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SUMMER GOLD JUNIOR PROGRAMME
Our GOLD JUNIOR PROGRAMME is for 11 to 17-year-old learners. We offer a mix of engaging and stimulating English lessons in the morning combined with sports, interactive and cultural activities in the afternoon, as well as full day trips and excursions with overnight stay in London and a ride on the London Eye.

General InformationWhat is includedBook the course

The Programme
This is an English course of 15 hours weekly which includes project work and specially designed lessons to prepare students for their day trips. This encourages them to put learning into practice in real life situations, providing learning at all levels and a program packed with sports and cultural activities, and excursions. This enables students to build up knowledge and confidence in international atmosphere. Our team has been carefully selected for their responsible and caring attitude, for being fun-loving and outgoing. Our partner school is regulated by Ofsted and is a Highly Trusted Sponsor for The Home Office. Lessons take place at Bournemouth & Poole College, in classrooms equipped with TV sets and Smart boards.

Bournemouth
Bournemouth is located on the southern coast and enjoys a mild climate. It has become one of the most popular resorts in Britain, gaining reputation as the entertainment capital of southern England. The city centre is surrounded by beautiful gardens, and just a few minutes away you will find one of Britain‘s cleanest and most popular sandy beaches.

The School
Our summer English courses take place in The Bournemouth & Poole College, just a 10-minute walk away from the town centre and the sandy beach. Our language courses are attended by students from the world over and have been designed specifically for young learners who are visiting a foreign country for a short period. Maximum class size is 16. Teachers are passionate and experienced and have been selected for their ability to engage and motivate students showing them that learning matters and that education can be exciting and rewarding. Our teachers ignite a love of learning in students, which they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. All of our teachers are TESOL qualified. Teaching materials are provided and have been carefully compiled and selected for originality, content and relevance to young people.

Location
Open city campus (not a closed campus)
Central location
10 minutes’ walk to the beach or town center with banks, post office and supermarkets
Bus stops (local services) available in front of the building
Facilities
Spacious classrooms, WiFi hot spots
Sports facilities in the town centre: gym, football pitch, volleyball, etc.
Occasional access to main hall for afternoon or evening events
Lessons
The programme includes an intensive English Course (20 x 45 minutes per week). All courses follow the European Framework of Reference Levels: Lower Intermediate (A2), Intermediate (B1), Upper Intermediate (B2) and Advanced (C1). Study materials and end-of-course certificate provided. There will be no more than 16 students per group. Generally, these students have varying native languages and are of similar age. All our teachers are qualified, with either a CELTA qualification or a teaching qualification (PGCE Primary/PGCE Secondary in Modern Languages).

Accommodation
Students can choose between homestay and residential accommodation. The residence and the school buildings are situated in the safe Lansdowne area within a 5-minute walk from each other. In peak season, we have approximately 250 students at the centre. Students come mainly from Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia, Turkey and France. This enables our students to experience a multicultural environment where English is the means of communication.

Host Family
Staying with a family is the BEST way to practise your English and to learn more about the British way of life. Bournemouth is a city of many cultures and this is reflected in the homestays we use. Families are carefully selected for their friendliness, cleanliness and access to and from the school. Host family homes are regularly inspected. Most of our families are located within 20-45 minutes away from the school by public transport. The family will provide all the necessary assistance. Services included:

Single/shared room for students of the same sex
Shared bathroom
Full board (breakfast, pack lunch and dinner)
Laundry, sheets and towels provided by the family
Residence
Residence accommodation is the perfect way to live and socialise with students of similar ages from other countries. We offer a full programme of evening activities at the residence daily. Our residencies offer the following:

Residence Accommodation
Lockable single rooms, en-suite (toilet, sink and shower);
Bed, desk and wardrobe with a shelf and a hanging rail;
Room size: approx. 14.2sq m;
Laundry service;
WiFi;
Bedding and towels provided;
Full board (breakfast, hot lunch and dinner);
Adaptor plugs are not provided, but needed;
1 leader per apartment to look after welfare and security.
*Upon arrival we require a damage deposit of £100 (or 120€) per student, which will be refunded on the last day provided that no damage has been caused to the property.

