Last weekend, I was lucky enough to spend the weekend in Liverpool with a group of friends and once again came home knowing that I really need to spend more time exploring the UK. There are plenty of places abroad that I would love to visit, but there are also plenty of places in the UK that I haven’t seen and could spend plenty more time exploring. Anyway, back to Liverpool. I had only ever been once before for a Christmas shopping trip to Liverpool One. There hadn’t really been much chance for exploring, but I set that to rights this last weekend.
We chose Liverpool as our meeting point largely due to its good transport links. We were all travelling from different parts of the country to get there, meaning that it had to be well located. We also wanted the option to do lots of different things – be they cultural, shopping or more alcohol influenced. Reasonably priced hostels were also a bonus. Having now been, I would like to go back. I don’t know if I would necessarily want to live there, but another weekend trip at some point is definitely in order! Here are some of the highlights from the weekend:
1. Albert Dock – located in the heart of the historic docklands, Albert Dock provides a range of different attractions making it lively both by night and day. There are plenty of restaurants around the water and if I return I will endeavour to make a booking so that I can actually sample one! There are also plenty of museums located round the water. I would particularly recommend the Merseyside Maritime Museum, which also houses the International Slavery Museum. The slavery museum was particularly thought provoking and added a historical element to our weekend trip.
2. Radio City Tower Viewing Gallery – the highest structure in Liverpool, St John’s Beacon is located in the middle of Liverpool town centre and provides wonderful views of the whole city. Included in the entry fee is a full colour panoramic tour booklet, which enables you to spot famous landmarks from your vantage point. If it is a clear day then it is definitely worth doing.
3. The World Museum – before visiting the city, I had no knowledge of the world museum which made it even more of a delight to stumble across. If we hadn’t found it though, we really would have been missing out. Spread out across five floors the museum houses a planetarium, a bug house, an aquarium, several mummies and numerous informative and well-presented exhibitions. I would particularly recommend the World Cultures gallery.
4. The Metropolitan Cathedral – I’ll admit it, I’m one of those people who is not particularly religious but somehow always ends up visiting at least one church or cathedral when I’m away. I know I’m not the only one to do so, as quite usually the architecture is very impressive but you do reach a point where you feel like once you have seen one, you have seen them all. The Metropolitan Cathedral is completely different and as the largest Catholic cathedral in England is worth walking up the hill for. I knew it was different, but had no idea quite what to expect. From the outside, it looks as though it should be twinned with the University of York’s infamous Central Hall – a little like a space ship. Inside however, is a different story. The stained glass is vibrant and uplifting, offering a sense of calm and tranquillity.
5. Nightlife – despite having been a student up until very recently, going out clubbing and getting drunk are not really my idea of fun. I’d much rather have a nice drink in a cocktail bar, or stay at home and watch a film. However, we decided it was a good idea to sample the delights that Liverpool had to offer, and I have to admit I was not disappointed. Highlight of Friday night was a trip to the Bierkeller – cheesy music, fun atmosphere and dancing on benches to sum it up. Highlight of Saturday was Alma de Cuba. Situated in an old church, the building felt special and looked very classy. We were lucky enough to be there for the petal drop at 11pm – a shower of petals are released from the balconies, creating a carnival atmosphere whilst samba dancers take to the stage. It is crowded, but it is worth it.
Do you have any recommendations for my next trip?