A City of Culture... Liverpool

Last week I went on a day trip to Liverpool, a city I had never visited before, a city of culture (as of 2008), and a city I am now very fond of. We hopped off the train (an easy £5 return journey from Manchester) to immediately be welcomed by the stunning st Georges Hall towering across the road, an unexpected glimpse into a Liverpool of the past. Unfortunately the hall was closed for Easter Sunday, however, without having to walk more than a few seconds from the station we were bombarded with enough delights that it was clear why Liverpool was crowned European Capital of Culture in 2008.

We began our day wandering around the Walker Art Gallery, a classic art gallery full of works dating back to the 1300's, before heading next door to the Central Library. If you ever find yourself in Liverpool, make sure to put this high up on your to-do list, Central Library is one of the most magical buildings to grace this country. Once you wander up through the ultra modern entrance and onto the first floor, you find yourself at the doors of the Picton Reading Room, a magnificent circular room, with walls lined with beautiful old books and adorned with black and gold spiral staircases - you feel as though you have walked into a scene from Harry Potter. There are a few exhibits in the library too, so make sure to explore and see everything this stunning building has to offer.


After leaving the library, we ventured all the way to the building next door - the World Museum. Appropriately named, this museum has a little bit of everything. Floor one is an aquarium, floor two is home to the bug house (not for the squeamish!), floor 3 is an ancient Egypt exhibit, floor 4 takes you back to the dinosaurs and on the top floor you find yourself at a planetarium. You couldn't squeeze more into a museum if you tried!

After spending hours of our day exploring the doorstep of the train station we had worked up quite the appetite, and so we marched off in search of a bite to eat. After some debate as to what everyone was in the mood for we found our way to Shiraz Cafe, the cafe to settle all food-related disputes. It was outstandingly cheap, the service was speedy and the food was both delicious and diverse. I tucked into a huge vegetable calzone plus a glass of fresh orange juice for only £6! I couldn't recommend it more!

After refueling we made our way over to Albert dock, the second hub of museums in Liverpool. The picturesque dock is lined with museums, restaurants and souvenir shops, and with the sea breeze fresh in the air it is definitely the postcard scene of the city. We strolled around the Tate briefly, before heading over to the Museum of Liverpool - a futuristic and striking building (that reminded me of the opera house in Oslo) which inside offers a wealth of information about the history of the city, and life there today. There is also a sizable display of Beatles memorabilia and information, as well as an interactive Liverpool music quiz in you can compete against your friends. In addition the museum houses a spectacular spiral staircase that wraps around the center of the building - a site not to be missed!

After our day of museum-hopping we headed back to the station, but not before popping into the sweet shop at Albert dock - quay confectionery. Our mouths stuffed with sweets, our feet tired, and our thoughts happy, we trudged back to the station, a day well spent.

In case you couldn't tell, I loved Liverpool, and if you ever get the chance to visit don't hesitate to jump at the opportunity!

Happy travelling,

Vicky

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