Students staying at the residence will have full board, which will include:

Continental breakfast at the College cafeteria from Monday to Friday and at residence at the weekend.
Hot lunch will be served at the College cafeteria from Monday to Friday.
Hot dinner will be served at the College cafeteria from Monday to Friday.
At the weekend, students will get a pack lunch (triple sandwich + bottle of water + bag of crisps or chocolate bar), and dinners will be served at a nearby restaurant.
Typical activities
Students attending The Gold Junior Programme will enjoy a fun and diverse programme of activities which will take place during afternoons, evenings and weekends, such as:

Visits to museums, castles and cathedrals;
Shopping, movies, karaoke, international sports;
At night: international parties, barbecues, etc.;
Kayaking, sailing, body boarding, surfing, etc.;
Bowling, cooking workshops, Pantomime Theatre;
Cinema, Laser Quest, Mini golf and Light Disco.
Typical full-day excursions:
London Weekend (this counts as 2 full days), Oxford, Bath, Hever Castle (JOUSTING show), Portsmouth (HMS Victory) and Windsor (including a tour of the Harry Potter Studio).

Typical half-day excursions:
Poole Harbour and Sandbanks, Christchurch Priory and Highcliffe Castle, Jurassic Coast (Corfe Castle, Swanage, Durdle Door, Old Harry Rock), Salisbury Cathedral and Stonehenge

Transfers
Transfers to and from Heathrow and Gatwick airports are included in the cost of our Gold Junior Programme as long as the students travel on the dates specified in our brochure, between 11 am and 5 pm. Should the students travel outside of these times, additional costs will apply. The Language Training Co. will provide coaches at London Gatwick Airport North/South Terminals and London Heathrow Airport Terminals 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. The transfer service will be provided by coach or minibus companies, taxi, train or any other services authorised for the transport of passengers. In certain cases, and with the prior knowledge of the Agent and the students, the transfer may be carried out by the host family or may be provided by the Agent. The people providing the transport service have suitable identification, accreditation and will be visible in the pick-up areas. The Language Training Co. will provide a 24-hour assistance telephone number for the transport company.

Staff & Welfare
Our Activity and Excursion Programme is run by our enthusiastic and skilled Activity Leaders. They ensure that all students are involved in the fun and exciting range of activities on offer and encourage them to practise their English all the time. All of our staff members work together towards achieving the same goal - making sure that students feel safe, are listened to, are cared for, enjoy and engage in every aspect of the programme in order to make this a memorable experience. Our staff have been very carefully selected for their friendliness and dedication, as well as their professionalism and a wealth of experience of working with children from all around the world. The welfare of our students is our main priority at all times, both on-site at the school and off-site during excursions and trips. We offer a very high level of supervision, ensuring that our students feel supported and cared for every minute of their stay with us. We have put together a very efficient and experienced management team, who will be led by our Operations Manager. They will take responsibility for every aspect of student welfare, along with the day-to-day running of the programme at the school, accommodation and external activities. They are in charge of the overall supervision of the English teaching programme, social activity programme and excursions.

Meet Our Leaders

Gold Junior Programme schedule

Start dates: Every Sunday from the beginning of July;
Duration: 2, 3 weeks;
Course weeks run from Monday to Friday;
Morning lessons are from 9:00 to 12:00 (3 hours);
Afternoon activities are from 13:00 to 16:30 (3 hours 30 minutes).

What is included

Return transfers Heathrow and Gatwick;
Host Family or Residential Accommodation;
Full Board (breakfast, lunch and dinner);
20 lessons (55 minutes each) of General English per week;
Study materials;
A weekend in London;
A ride on The London Eye;
1 full day trip and 1 half day trip (please see Itinerary for details);
Daily sports, excursions and cultural activities in the afternoon and evening;
Travel card for local buses;
All entrance fees to attractions included;
24 hours Emergency Phone;
Leader support during the stay;
Certificate of attendance;
Full travel and medical insurance.

