This is the first time that I’d EVER been so far north and oh boy was I excited. As always, Sanaa and I were off on our jollies with our sturdy 4×4 (Bugaboo Cameleon). The destination was Liverpool; I don’t know if it was just the idea of new accents or going somewhere well known for their regional identity, but despite the gloomy morning, I was very optimistic for the day.
Brixton is my home underground station and we needed to get the Victoria line straight to Euston to get a Virgin Train to Liverpool Lime Street station, which is the closest to their town centre. All the stations had step free access, thank god, and it made the journey so much easier. Virgin trains are plush compared to all the other railway networks we’ve been on this summer. My advice is that you try and reserve a seat beforehand, as most people do, and you can also reserve the wheelchair space (there’s 4 in each carriage). The staff were so attentive, polite and friendly and there’s a shop in the middle of the train which has teas, coffee and light refreshments. Also, they have nice loos which, trust me, is unusual for a train. Anyway, this piece is about the city of Liverpool, not the fancy train we took.
Lime Street Station was super easy to navigate and built on a hill so as soon as you walk out you can see the bus station and one of the shopping centres. As soon as we started to walk around one of the first things I noticed was the architecture. It was all very grand, stone buildings and my guess is that they were mostly built in the Georgian and Victorian era.
I decided to just go for a walk which is not typical of my usual day trips and here’s what I found: the people of Liverpool are so welcoming. Everyone calls you ‘love’ and asks what you think of the town and if you like it.
Everything is cheaper than its London equivalent, that includes big stores and supermarkets. However, although it may seem unfair, I suspect it has something to do with the living standards in Liverpool being lower than the capital in general.They are incredibly baby friendly as a city and everything is very accessible but that’s also because everyone has a baby and if, like me, you watch the new season of One Born Every Minute then you can see why.
Finally, I have one word, glamour! My gosh were they dressed to the nines, there were no special events or anything. But, the Liverpudlian lot looked so glamorous and every street corner had an ad for brows or other cosmetics.
In the middle of Liverpool there’s a huge shopping street also they have a Liverpool 1 shopping complex with a cinema and lots of places to eat. This is where Sans and I stopped for lunch in Pizza hut with the kindest waitress who loved to see babies and spoilt her rotten while I ate. Liverpool1 also have around 8 fully working and tuned pianos with money buckets attached, I thought it was such a nice touch as it encourages people to busk and listen to some live music. It’s also a good and subtle nod to the city’s musical heritage. Behind the shopping area was my personal highlight of the day, Albert Dock.
Made up of a few independent shops, a Mattel play and many of the national Liverpool museums. I went into the Merseyside Maritime museum which is home to many exhibitions and on the 3rd floor it has the International Museum of Slavery. I found the museum fantastic, the transatlantic slave trade is always a subject that can cause discomfort for descendants of both sides of the tale but I feel that the story was told truthfully, accurately and most of all, sensitively. It also explored what Africa had been like prior to colonisation as well as the long-lasting effects of what slavery had caused, and the diaspora it created. Entry to the museum was free, it had lifts and a cafe, too. I would recommend going to have a look but if you’d rather something else all national Liverpool museums are free and there are some paid ones too, such as Tate Liverpool.
My last stop was Mattel Play! there are only 2 in the world and I didn’t have much time before we had to catch our train home. Bless them. I was asking so many questions they just gave us (me) a tour. It’s a play zone for kids with no upper age limit they only have themes which include male and female characters to make it feel inclusive. They do supervised autism sessions so carers can have an hour or two to relax and have a cuppa if need be. Mattel Play! also do kids parties and have buggy parks, a lift and lockers. In short, they’ve got it all covered.
Then we had a mad dash to the station to catch the train home. I absolutely loved Liverpool, I was way better than I had imagined and I’m going back again soon because I barely scratched the surface. The city has over 25000 acres of parks alone and I didn’t make it to one. So of course, Sefton Park will be my first stop next time. Thanks for having us Liverpool, the pleasure was all mine.
NEXT STOP: Wilderness Festival
BBB Travels are independent reviews by booksbabyandback.com