Northern England: Priceline Coupon Codes & Walking the Pennine Way

Northern England boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in the country, including a walking trail that extends 420km along what is known as ‘The Backbone of England’ right up to the Scottish border. Great for a weekend holiday, although you could easily spend several days in the area, here are some of our tips to get the most out of your visit.

Save on Accommodations by using Priceline Coupon Codes

The most expensive part of a trip within reach by train or car is always going to be the accommodations. Whether it’s a chain hotel or a quaint bed and breakfast, they can be pricey especially during busier times of the year. However, you can save yourself a few Pounds by using Priceline for last-minute hotel deals. Their whole business model is built around filling vacancies at hotels a few days or weeks ahead of time so there are some really great deals to be found. No matter where you are planning to stay, it’s worth a look to see if you can save some money that can be better spent on food or a pint!

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Walking the Backbone of England – the Pennine Way

If you consider yourself a serious walker, walking the Pennine Way is probably on your list of things to do. This 420 km long trail running along what is often known as the backbone of England passes through some of the UK’s most spectacular scenery, including three national parks. However, the trail is also within easy reach of several of the largest cities in England, including Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield.

The Pennine Way runs from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm near the Scottish border. It was opened in 1965 and was the idea of a journalist, Tom Stephenson, who was impressed with the long distance paths in America. Since then it has become the most popular long distance footpath in the UK, attracting an estimated 250,000 walkers each year. Although the record for completing the Pennine Way is just under three days, most people take a more leisurely two to three weeks. The well-known walker Alfred Wainwright promised to buy a drink for everyone who finished the famous walk; apparently, this gesture cost him close to 15,000 pounds until his death in 1991.

Most walkers tackle the Pennine Way from south to north, partly because the winds are more favorable that way, and partly because the dozens of guide books are written in that direction. Spring or autumn are understandably the most popular times to attempt the walk, although the countryside has a certain appeal during the bleak winter months, and many of the crowds are gone too. Although some sections are paved, muddy conditions can be a problem after heavy rain, and walkers must also tackle almost 250 stiles and almost 300 gates.

However, one reason the Pennine Way is so popular with walkers of all ages and abilities is its relative ease. The highest point on the trail is just over 890 metres above sea level, and the trail is well marked with over 450 markers. There are also over 500 access points that intersect with other footpaths, main roads and back roads. The Pennine Way passes within easy reach of some of northern England’s most picturesque and delightful small towns, including Hawes, Hebden Bridge and Alston, offering plenty of choice for accommodation, food and of course a decent pub or two.

One of the best places to take a break and have a drink is at the famous Tan Hill Inn. The 17th-century tavern is located about half way along the Pennine Way, at an altitude of about 528 metres. It once served a row of miners’ cottages, until they were demolished at the beginning of the 19th century, because of the nearby mines closing. The pub has several rooms, offers live music and attracts walkers and cyclists from all over the world.

The Pennine Way takes in the best of England’s scenery, as it passes through three national parks: the Yorkshire Dales, Peak District and Northumberland. One of the most spectacular highlights along the route is the 70-metre high curving limestone rock wall at Malham Cove. Ice and water have eroded the rock over millions of years, and the area is home to a huge underground system of caves. High Force in County Durham is one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the UK, with a drop of over 20 meters into the pool below the cliffs. Walking the trail also offers the opportunity to see plenty of wildlife, including wild fell ponies and goats.

Walking the length of the Pennine Way is on the ‘bucket list’ of many people, and with good reason. The famous trail takes in the most beautiful and stunning scenery in England, and if you have a good pair of boots and a couple of weeks to spare, you too can check it off your list.

 

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What an Expedia Voucher Code and Jack the Ripper Have in Common

It’s become one of the most popular tourist activities in London, on many ‘top 10’ lists of things to do in this historic city, along with the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace. You can even find custom sales, like Expedia’s Jack the Ripper sale last Halloween that offered you an Expedia voucher code to save on your room reservation if you booked a trip to London on Halloween night.

On most evenings in London, rain or shine (and this being England, it’s most likely rain) you can find groups of people eagerly waiting to travel back in time for a couple of hours to the sinister and foggy streets of Victorian London.

Walking is a wonderful way to explore London, and walking tours have always been a relatively inexpensive way to experience another side of the city. For about $15, you can spend a couple of hours in the company of an expert guide walking in the footsteps of such well-known London residents as Dickens or Shakespeare. Walks taking in some of London’s best pubs or exploring its haunted sites are also popular.

In recent years though, the Jack the Ripper walk has become one of the most popular. Interest in this notorious killer who terrorized the streets of east London at the end of the 19th century, often described as being the world’s first serial killer, has never been stronger. A recent documentary on American television claiming that the notorious American serial killer HH Holmes and Jack the Ripper were the same has only added to the interest and the controversy.

Several different companies offer Ripper walks and most leave from Tower Hill, on the edge of the Whitechapel district where the murders took place. Walks take in all the murder sites, although not necessarily in chronological order. If you go on one of the Ripper walks, you may be lucky enough to have acknowledged Ripper expert Donald Rumbelow as your guide. All the guides are knowledgeable, however, and do an excellent job of making the experience intriguing and conveying the atmosphere of Victorian London. At one point on the walk, the residents of a nearby apartment building routinely get their evening entertainment by shouting and whistling at Ripper tour groups, although this impromptu street theater shouldn’t detract from the overall experience.

One of the drawbacks of the walk is that there is, of course, nothing really to see, other than the sites where the murders took place. Some of the guides’ descriptions of the killings and the state of the mutilated corpses tend to be quite graphic, although most participants don’t seem to mind. Furthermore, with most of the area extensively altered or redeveloped, you’ll usually find yourself standing in front of modern office buildings trying to imagine the scene as it might have looked over 100 years ago.

There are several places on the walk where things have not changed much in over a century. Especially as it starts to get dark, you can feel the atmosphere. You can still see a few of the original shops and street name signs if you know where to look, and your guide will probably show you the wall where the Ripper supposedly chalked a cryptic message to the police.Jack the Ripper walks traditionally end at the Ten Bells pub, on the edge of the Whitechapel district. Not so long ago, this bar was renamed the Jack the Ripper, until accusations of lack of taste forced it to revert to its original name. Regardless, tourists usually crowd the tavern to slake their thirst, perhaps at the very table where the Ripper lured his unsuspecting victims to their deaths. From the pub, it is a short walk to one of the several underground stations to return to your hotel, or to the many Asian restaurants and sweet shops in Brick Lane.

If you’re looking for something slightly different, you should not miss this experience. Make sure you have a sturdy pair of walking shoes, keep an open mind as to the Ripper’s identity, and be prepared to be transported back in time.