Let’s see how awake your quads are, shall we, with an entirely uphill climb from Ramsbottom village to its magnificent Peel Tower.
The walk’s not too tough if you take it at a slow pace, and it’s well worth it for the views. Trust us.
You can go straight up the hill and straight back down again if you’re not wanting to rack up too many miles, or turn it into a circular and stroll across Holcombe Moor instead (beware – it can get windy up here).
There’s a map of the circular route here and some great pubs in the village to relax in afterwards.
Dovestone Reservoir, Oldham
Dovestone Reservoir is a beloved gem among many Mancunians – it might be busy on Boxing Day, but thanks to its mostly-wide footpaths and circular route it’s easy enough to have your own space on your walk.
The path around the water is mostly flat and accessible, making it ideal if you’ve still got a few generations’-worth of relatives hanging about.
You can keep going if you’re feeling adventurous, extending your walk to include Greenfield and Yeoman Hey reservoirs, or heading up to Saddleworth moor and the crags above.
You can find more information about Dovestone Reservoir here.
Rivington Pike is a real gem in the North West, just across Bolton’s border with Lancashire, with loads to explore.
There’s a trio of reservoirs at the foot of the hill but most people head upwards, towards the historic tower at the peak, where you can soak in views for miles around.
The Terraced Gardens are well worth exploring too, where you’ll find a hidden Japanese Garden, lakes, waterfalls, bridges, sculptures and caves.
Heaton Park, Manchester
It might not be the most adventurous of Boxing Day walks – Heaton Park is one of Manchester’s most popular and prominent green spaces and one of the largest municipal parks in Europe – but it’s a perfect option for a family-friendly stroll.
The huge park has miles of accessible footpaths which loop around the boating lake, the Grade I-listed Heaton House, and the ‘Temple’, which stands at the highest point in the city of Manchester.
There are also cows and horses wandering about (even when the animal park itself is closed) and the old tramline to check out.
Featured image: Wikimedia Commons
Travel & Tourism
Manchester Airport announces direct flights to Las Vegas from 2024
Manchester Airport has announced that passengers will once again be able to catch a direct flight to Las Vegas from next year.
The bright lights of the fabulous Las Vegas are calling.
When it comes to non-stop flights, those jetting off on holiday from Manchester Airport currently have over 169 exciting destinations in 50 countries to choose from – but now, you can add the party capital of the US to that list, as Virgin Atlantic has confirmed that its latest direct route from the Northern hub is Las Vegas.
The Nevada hotspot has always been a popular travel destination, not only because of its legendary nightlife scene, but also thanks to the fact it provides a gateway to the wide range of attractions in America’s West.
The stunning scenery of the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park, the Pacific Highway, and the major cities of San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles, are all within reaching distance from the desert city – which is presumably why Virgin Atlantic has chosen it as its next direct route from Manchester.
Starting from 2 June 2024, three flights a week will depart from Manchester Airport Las Vegas.
Flights to Las Vegas will operate on Virgin Atlantic’s newest Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, and will be added to the US routes already available through the airline from Manchester Airport to Orlando, New York, and Atlanta
The new Las Vegas route makes Manchester the only airport in the UK outside London to fly directly to America’s West Coast.
“It’s hugely exciting to see the return of Virgin Atlantic’s direct service to Las Vegas, which has always been one of our most popular long-haul routes,” Manchester Airport’s Managing Director, Chris Woodroofe, said of the new flight destination.
“As the UK’s global gateway in the North, it’s great to work with airline partners like Virgin Atlantic to connect the region directly to as many destinations around the globe as possible.
“I am sure this service will be really popular with passengers and we look forward to continuing our work with Virgin Atlantic to further grow its route network from its Northern home in Manchester in the years to come.”
I hate cars. Well, hate is a strong word. I’m very uninterested in cars. As long as they get me from A to B without blowing up, I’m happy.