Extras

Cancellation Insurance
Unaccompanied Minor charge for personal collection and check-in (£50 each day)
Pocket money for souvenirs and shopping
Flights

Do you have any other questions?

Download a Brochure

Things you should know before sending your child abroad

Book the course

Summer Gold Junior Programme

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The importance of the level of English

We found some interesting key facts from the EF EPI reports and we though about sharing with you.

"English skills don’t just matter because they are the career currency of the future and a ticket to a global, connected future for the individual. They also matter at the national level because they can tell us a lot about a country’s level of economic competitiveness and future prospects.

The following are key findings:

  • Europe has the highest overall English proficiency level – although Spain, Italy, and France continue to lag behind their European neighbors
  • Latin America is the only region in the world that suffered an overall decline in English proficiency
  • Led by South Africa, African countries improved their English more than any other region
  • Women continue to have better English skills than men in almost all age groups and countries

High English proficiency levels are part and parcel of a future that is prosperous, connected, and healthy, no matter where you are in the world."

12 reasons to visit Bournemouth and Poole whatever the weather
(Picture: Alamy)

 

England is not a land known for its exceptional weather, but when the comes out, everyone flocks to the Bournemouth area for sand and sea, fish and chips.

The area has a lot to do regardless of the weather and, in fact, if you head down out of summer season you will be pleasantly surprised, and you will not have to battle through the beach crowds.

With its varied nightlife (all at an amazing distance), a small but perfectly formed shopping center, it is greenery and the wildlife, not to mention the coastline, is a truly beautiful area.

The Lower Gardens

the-lower-gardens-bournemouth bournemouth.co.uk
(Picture: Bournemouth.co.uk)

These gardens in the heart of Bournemouth, between the High Street and the sea, are gorgeous all year round.

In the summer you can barely move for the crowds, but things calm down a bit later on, and you can enjoy the floral displays, aviary, rock garden and, when it’s back in action, go up to admire views from the tethered Bournemouth Balloon.

Russell-Cotes Art Galley And Museum

russell-cotes-exterior- pic - russell cotes
(Picture: The Russell Cotes Art Gallery And Museum)

This Victorian villa is jam-packed with art, sculptures and curios.

But it’s the house itself that is the real draw, with themed rooms inspired by the owners’ travels such as The Mikado’s Room.

It’s open from 10am to 5pm, Tuesday-Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays for £7.50 adults price.

Bournemouth Pier

12 reasons to visit Bournemouth and Poole whatever the weather
(Picture: Getty)

At one end you have the arcade and a few shops, at the other Key West bar and grill, which serves everything from big breakfasts to lunchtime salads to steaks and cakes.

There’s also a pier to shore zip wire, which you can have a go on now through til Christmas Eve, a climbing wall and fishing opportunities.

Poole Quay

12 reasons to visit Bournemouth and Poole whatever the weather
(Picture: Getty)

The quay is the heart of Poole – come here to look round Poole Pottery, go crabbing or simply admire the beautiful range of boats.

A short walk away is Poole Museum, which tells the tale of the area (there’s pirates involved), as well as hosting art exhibitions.

Sandbanks

12 reasons to visit Bournemouth and Poole whatever the weather
The view from Sandbanks of Studland and Old Harry Rocks (Picture: Getty)

One of the best – if not THE best beach in Britain, Sandbanks is a calming stretch of seaside away from the busier Bournemouth.

In this area you’ll also find crazy golf and a Rick Stein restaurant, with beautiful views out the back and, naturally, fresh fish on the three-course set lunch.

There’s also Caff, a great greasy spoon with top breakfasts and milkshakes.

If you’re staying at Bournemouth you can have a lovely day walking from there to Sandbanks along the beach and promenade (it will take a few hours), then you can get a bus back from the stop near the Ferry point.

