St. Helens, Merseyside
St Helens sits between Liverpool and Manchester in the north west of England. It is an understated town known for its community spirit and northern charm – with an interesting blend of Liverpudlian and Mancunian cultures and accents.
St Helens is famed for its glass – which has been produced there since the industrial revolution. It was also a centre for coal mining, textiles, copper smelting and brewing. Now world-renowned glass firm Pilkington is the only remaining manufacturer, employing many of the local residents. The World of Glass Museum commemorates its place in history as one of the most prolific producers of quality glass – with interesting exhibits and glass blowing demos to offer a rare glimpse into the industry. Remnants of the town’s industrial heritage can be found throughout the centre and on the outskirts in the form of mounds and disused quarries from past mines.
Other attractions include The Dream Sculpture, Nineteen Arches and Dream – the 20-metre-high sculpture taking the form of a large head, which sits on the site of a former colliery. At the North West Museum of Road Transport cars, buses and lorries from bygone eras are displayed. The town is also well known for its rugby league club. In the town centre Church Square Shopping Centre, The Hardshaw Centre and Ravenhead Retail Park offer up high street brands and outlets.
St Helens can be reached by car and is easily accessible from Manchester and Liverpool. Trains frequently pass between the two cities, continuing to connect with London and Birmingham in the south.