The North West

Explore North West England

Big city excitement, peace and serenity in the countryside, historic gems, seaside breaks and a picturesque World Heritage UNESCO site; the North West can offer it all.

Whether you take your musical inspiration from the breath-taking beauty of the Lake District which has inspired artists and poets for centuries, or 1960s Liverpool, we have a tour that will suit you.

Iconic venues such as the Cavern Club made famous by the Beatles, 1000-year-old Chester Cathedral and the impressively modern Lowry Centre in Salford Quays provide memorable performances, summer bandstand concerts by the sea attract large audiences of locals and holidaymakers alike, and small parish churches in idyllic lakeland settings promise a warm welcome and enthusiastic audiences. And it’s not just your performances that will stay with you long after you leave; the friendliness and hospitality you’ll receive in the North West are what will really make your tour special!

Our Tour Highlights

Liverpool & Chester – a journey through time!

From Chester’s Roman walls to Liverpool’s rich 1960s musical heritage, let us take you on a journey through British history! ...more

Promenades and Piers

Fish and chips on the seafront, arcades on the pier and a stroll on the beach; it doesn’t get much better than the British seaside! ...more

Lakeland Splendour

The UK’s most popular National Park, the Lake District and has long attracted poets and literary figures to its mesmerising shores. ...more

Manchester – uncrowned capital of the north

Diverse, energetic and bursting with character, Manchester is one of the most exciting places to visit in the UK ...more

Performance Venue Highlights

Chester Cathedral

Founded as a Benedictine abbey in 1092, Chester cathedral has a rich and varied history and today it provides a vibrant community of worship, a cultural hub, a centre of musical excellence with a unique blend of modern and medieval history. An awe-inspiring venue with its Gothic architecture, it plays host to orchestral performances, concerts, weekly Organ Recitals and some of the finest choirs in the country.
  • Perfect for: Choirs
  • Repertoire: Sacred, classical
  • Performance times:       Informal recitals are possible on most days and the Cathedral welcomes visiting choirs to sing services. For a very special concert experience, the cathedral can be hired for an evening concert.

Cavern Club, Liverpool

The Beatles played here 292 times and 60 years after its foundation, this iconic Liverpool venue reigns in celebrating cutting edge music, past, present and future. Take a guided tour of this celebrated venue and follow in the footsteps of music stars past and present by performing on the famous Cavern Club stage!
  • Perfect for: Choirs
  • Repertoire: Popular music from the golden decades to present
  • Performance times: During the day throughout the week

Contact Theatre, Manchester

Contact is Manchester's innovative performance venue situated in the heart of the city's busy Oxford Road. Its distinctive towers make it one of Manchester's most unique architectural gems and the interior includes a 300-seat main auditorium, a 70-seat flexible studio, rehearsal and gallery spaces. It is the national contemporary arts organisation for young people where the result is a remarkable, diverse and exciting programme for everyone.
  • Perfect for: All music ensembles and performance groups
  • Repertoire: Mixed
  • Performance times: On request

St George’s Church, Kendal, Lake District

The southern gateway to the glorious scenery of the Lake District, Kendal is a thriving, historic market town set along the banks of the River Kent. St George’s Church, located in a scenic location within the town and surrounded by cherry blossom in the spring, is a foundation of the local community where a warm welcome and appreciative audience is guaranteed.
  • Perfect for: All music ensembles and performance groups
  • Repertoire: Sacred and classical preferable but some secular repertoire accepted
  • Performance times: Daytime and evening concerts possible subject to the church calendar of events

Rheged Centre, Lake District

One of the more unique performance venues on offer in the North West! The Rheged Centre, set in the green, rolling hills of the northern Lake District, offers performers an opportunity like no other. This striking, grass-roofed heritage centre is home to art and photography exhibitions, a huge 3D cinema theatre, cafes serving delicious local produce and unique arts events!
  • Perfect for: All musical ensembles and performance groups
  • Repertoire: Mixed
  • Performance times: Anytime on request

Southport – Bandstand & Town Hall Gardens

Boasting a beautiful and expansive coastline Southport is surrounded by natural beauty, making it a great place to escape. It boasts some of the most amazing views of the Lancashire coastline as well as the impressive Victorian Grade II listed iron pier. The Southport Festival in May, a haven for all art genres, welcomes performance groups to be part of a very special 3 day event where music, dance performances, street art and laughter fill the street!
  • Perfect for: Bands, Choirs, Orchestra and Performing Arts groups
  • Repertoire: Mixed
  • Performance times: Spring and summer months

Stanley Park, Blackpool

Stanley Park is a masterpiece of landscape design and historical splendour. Known as one of the regions finest parks, the 390-acre park offers a magical blend of architecture, horticulture and recreation. It has many features including a visitor centre, café, Italian garden, bandstand, lake, floral clock and a rose garden as well as boats, islands and a model village.
  • Perfect for: Bands and Choirs in the bandstand
  • Repertoire: Mixed
  • Performance times: Sunday afternoons from May to September, alternative days on request