Brownsea Island

12 reasons to visit Bournemouth and Poole whatever the weather
(Picture: Getty)

Right at the end of Sandbanks is the ferry across to Studland (where there’s a naturist beach, the one where the beginning of Monty Python’s Flying Circus was filmed) and Brownsea Island.

Brownsea Island is a National Trust property famed for its red squirrels and its history.

It’s seen monks, a clay industry, the first Scout camp, fires and the fascinating Mary Bonham-Christie, a recluse who bought the island for £125,000 in 1927.

Today it’s just great for a wander round to see the wildlife – although don’t get too excited about that castle in the picture, it’s owned by John Lewis and only their staff can stay there.

Compton Acres

12 reasons to visit Bournemouth and Poole whatever the weather
The Italian Garden (Picture: Getty)

For something a little more manicured visit these 10 acres of privately-owned gardens in Poole.

The stars are the Japanese Garden, particularly stunning in autumn, and the Italian Garden and Villa, which is a popular wedding venue. Plus there’s a lovely tea room.

Watersports

12 reasons to visit Bournemouth and Poole whatever the weather
(Picture: Getty)

This is the perfect place to finally have a go at paddle boarding, windsurfing, kitesurfing, waterskiing or sailing.

There’s also surf schools, based around the artificial reef, although the area as a whole is pretty poor for waves.

Tower Park

tower-park-in-poole-ta pic - tower park
(Picture: Tower Park)

This place is so much fun and, when the weather’s truly awful, it’s a Godsend.

There’s Splashdown – the waterpark, a 10 screen cinema, a bowling alley and restaurants including Nando’s, TGI Friday’s and Pizza Hut.

Basically it’s a teenage birthday party but for all ages.

The food

The best fish and chips in the area (or possibly the country) can be found at Chez Fred in Westbourne (between Bournemouth and Sandbanks).

For mouthwatering burgers and delicious desserts head to Sixty Million Postcards.

It’s also the place to go if you’re a beer connoisseur as it has a huge range.

The restaurant / bar is achingly cool and turns into a club later at night.

Sixty million postcards bar 2
(Picture: Sixty Million Postcards)

They also host regular quiz nights and have information on the latest gigs and nightlife in the area.

The shopping

12 reasons to visit Bournemouth and Poole whatever the weather
(Picture: Getty)

Bournemouth is the better, prettier and more compact high street compared to Poole, with department stores, a big book shop and plenty of cafes along with way.

If you’re a fan of vintage shops, try Christchurch Road in Pokesdown too.

Try to spend at least a day in Boscombe too – the village along from Bournemouth with a big personality.

The festivals and nightlife

pic - alamy F3PX4W Bournemouth, Dorset, UK - 11th October 2015. Creatmosphere - A River of Light at Bournemouth Lower Gardens, Bournemouth, Dorset, UK. The event is part of the Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival. Floating objects were created during the day and were launched on the river Bourne at 7pm, which lit up the river as they floated down stream in front of hundreds of spectators lined up along the river bank - Picture: Graham Hunt/Alamy Live News
A River Of Light at Bournemouth Lower Gardens during their Arts By The Sea Festival (Picture: Alamy)

Bournemouth is a great night out, popular with students, stag and hen dos and all ages.

Most of the clubs and bars are around Old Christchurch Road and Exeter Road.

You can start at Aruba bar at the pier for cocktails and dancing, walk through the Lower Gardens then make your way to Halo or Le Chic among others.

For sophisticated drinks with a stunning view head up to Level8ight The Sky Bar in the Bournemouth Hilton.

There’s also events and festivals throughout the year.

Where to stay

Hilton_Bournemouth_Exterior
(Picture: Hilton Bournemouth)

Bournemouth Hilton which is slap bang in the middle of all the action – a few minutes’ walk from the shops, clubs, pubs and The Lower Gardens is a good place to spend your stay.

It’s also about 15 minutes’ walk to the beach.

