Five things to do in three bmi regional destinations

  • 09th September 2014

Whether you’re travelling on business, having a mini-break, or catching up with friends and family, you’ll want to make the most of your time in our destination cities.

In this post we take a look at three cities on three of our scheduled flights – Aberdeen, Norwich, Manchester. Each city has well-known tourist activities so we’ve tried to list five of the less obvious things to do instead.


1. Visit Balmedie Beach

Did you know that Aberdeen is home to some fantastic beaches? Balmedie Beach, just 8 miles north of the city is a great place to visit for some surfing, horseriding, walking, or simply taking in the expansive views.

2. Eat an Aberdeen buttery

No visit to Aberdeen is complete without tasting the local speciality – the Aberdeen buttery. Originally made for fishermen departing Aberdeen harbour for up to two weeks at sea, the Aberdeen buttery (aka roll, rowie, rollie or cookie) is a savoury bread roll with a flaky texture. Its high fat content meant that it would provide an instant source of energy and wouldn’t go stale as quickly as ordinary bread.

Back in 2006, an Aberdeen rowie was auctioned on eBay for £620, to raise funds for the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital. But don’t worry, they’re not so expensive in Aberdeen’s tea shops!

3. Go on the Speyside Whisky Trail

Scotland is rightly famous for its Scotch and Aberdeenshire is home to over half of the country’s malt whisky distilleries.

If you love Scotch, then following The Speyside Whisky Trail should be on your bucket list. Each distillery has it’s own heritage and produces whisky with its own set of unique characteristics. You can find a suggested trail map at

4. Dolphin spotting

Dolphins in Aberdeen_original

Aberdeen is a fantastic place to see wild bottlenose dolphins and you don’t have to travel far to see them – as they can be spotted in the city’s harbour!

5. Go ghost-hunting

Not for the faint-hearted but a visit to The Tollbooth Prison Museum in Aberdeen, a perfectly preserved 17th century gaol is a must if you’re into all things spooky!

You’ll learn about gruesome torture and executions – and if you’re lucky you might just hear some ghostly singing or the clank of ghostly keys and chains!


1. Go back in time at Elm Street

Elm street Norwich_original

Fancy a trip back to the 16th century? Then why not wander down Elm Street, in the centre of Norwich? This is one of the prettiest and most unaltered 16th century cobbled streets in England, with pastel-coloured, half-timbered buildings and no straight lines in sight! This charming and quaint street was used as a location for the 2007 movie Stardust –

2. Get a taste of local Norfolk produce

A visit to Farmer Brown’s – a Norwich restaurant that specialises in locally-produced ingredients – will keep you going on your sight-seeing around Norwich’s historical sites.

The restaurant sources all its produce from farmers and suppliers in Norfolk and has a constantly changing menu to reflect what’s in season.

3. Go shopping in The Royal Arcade

Royal arcade Norwich_original

Opened in 1899, The Royal Arcade between Gentleman’s Walk and Castle Street in the centre of Norwich, is a wonderfully preserved art nouveau gem full of interesting speciality shops and wonderful architecture.
If you visit The Royal Arcade don’t forget to stop by two of Norwich’s institutions – Langleys Toy Shop and Colman’s Mustard Shop.

4. Visit the Norwich Aviation Museum

Norwich aviation museum_original

Located on the northern side of Norwich International Airport, just past the village of Horsham St Faith, the Norwich Aviation Museum has an interesting collection of fighter jets that you can get up close to as well as indoor displays relating to the history of Aviation in Norfolk, including information of various RAF and USAAF bases in the county.

5. Wander around a secret garden

If you need a change of pace after all the sight-seeing in Norwich, then a gentle wander around the Plantation Garden in Earlham Road, Norwich might just be the answer.

The Plantation Garden is a restored 3 acre Victorian town garden with flower beds, lawns, woodland walkways providing a peaceful haven from the bustle of city life.


1. Go behind the scenes at Manchester’s rival football clubs

Manchester united_original

Manchester has not one but two top-flight football teams in the Premier League – United and City. Both clubs offer the opportunity to go behind the scenes for a stadium tour and a visit to their respective museums.

Until the end of October 2014, admission to the Manchester United Museum is free. Tours of the famous Old Trafford stadium cost around £18, details here. You can try kicking a few footballs as well as walk down the players’ tunnel.

Meanwhile, over at Manchester City’s Etihad stadium, you can also book stadium and club tours and visit the club’s museum. Stadium tours cost around £8.50

2. Toast the town at Cloud 23

Cloud 23_original

One of the best views of the city – especially at night – is to be had from the 23rd floor of Beetham Tower at Manchester’s swankiest (and certainly highest) bars Cloud 23. Here you can enjoy panoramic views of Manchester in luxurious surroundings.

3. Take in a show at the Royal Exchange Theatre

Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre is always worth a visit, not just for its varied productions which have feaured famous actors such as Ben Kingsley, Albert Finney and David Tennant, but also for its interesting architecture.

Housed within a Grade 11 listed Victorian building is a theatre designed to seat up to 700 people – the largest theatre in the round in Britain.

Award-winning actress Maxine Peake is currently playing Hamlet at the Royal Exchange to critical acclaim – production ends 25 October 2014.

4. Take a musical tour of the city

Manchester has had a vibrant music scene for decades – from The Hollies and The Bee Gees to The Smiths, Joy Division, Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses, and Oasis right up to Elbow and I Am Kloot.

Manchester Music Tours offers walking routes to take in key locations across Manchester associated with some of these legendary bands. All tours are guided by Inspiral Carpets drummer Craig Gill.

5. Get out of town


When you’ve had enough of Manchester’s exciting urban lifestyle, you could always head for the hills just outside of the city, pull on some stout walking shoes and go hiking!

The Manchester Evening News lists a handy guide to eight suggested walks to explore – all within an hour’s drive of the city.

We hope these suggested have given you a taste to get our and explore some Aberdeen, Norwich and Manchester.

bmi regional operates up to 300 flights a week to 22 destinations across the UK and Europe. To book, visit