Nottingham has plenty on offer for the whole family. Nottingham Castle, the City of Caves and Adrenaline Jungle; which includes activities like blindfolded 4 x 4 driving!
To top the day off you can visit the oldest Inn in England. Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem has been in existence since 1189 and has a fascinating history, visit to find out about the ‘pregnancy chair’, the cursed Galleon, the extensive Cellars and where the pub got its name from.
Get active in Blaenau Ffestiniog
Drive time: 2 hours 40 minutes
A traditional mining town with a twist, Blaenau Ffestiniog, is home to a brilliant and innovative activity centre which includes the world’s largest zip zone and Bounce Below – massive bouncy nets hung in underground chambers at Llechwedd.
In the heart of Snowdonia National Park, this is a great place for active families to visit. With mountain biking, kayaking and climbing, and a series of underground adventures, there’s plenty of activities to get your blood pumping.
P.S. If you fancy this one but have no idea how to pronounce it, head here to practice…Good Luck!
Embark on an out of this word experience at the National Space Centre
Drive time: 2 hours 50 minutes
With six interactive galleries, the UK’s largest planetarium, and the iconic 42m high Rocket Tower, the award-winning National Space Centre is an out of this world experience. Crammed full of space suits, rockets, satellites, and meteorites, it’s the ideal place to visit if you have any budding astronauts in the family. Nine year old me would have been all over this.
Not only will you walk through a mock-up of the Columbus Module from the International Space Station, but you can also discover the answer behind some of burning questions you’ve always wanted to ask like…how do you go to the toilet in space?