The ground floor, all-day restaurant, Schpoons & Forx, serves up every kind of breakfast imaginable.

349A8736
(Picture: Hilton Bournemouth)

The hotel is interspersed with fun, quirky decor ideas such as a whole wall of bells at the front desk, bowler hats as lights and old-fashioned phones on the wall in the business lounge and pinwheel motifs in the gorgeous, box fresh rooms –

Copyright of Pellier Photography
(Picture: Pellier Photography for Hilton Bournemouth)

But the showstopper here is the aforementioned Sky Bar which is worth a visit whether you’re a guest or not.

Mary's Trio
(Picture: Hilton Bournemouth)

How to get there

South West Trains run direct services from London Waterloo to Bournemouth from £51.80 return travelling off-peak.

Make sure you check the trains beforehand – you can do the journey in 1 hour 45 minutes but, if you get a stopping train, it can take more than three hours.

That's all for today! We hope that with those reasons you will be more in love with this amazing city! 🙂

By Sarah Adams in www.southafrican.com

While the allure of Europe is difficult to outshine, these English cities are just perfect for weekend getaways.

Our ultimate list of English cities to escape to for a weekend.

Words by Geordie Palmer

Windsor

Just under an hour on the train from London Waterloo, Windsor is a great day trip. Most famously it is the home of the world’s largest and oldest castle that is still lived in. It is of course Queen Elizabeth II who lives at Windsor Castle, although not all the time – her weekend house if you like. If the flag is raised then Lizzie is there.

English City Wikipedia/Diliff
Otherwise you can stroll about in Windsor Great Park or cross the bridge into Eton and visit one of the most famous schools in the world and its pupils in their funny little penguin uniforms.

Brighton

Starting in the late 18th Century with the then Prince of Wales, Brighton built its reputation as a weekend retreat for the unfaithful, kind of like a 19th Century Ashley Madison. Today, Brighton is Britain’s bohemian seaside resort, the eccentric family member that everyone adores.

English City
Postcards evoke a pebbly beach, a famously tacky pier and the opulent Royal Pavilion. But it’s Brighton’s cheery, colourful charm that brings the visitors in. As the UK’s biggest gay scene and home to two universities and an art college, Brighton can be summed up in one word: fun.

The summer is the best time to go as foreign students, tourists, festivals and quirky events all come to town; but Brighton is great all year round. And as it’s an hour outside of London, you really have no excuse.

Canterbury

Canterbury is another of England’s most famous cities. This is in large part due to the role of Canterbury Cathedral as the HQ for the Church of England, one of the UK’s most iconic Gothic structures and also the famous venue for the murder of St Thomas Becket in 1170.
English City Wikipedia/Diliff

Canterbury is a charming historical city and UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts, as well as the Cathedral, an impressive Norman castle and pretty Tudor houses. It is well worth a visit and being only an hours train ride from London, you can visit just for the day.

Portsmouth

As an industrialised city that was heavily bombed in World War II, Portsmouth won’t be in the running for beauty contests anytime soon. However as a proper city, with a large university, there is plenty on offer in the way of nightlife. Elsewhere, if you like ships, Portsmouth may just tickle your fancy.

English City Wikipedia/eNil
Down in the Dockyard you can climb aboard Henry VIII’s 16th-century warship, the Mary Rose, that sank whilst fighting the French in 1545 and was raised in the 1980s and turned into a museum. Skip forward 250 years and you can visit HMS Victory, the boat on which Horatio Nelson won the Battle of Trafalgar against Napoleon, and another 150 years for a tour of WWII submarine HMS Alliance.

Portsmouth is still home to the British Navy, so the Dockyard provides an excellent timeline as to how a tiny little island once ruled the waves. One final thing we recommend doing is climbing Spinnaker Tower for some cracking panoramic views.

Bournemouth

Bournemouth earnt its reputation from the 7 miles of sandy award-winning beach that stretches across the city. Furthermore, just up the coast in Poole is one of, if not the largest natural harbour in the world and the UNESCO World Heritage Old Harry’s Rock.