Where To Stay

*official star rating

Mercure Liverpool Atlantic Tower Hotel, Liverpool

  • Contemporary city centre hotel with views overlooking the Albert Dock and River Mersey
  • Modern Rooms with river views equipped with TV, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities
  • Hotel facilities include the Vista Restaurant and Vu Bar offering stunning views of the Royal Liver Building and Cruise Terminal

*official star rating

The Queen at Chester

  • Elegant, city centre period hotel just a short walk from the city centre
  • Comfortable Rooms equipped with TV, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities
  • Hotel facilities include an elegant and comfortable restaurant, bar, lounge and outdoor terrace

*official star rating

Riverside Hotel, Kendal, Cumbria

  • Charming town centre hotel with riverside location and town facilities in walking distance
  • Comfortable Rooms with river views equipped with TV, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities
  • Hotel facilities include a restaurant with riverside views and a leisure club with indoor swimming pool, gym, sauna and steam room

Sample Itinerary

This itinerary is for guidance only and will be tailored to meet your exact tour requirements. The excursions and concerts featured below will be subject to your chosen tour dates, availability and budget. Please get in touch to discuss your potential tour in more detail and other opportunities available to your group!
Day 1Travel to your destination from your chosen collection pointWelcome drink at the hotel and time at leisureGroup evening meal at the hotel and time to socialise!
Day 2Morning visit to the quaint, Roman city of Chester with guided tour of the cityLunchtime concert in Chester Cathedral OR outdoor concert in the newly refurbished riverside bandstandEvening meal at the hotel and evening activity
Day 3Morning visit to Liverpool, enjoy the sights and a river cruise on the famous River MerseyTake a Magical Mystery tour and follow in the footsteps of the Fab Four finishing with an informal performance at the Cavern Club! Evening meal at the hotel and potential evening concert
Day 4Day excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Lake District. Visit the beauty which inspired so many authors, poets and artists.Afternoon visit to the northern Lakes of Ullswater and combine with a visit and indoor concert opportunity at The Rheged Centre.Evening meal at the hotel
Day 5Enjoy the splendour of the Lancashire coastline with a visit to Victorian Southport or vibrant Blackpool!Afternoon concert in one of the many splendid outdoor venues in Southport or in Blackpool. Farewell meal in local restaurant
Day 6Optional morning excursionOnward journey home

Sound Escapes did a fantastic job on arrangements for our tour . Would thoroughly recommend Jo to any choir looking to travel . All feedback has been positive from everyone who travelled . The extra care at meeting us at the coach and check in to ensure things ran smoothly went above and beyond .
Don OakleyMalmesbury ChoirOxford 2023
As a Chorister, and eventually Head Chorister in our local church choir for eleven years, Jo was talented, dedicated and could always be relied on to work to the utmost of her undoubted abilities. I would expect that she would apply the same attributes to her professional life
P BuckmasterChoral Director
You’ve been patient and kind all the way through this, Jo – especially with it being the first international tour I’ve done, and with all the unforeseen changes to the travel arrangements, so thank you to you and the team.
Sarah MonteithChoir DirectorResound ChoirParis 2023
Care and attention to detail of the highest degree. The planning with Jo Porter was detailed and meticulous, with nothing being missed, and although she was not involved in the accommodation arrangements, she nevertheless checked it out and acted as an intermediary.
Robin SpencerChoir Secretary, Phoenix Choir
From cathedrals and abbeys, churches and stately homes, all steeped in centuries of history, some in Roman Towns others in quintessential English ‘picture postcard’ villages, every choir and musical ensemble should spend a tour exploring the United Kingdom and Ireland. Whatever part of the country you to choose to visit, by working with a knowledgeable team of people who know the regions inside out from both a tourism and musical perspective, you will be guaranteed the richest of touring experiences
Tim KnightBritish composer and Choral Director
Brilliant tour, expertly organised. Kindness and compassion. Nothing was too much trouble. Colin, our driver, was a complete gem and so knowledgeable about the isle. Lovely hotel staff where nothing was too much trouble
Felicity CourageChoir Director, Courage Choir
One of the best tours we have ever undertaken – musically, socially and geographically. Would heartily recommend Sound Escapes to any group considering a tour.
Carole Lindsay-DouglasAmici SingersWeston-Super-Mare 2023

In May 2020 we were due to tour the Stirling area in Scotland and due to the current coronavirus pandemic we took the difficult decision to call off the tour. I’d like to give our thanks and praise to Jo and her team for all the planning and preparation she had done to put the itinerary together – she was able to provide us with an excellent range of stunning concert venues, plus some great suggestions for our leisure time, and we look forward to working with her again soon.

Sally ColesSecretary, Cantamici
Jo and her team came up with a fantastic itinerary for our choir and planned everything to the last detail. We always felt we were in safe hands and that they were on the end of a phone to help us with anything we needed. We couldn’t recommend them highly enough.
Rosie SayersChairperson for Sing It Loud Community Choir
Fantastic tour in Bonnie Scotland, enjoyed by all who went, singing and non-singing. Brilliant organisation from Jo who really made it all look so easy.
Kate HymansTour organiser for Masterworks Chorale