Easter egg hunt – Manchester's finest chocolatiers

Bustling, beautiful and bold Manchester is a great city to visit and frankly you don’t need much of an excuse to head in for a day of fun or a night on the tiles. But here’s one anyway... 

Chocolate lovers are in for a treat in the city’s Northern Quarter, which is home to one of the finest purveyors of chocolate in the country – Bonbon Chocolate Boutique. Handmade chocolates are produced on the premises, but it’s not just the solid stuff that pulls in the punters. Bonbon’s hot chocolate, a rich Latin-American style chocolate espresso, is the toast of the town. 

Manchester also has a branch of the upmarket Hotel Chocolat, so you can plot your way from treat to delicious treat this Easter. The range of seasonal goodies is irresistible.

Silence with the lambs, rural walks in the Lake District

The stunning Lake District is a walker’s paradise. Hop on the train and hop off at one of the pretty little stations to enjoy fresh air and stunning scenery to make the most of your Easter break. 

Head to Staveley for a ramble off the beaten track; a loop past Staveley Crossing, Cowan’s Head and Hagg Foot will take you around three hours. When you get back to the village, you can choose from a handful of pubs and the Railway Hotel by the station for a welcome tipple. Mill Yard’s cluster of shops is also well worth a visit. 

Alternatively, Windermere is one of the Lakes’ most popular spots and the station is a few short steps from tranquil countryside. Local landmarks include the Baddeley clock tower as well as the lake itself, of course. A walk south out of the town in the direction of Bowness takes in pretty pastures. Loop back for a wide range of cafés, restaurants and pubs.

Divine inspiration at Durham Cathedral

The splendour of Durham Cathedral – especially at this most important time of year for Christians – is awe-inspiring, whether you have faith or not. Considered one of the great buildings of Europe, this masterpiece of Romanesque architecture soars above your head as you enter and contains tombs and treasures, as well as cloisters markets where you can pick up some trinkets. Bill Bryson described it as the greatest cathedral on planet Earth. It’s hard to argue with that verdict. 

If you are religious, you can really throw yourself into Easter here by booking a Holy Week Retreat. The break includes bed and breakfast accommodation and talks, pilgrimages and guided reflection through the cathedral website.

Regardless of your beliefs, there is so much to see and do here. From the meticulous LEGO recreation of the church, to the beautiful cobbled streets and riverside walks nearby, this is a divine place to visit during your Easter break.

Easter egg heaven at York's Chocolate Story

Easter isn’t Easter without a belly full of chocolate – and the joy of a long weekend off, come to think of it. So why not head to the Mecca of mocha that is York’s Chocolate Story and plan ahead for a much-needed spring break?  

Here you’ll find out all about chocolate – from how it’s made to why we love it. And if you want a serious dose of education with your egg-shaped treat you can take in the Chocolate And The People Of York exhibition.  

As great as all that is, though, you really head here to indulge in some serious scoffing. The Chocolate Bar Café is an Aladdin’s cave of good eating with a vast range of goodies from plain old chocolate to strawberry varieties and single-origin Grenadan dark chocolate. Don’t worry, there’s a shop so you can stock up on the treats you can’t manage on the day. 

Bank Holiday Bargain Hunt

Instead of hunting for eggs, hit the shops and track down some bargains at one of the UK’s biggest retail palaces. Meadowhall has it all, from a mind-boggling range of shops to a mouth-watering platter of restaurants.

All the big names are here under one roof and right next door to the station. Everything from boutiques to the major department stores will tempt you into splashing out. And since it’s the time of year when you have a good excuse to get stuck into the sweet stuff, fill your Easter baskets with chocolate treats from the likes of Thornton’s and Hotel Chocolat.

Meadowhall’s size means it’s easy to make a day of your visit. Along with the cafés and coffee shops, you have your pick of eateries, including a wide range of the trusty chains offering everything from tapas to bubble tea.



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