English cities
Summertime in Bournemouth is a hub of weekenders, tourists and language students all praying for sunshine and enjoying the watersports. However in recent years Bournemouth has experienced a bit of a cultural renaissance and is increasingly becoming much much more than just its beach.

In fact, if you’re planning on exploring the South we recommend you base yourself here. It’s the nightlife in particular that has impressed: Bournemouth is shrugging off its former reputation as a destination for boozy stag-dos, to be an all year round major venue for touring bands, artists and DJs.

Oxford

Oxford is a historic city and home to one of the oldest and most famous universities in the world. While the city remains very much tied to its historical roots however, its large student population means that it’s also a fun place to go out and explore.

The city is littered with awesome old pubs and cafes and the university buildings that cover the city centre make it a lovely place to just wander about. You can visit the vast majority of the colleges, though it’s worth checking out the visiting times for each; all of them are a great visit, composed of networks of gardens and beautiful buildings, some of which are hundreds of years old.

English Cities Flickr/Tejvan PettingerThe largest and arguably most impressive of the colleges is Christchurch (incidentally provided a decent amount of the setting for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films), which also has amazing parkland surrounding it.

The city’s pretty small so you can happily spend the whole time ranging around on foot or by bike, as many of the locals do. It’s fairly crowded with tourists throughout the summer, which is also when the students are on holidays, so there are certainly advantages to going at different times of the year – that and the fact that summer in the UK basically just means ‘sort of less wintery’ anyway. So much history and culture surrounds the city’s streets and buildings – there’s a reason it’s known as ‘the City of Dreaming Spires’.

An essential Oxford experience is going for a punt. A punt is a flat-bottomed boat not dissimilar to a gondola if you’ve ever been to Venice. You can pick up a punt from one of two places in the city, under Magdalen Bridge near the High Street or at the Cherwell Boathouse a little out of the city centre. The Covered Market, one of the oldest of its kind in the country and found just off the High Street is a great place to get a taste of local life and also quite an interesting exercise in navigation. Getting lost is guaranteed.

Bristol

Bristol, Bristol, Bristol. Bristol is rapidly making a name for itself as a worthy competitor for London. It serves up all that you could possibly want: architectural charm, a spanking new harbourside, a rich modern art scene lead by graffiti superstar Banksy (spot his murals around the city), community-run cafés, cool bars and live music venues, lush green parks, mega-clubs, festivals and even a beach (sort of). All this but without the chaos and claustrophobia of other big cities (although the traffic is horrendous).

English Cities - Flickr/Harshil Shah

The beauty of Bristol is that you have a blend of cultures and lifestyles all within walking distances of each other. Clifton is your traditional British market town with cosy pubs, delis, an impressive Suspension Bridge and the open-space of the Downs; Stokes Croft and Gloucester Road are a bohemian hub of culture and creativity with vintage clothes stores, cool cafés and trendy bars; Nelson Street, a street given over entirely to graffiti art, leads on to St Nicholas food market; whilst the harbourside is a juxtaposition of the historically significant SS Great Britain, the first iron steamer to cross the Atlantic, and the famous ship / music venue / nightclub Thekla.

The Bristolians know how to live and with several massive universities there is always something going on. It has one of Britain’s most influential music scenes producing the likes of Massive Attack in recent years and is slowly drawing young businesses away from the capital. Whilst you’re there, try and get hold of some of the local currency the Bristol Pound – it’s the same value as the British Pound but can only be spent in Bristol.

Bath

You could spend months parading around Britain’s countryside visiting all her spa and market towns until your heart’s content. Or you could just go to Bath. Ok, that’s unfair; every town is worthy of a visit, but if you’re short on time Bath has it all. The Georgian architecture makes the town one of Britain’s most attractive, and much pleasure can be derived from simply wandering the streets. Of course, Bath’s most famous attraction is the Roman Baths and a visit to the hot springs is an absolute must; at the very least it’s a fascinating insight into Roman lifestyle.

