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Merseyside is an area, situated in the North West of England, next to the River Mersey. It comprises of 5 boroughs including Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and Wirral. I have been fortunate that I have lived in Liverpool all my life - some 40 years of it,so I know the area extremely well. I know the nice parts (and the not so nice parts). I'm writing this review in order to enlighten you about our area as a whole.
As I said at the start, I come from Liverpool. I was born in the centre of Liverpool. This means I am officially a 'Scouser'. Other people such as Steven Gerrard (Liverpool FC) was born in Whiston, which is in Knowsley are not Scousers. Jamie Carragher was born in Bootle, again is not a Scouser. These are Merseysiders. Other famous Scousers are Cilla Black (alright chuck), Freddie 'The Hamster Eating' Starr, Jimmy Tarbuck, Paul McCartney, John Lennon - the list really is endless.
In Liverpool there are two Cathedrals. There is the Anglican Cathedral and the Catholic Cathedral (affectionately known as Paddy's Wigman) because of it's shape. The area is a mix of all religions, but due to the close proximity to Ireland, there are a large Irish element. Many of these go back to the 1800's and the Potato Famine in Ireland. In fact my brother, who has done some family history, says that is were the Stebiz family started off life.
The City itself also has two football teams. The Blues and the Reds. The Blues are Everton FC and are the longest established team. They have a big history going back to 1878, and actually sold to the other football team Liverpool FC, their ground at the end of the 19th Century, and built another very close by. Everton's home is Goodison Park and Liverpool's home is Anfield. One of the major arguments in Football over the last 5 years is whether Everton should be allowed to leave the City, to build a new stadium in Knowsley. One that is still ongoing and brings split reactions in the Everton camp.
Liverpool have some fantastic architecture. This includes St Georges Hall and the Walker Art Gallery, amongst many other fantastic buildings. I could write pages on these buildings. In fact many have written books, but these are a must if you visit the area. The Museum is free to enter. I think St Georges Hall, which used to have a Court and Cells, is also free to enter, although the tour is £3.50
For those who travel into Liverpool, it is likely that you will arrive in one of 4 ways. Plane, which is via John Lennon Airport. Train, via Lime Street Station. Ferry, via the River Mersey or by car, via many different routes. At the moment Lime Street Station is being modernised, and is really starting to look beautiful. When it is finished it really will look majestic. As soon as you exit the station, you will walk out on the steps straight opposite St Georges Hall. For those who have heard about the Ferry, this is a must too. You can pay for a trip along this lovely river, and listen to a story, along with music like 'ferry across the Mersey'.
Our once poor shopping area, has now been enhanced with Liverpool ONE. This is a huge indoor/outdoor shopping complex with all the major names in fashion and houeshold goods. My daughter loves going here, and so does my wife. A quick bus trip into town gives them an endless choice of clothes etc. For those who want to look around more shops, cross the main road, and take a leisurely walk around the Albert Dock. A lovely walk, with plenty to see and do. Alternatively grab some food, and sit and watch the ships on the river.
Also in Liverpool we have 3 radio stations. Well 2 really, as one of the radio stations owns the other. These stations are Radio Merseyside, situated by Liverpool ONE, Radio City and Magic 1548.These latter two are up St John's Beacon. This is the building that looks like a Polo Mint in the sky.
I'll finish off the Liverpool side by mentioning the Beatles. There are tours around the City visiting the various landmarks. Strawberry Fields, Penny Lane, Paul's, John's, Georges houses. I only live a few roads away from Penny Lane and George's old house. My daughter also goes to John and Paul's old school. Oh anyway, I'm diversifying here. I could write pages on these guys. The good, the bad and the ugly!!
This is to the North of Liverpool, and is often referred to as Liverpool. In fact some have Liverpool postcodes. Strange eh!! There are poor and rich sides to this area. Lots of terraced houses as you are around Liverpool, but the more you move out to Crosby way, the more land and bigger the houses become. In fact many of the footballers live up this way. There are also lots of beaches, and nature reserves. It can really be quite beautiful. I often takes drives up here, in the car, during the summer.
