St. Helens stands proudly midway between its neighbours, Liverpool and Manchester, offering a fantastic base for exploring the north-west along with a smorgasbord of art, music, nightlife, sport, fine food and high-fashion of its very own. From the salt of the earth surroundings of Langtree Park, the home of the St. Helens Rugby, to the stunning modern Dream development, which now dominates the local skyline, to visit St. Helens is to visit the heart of the north-west.
There's plenty of heritage to be found in St. Helens, but why not start your visit by sampling something a touch more contemporary. Installed by public artist Jaume Plensa, the Dream is an outdoor art exhibit that has created a huge buzz on the international art scene. The sixty-foot-tall sculpture which looms large over the town is fast becoming a key landmark of the north-west, much like the Angel of the North is to the north-east.
If contemporary art doesn't tickle your fancy, then head over to the town's heritage heartland, the World of Glass, which as well as celebrating the town's prestigious glassmaking history, is home to some of the country's finest glasswork. Or for something more hands-on, sign up for a glass-blowing demonstration in the centre's original Victorian furnace.
Prefer something a little more high tempo? How about a day at the races? St. Helens is home to the world-famous Haydock Park racecourse, which lays on an exciting calendar of first-class racing all year round. And if that all seems like too much excitement for one day, the Mersey Forest is a wonderful place to get good and lost amongst its miles of scenic woodland - you'd never know you were in the heart of the industrious north-west.