English Cities Wikipedia/Arpingstone

Where Bath really wins however is that there is plenty to do from dawn until dusk. You can visit on a simple day trip from Bristol (10 minutes on the train) or spend the night and join the university students in one of the town’s clubs. If you can, time your visit with a Bath rugby game – the stadium is right in the centre of town and tickets typically cost £15-35. With some cosy pubs, charming architecture and friendly atmosphere, Bath is the perfect place for that quintessential British experience.

Cambridge

Cambridge is one of Britain’s most famous destinations, thanks in most part to its world renowned University. If we compare it to Oxford, Cambridge is perhaps the more beautiful of the two and has changed less in its 800 rough years of existence than its neighbour.

English CitiesThe highlight is undoubtedly King’s College and the awe-inspiring Chapel. Most choose to stroll the stretch of grass behind the colleges know as The Backs or punt along the river (a flat-bottomed boat a bit like a gondola that you manoeuvre standing up with a long pole); this gives you the best views of the university.

An apt description is that Cambridge is a university with a town attached, whilst Oxford is a town with a university attached. Consequently, Oxford has more of a buzz to it than sleepy Cambridge, something to consider especially if you plan to spend the night.

Birmingham

Known as the ‘City of 1001 trades’, Birmingham was essentially created in the Industrial Revolution when its population tripled in 50 years. Now Birmingham is the 2nd largest city in Britain and also the most culturally and ethnically diverse. Recent renovations, not least of the old Custard Factory, are helping Birmingham restore some self-confidence, but it will be some time before it completely puts to bed its gloomy reputation.

English Cities Wikipedia/canal duskTrue, Birmingham is now recognised as a first-rate place to live and with several universities and a young workforce there’s a buzzing cultural scene and nightlife. However from a traveller’s perspective, Birmingham is way behind the UK’s other cities and can definitely be saved for another time.

Stratford-upon-Avon

This quiet little market town would probably be passed by unnoticed by travellers if it weren’t for one thing: in 1564 a boy called William was born here and grew up to be the greatest writer ever in the English language ever to have lived. Visitors flock in to see the house where Shakespeare was born and to visit his modest grave.

English Cities Wikipedia/DiliffTravelling to Stratford-upon-Avon simply to see where Shakespeare grew up however is not something we’d recommend. Watching one of Shakespeare’s plays in his hometown on the other hand is definitely an experience worth doing, but be aware that they are very long and difficult to understand for even the English themselves! The Swan and Royal Shakespeare Theatres are not where Shakespeare put on his plays, that was the Globe in London.

Liverpool

Liverpool is the UK’s success story of the last decade. In the 70s and 80s, Liverpool was a bad joke, known for its economic malaise, crime and violence; redeemed only by the successes of its beloved football team and The Beatles (among a number of other great bands). A recent renovation of the city centre and the Albert Docks, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, have put Liverpool firmly back on the traveller’s map.

English cities Wikipedia/Beverley Goodwin
The European Capital of Culture 2008, Liverpool now boasts more museums than any other UK city excluding London. One thing you must do is head out to Crosby beach where the artist Antony Gormley (same bloke who designed the Angel of the North) has placed 100 cast-iron statues molded from his own body staring out to sea.

As the sun goes down, the party loving Scousers (Liverpudlians [people from Liverpool]) come out to play in a city whose music scene is beginning to do justice to its rich heritage. Finally, a trip to Liverpool FC’s Anfield Stadium is absolutely imperative, especially if you can time it with match day.

Manchester

Famous the world over for being home to one of football’s greatest rivalries, Manchester has so much to offer any visitor that you’ll have to be extra careful to make enough time to visit the home grounds of Manchester United and Manchester City.

The city’s history is rooted in the industrial revolution and many of the buildings in and around the town centre are evidence of this, such as the old textile factories in Spinningfields.

