Another city that I had never been into and comes as a great surprise is Liverpool. It's really gearing itself up for when it becomes the 2008 City of Culture for Europe. They obviously have a huge amount of money to spend, especially on the waterfront. The Albert Docks is a great success with a mini Tate gallery and more bars than you can shake a stick at. The only problem you might encounter is if you don't like the Beatles as litterally everything has some Beatles themed element to it. I suppose that's what gets the tourists in, but there's plenty else to see down there apart from them.