The area itself is not steeped with the same buildings as Liverpool. It has shopping areas, such as Bootle Strand (which is sadly were Jamie Bulger was abducted from). It also has it's own Town Hall and some nice old churches, but really that is about it.
Well if I mention Knowsley, I always think of Knowsley Safari Park. This is a great attraction for all the family. It is only 8 miles from Liverpool City Centre, and in itself has 5 miles of track, with so many kinds of different animals. I have spend many days here over the years, and find it great.There is also a small fair at the end, for the children. This really is highly recommended.
The Village itself is quite old and is mentioned in the Domesday book, but sadly there is not a huge lot of other things to see or do, in this area.
This is an area steeped in history of hard working Men and Women. Coal Mining and Glass Making, is an integral (or was) part of this area. Although the Coal Mining has ceased there is a huge 20 metre statue called St Helen's Dream. For those coming in on the M62, you will see it on the right hand side,by Sutton Manor, which used to be the coal mine. The sculpture of a girl's head with her eyes closed was inspired by his conversations with former miners.
The town also has a shopping are and retail parks, and is a nice day out. However once again the shopping is limited, due to the amount of shops nearby in the City of Liverpool.
What more can I say about the Wirral. There is the posh part - and not so posh part. Birkenhead (the one eyed City) as Scousers call it, is the entrance to one of the Tunnels to Liverpool. The other is situated In Wallasey. Both have a toll.
Birkenhead really is a working class/industrial type are. It is responsible for so much of the ship building on the Mersey over the years and has had big ship builders such as Camel Liards employing thousands of people. It really does look quite tired now though. There is talk of it undergoing a huge modernisation programme, but this really would cost tens (if not hundreds) of millions of pounds to do.
Nearby there is another Football Team. This is the smallest team on Merseyside, and is called Tranmere Rovers. It is held in much affection by both Blues and Reds.
Wallasey/New Brighton has a lovely beach, and is on the tip of the Mersey estuary. There are lots of water sports to do here, and it is a great walk, if you get off the ferry at Birkenhead, and fancy a stroll.
Then we have the posh side. Many of which no longer want to refer themeselves as Merseyside. They are Wirral. They also have Chester postcodes. This is an area which is quite vast. It has large houses. Lots of beaches, and is surrounded by water. There are also some nice nature areas It also has Wirral Country Park and Ness Gardens. We often take a trip out here to check out some nice Garden Centres. Afterwards we take a walk along Hoylake, which has history going back to before Roman times.
If you travel any further than this, you start hitting North Wales. This is another review in itself, and one for another day. Thanks for reading.
I now live in Merseyside and think it's a great place to be it has so much to offer, the only downside to Merseyside is the amount of crime that goes on it can be a dangerous place at times. There is allot of known places in Merseyside such as the famous Liverpool Capital of Culture were i am sure you will find more than enough to entertain you. Places to visit within Merseyside are Anfield the home of Liverpool Football Club were you are able to see the famous Shankly Gates and the statue of Bill Shankly, Goodison the home of Everton Football Club, The Albert Dock where there is so much to see including The Beatles Story and many bars and restaurants, Knowsley Safari Park were you are able to drive round and see many different animals there is also a small fun zone with lots of amusement rides there is so much to do here it's well worth a visit, Leasowe Castle and Lighthouse where there are also some lovely views, there is more than enough for you to do in Merseyside. We must not forget that Merseyside has be known to film allot of TV soaps also such as Brookside, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisp, Merseybeat and much more. No matter which town you visit in Merseyside you will always find something to do there is plenty of pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants, takeaways, hotels, shops, family attractions, cinemas, theatres, concert arenas, fitness centres, play centres, and plenty more. Merseyside is now the proud owner of their very own arena The Liverpool Echo Arena which holds 10,600 people; the arena holds music concerts, sporting events, WWE wrestling and loads more. Merseyside is getting to be a much cleaner place and will be a safer place in time to come.