St. Helens, a Charming Base for Exploring Northwest England

            Cathie Garner

Located midway between Liverpool and Manchester, the Lancashire city of St. Helens (pop. 103,000, metro 177,000) is a perfect base that you can use to launch off and explore the entire Northwest. Whether you want to explore the big city or take in some of Lancashire and Merseyside’s charm, its equidistance from the two “jewel cities of the north” mean that you can effortlessly go from one to the other and stop for a good night’s sleep in between.

However, simply using St. Helens as a base for exploring the rest of the North West isn’t quite doing justice to the beauty of the town itself, and the many incredible attractions that it can offer – attractions that make it more than worthy of a visit, with offerings that include:


An incredible sculpture of international significance to the art community, Dream is 20 metres high, and is situated just outside St. Helens on the top of Sutton Manor, overlooking the M62 motorway. Cast from concrete and finished in Italian Dolomite, this sculpture, which depicts an elongated head and neck of a nine-year-old girl emerging from the ground, is intended to represent light and hope for the future emerging from the coal mines, long since closed. The structure is built on the remains of a coal mine which had been allowed to go to wasteland since its closure, and weighs 500 tonnes. Cast from individual concrete blocks, the piece, by Catalan artist Jaume Piensa, is considered to have the same powerful spiritual potential as the Angel of the North does in the Northeast of England.

The World of Glass

Few know how important glass really is in our everyday lives, and how important St. Helens has been to the glass industry across the world – but the World of Glass intends to put that right with their inventive and educational museum for all ages! It's split into two main galleries: the Glass Roots Gallery, which traces the origins of glass and its impact on civilisation right the way through from Ancient Egypt to the modern world; and the Earth into Light Gallery, which looks at the changing face of St. Helens, from a small village to a world leader in glassmaking.

St. Helens Restaurants and Pubs

St. Helens restaurants have such incredible variety and quality on offer that it might be a tough prospect to have to choose just one – but with plenty of excellent options available, you’re bound to find a few St Helens restaurants that are perfect for you, like Quattro’s, the Italian restaurant situated on the edge of town, or Tai Li, the traditional Chinese tea house and restaurant in the city centre.

All in all, St. Helens is a vibrant, exciting city nestled right in the heart of the picturesque Northwest countryside. A stone’s throw from Liverpool and Manchester, and less than an hour from some stunning Northern coastline, this beautiful town has plenty to offer any visitor. Don’t just take our word for it, though – see for yourself!

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