English Cities Wikipedia/mark andrew On a typical day out you could go shopping in the Arndale centre, grab lunch in the food court, get a coffee by the canals, eat dinner on “Curry Mile” (the largest concentration of South Asian restaurants outside of India) and top it all off with a few cheap drinks at a trendy bar in the Northern Quarter. Manchester has something to offer everyone; whether you’re a sports fan, a history buff, or looking to enjoy the nightlife, it will not disappoint.

Blackpool

Ever found yourself confused by such phenomena as Costa del Sol, Ayia Napa, Ios and the Ibiza Strip? Well before young Brits relocated abroad for their furious summer partying, Blackpool was the go-to destination. Recognised by its Tower, three piers and famous Pleasure Beach amusement park, Blackpool is unashamedly tacky and over-the-top. And that’s what its 15 million visitors a year love about it.

English Cities Wikipedia/ Rept0n1x

Blackpool shouldn’t be anywhere near the top of your priority list, in fact it probably shouldn’t be anywhere near the list at all; besides, there is more than enough to satisfy your hedonistic urges in nearby Liverpool and Manchester. But perhaps you’re driving up the M6 in summertime and perhaps you feel a slight curiosity to just ‘see’ what’s going on, to just poke your head around the door; well just perhaps we’ll encourage you to check it out.

Leeds

Leeds is another northern city that has made a remarkable transformation in recent years. Built on the back of the textile industry, Leeds, like many industrial cities, went into rapid decline in the second half of the 20th-century; thankfully a full handbrake U-turn has seen Leeds reemerge as the ‘Knightsbridge of the North’, a nickname crediting the number of top fashion brands filling the fully restored Victorian shopping arcades.

English Cities Flickr/Leon FishmanDespite this ‘urban chic’, away from the centre Leeds is still pretty grimy, however with a large student base there’s a diverse nightlife on hand and a rich music scene. If it’s beautiful old architecture you’re after then you might have your work cut out in Leeds, but you can always spend the day in nearby York.

York

York occupied a leading role for much of British history. An early Roman fortress from which to conduct northern raids, before falling to the Vikings and renamed Jorvik, York was the capital of the North for centuries and was thus a centre of huge political, economic and religious influence. The Industrial Revolution saw York eclipsed by other northern powerhouse cities and is now largely dominated by tourism.

English Cities Flickr/York Minster

It is an absolute must-visit however and easy to do in a day from Leeds. The enormous gothic Minster cathedral is arguably one of the most beautiful in Europe, and The Shambles is the continent’s best-preserved medieval street and was mentioned in the 11th-century Domesday book. Finally there’s the Jorvik Viking Museum whose interactive approach with actors may put some off, but is still an interesting insight into the Viking era. Much of the North’s industrialisation passed York by, so a trip there is a surreal transition into medieval Britain.

Newcastle

Newcastle upon Tyne is a city whose mention brings a smile to every Brit’s face. It was badly damaged by the economic upheavals of the 1980s and is still one of the poorest cities in the UK, but there’s a certain charm about the city that is hard to explain. Perhaps it’s the friendly Geordies with their soothing accents and happy-go-lucky attitude, who knows, but you’re guaranteed a warm welcome and a lot of fun.

English Cities Wikipedia/Wilka HudsonIn fact the welcome begins with the Angel of the North, arms outstretched, embracing you on arrival. Recently immortalised in the reality TV series Geordie Shore, Newcastle’s nightlife is famous all over the country and in a few European resorts for being cheap and heavy. Try your hand (and liver) at a treble : 3 shots of vodka and mixer for £5!

Within the city, the new glitzy Sage Gateshead concert hall leads the city’s recent renovation and you’ll find one of the country’s best modern art galleries outside London in the Baltic Centre just across the sleek Millennium Bridge. Of course St James’ Park, home to Newcastle FC, is another landmark and should definitely be visited if there’s a game on. Outside you can easily visit Hadrian’s Wall and Durham.