So when Tesla got in touch to see if I would be interested in trying one out, I was a little apprehensive. Surely it’s just a bit of a gimmick? The tech isn’t quite there yet? It’s just a car, who cares? I was wrong. After about four seconds, I cared.
Arriving at the Tesla showroom on Wellington Road in Stockport was like stepping into the future. Everything was sleek and clean with free coffee from one of those fancy pod machines where they’re all a different colour and you don’t really know what you’re getting but it’s free so who cares?! I did feel slightly out of place with all the fancy cars – how did this lad who grew up in Hazel Grove end up in here?
But the keys (well… a credit card-shaped key, because Tesla LOVES fancy tech) to my shiny blue Tesla Model Y in my hand, I was off to explore the north west and test it out.
The newest Teslas come with so many features, from built-in ‘Camp Mode’ to Netflix, that I thought I may as well just not leave the car for a day – bar bathroom breaks and other essential errands.
With so many features to try, my first stop was Leeds to visit the team at The Hoot for some car-eoke. The drive there was super smooth and I even let the car’s autopilot do most of the work for me. It was scary to begin but once you’re used to it it makes motorway driving a dream. The car-eoke feature is a great opportunity to blast out some ballads and keep everyone entertained.
Then it was back across the M62 to pick up a couple of Manc mates, heading off to Chaiiwala’s new drive-thru in Bolton.
Let me tell you, there is nothing more entertaining then unexpectedly flooring it and seeing your co-workers’ shocked faces as they’re soaked with colourful iced tea. Fuelled with delicious Indian street food, we sat and played around with the settings, finding it hilarious (because we are overgrown children) that you can set everything from the indicators to the horn to make fart noises. Less hilarious when I forgot to undo the settings and turned up to a client meeting with the car farting everywhere…
The Model Y is big enough to sleep in, with mattresses available from Tescamp on Amazon. My husband and I took it to a field in Rochdale to sleep under the stars – which you can see through the Tesla’s expansive sun roof. The Tesla has camping mode, which keeps the car cool and comfortable throughout the night.
With all the driving around and camping overnight, the Tesla needed a charge. Handily, the built in Google Maps could direct me to my closest Tesla supercharger, which can be found at the Trafford Centre. The perfect opportunity to get a bit of shopping in and catch an episode of something on Netflix IN THE CAR while it charged, which only took about 40 minutes.
Car charged, it was time to recharge my own batteries, driving on over to Oldham to try out the incredible cakes at Wonderlust Bistro & Bakery – a true hidden gem that everyone should check out.
Surprisingly, we were still hungry after that and luckily for us the Tesla has an ‘I’m hungry’ button (which I would like to have by my side at all times), so we let the car decide. It chose the delectable Lily’s Vegetarian in Ashton, where we could barely make a dent in the huge menu of Indian dishes.
I ended up having the car for around two weeks and I was genuinely heartbroken to give it back. It drives so well, has so many cool features and you feel special driving it. Everyone looks at you with awe when you’re in it too… even if you then startle with them with a very loud fart noise.
About the car
The Model Y is their fully electric, small crossover SUV
It can drive up to 330 miles on a full charge
It can do 0-60 in as little at 3.5 seconds
Has surround HD cameras – perfect for manoeuvring and showing your blind spots when changing lanes
Build in HD screen with access to Netflix, Disney+ and games
Autopilot for self-driving fun
5 star rating for safety
Huge boot capacity with storage in the bonnet too
Individually collapsible seats in the rear
Pet mode to keep your pets cool and comfortable if they have to be left in the car
Camping mode – so you can take the Tesla anywhere and sleep in it
Off Roading capability with superior traction control
Dual motors independently controlling the torque for the front and rear wheels
Superfast charging – charge up to 150 miles in just 15 mins
Tesla vision – detects nearby cars to help prevent collisions
Expansive glass roof
15 inch touchscreen display
Over air software updates
Fully customisable to each driver – it remembers your seat position and everything!