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Short Breaks from Liverpool

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Ever needed to just get away, but you can't go for too long? Please tell us about your short breaks away (e.g. day trips, road trips or weekend breaks), whether it be for ultimate relaxation, or to be active and practice hobbies you may have (fishing,

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      21.02.2010 10:59
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      Everything you could want.

      This is about a short escape *from* Liverpool, not Liverpool itself? Well, Liverpool has so much variety, its hard to see why you would: there's the beautiful classical centre, just outside the main station, Lime Street - St George's Hall, The Walker Art Gallery, St John's Gardens. Its all pedestrianised now, and its absolutely beautiful to walk around. There's a lot of reconstruction work being done at Lime Street itself, so access will once again be down the main steps instead of a side street, and that will look fantastic once its completed.

      The Ropewalks, near to Bold Street (a mostly pedestrianised high-end shopping street) is a great little area. 200 years ago, ropes for the ships and the docks were made there, and walked down to the seafront by the men, but it fell into severe decay in the middle of the last century. Now, it has new life, as an artisan/artistic area, its great to wander around, and it also has a few central new build projects that give it extra oomph.

      Liverpool One is the huge new shopping area between the existing shopping centre and the docks, and even though it opened just as the recession struck, it has a good atmosphere. There's also a tiny viewing porthole set into the pavement at one area - because, immediately underneath the shops is the first dock built in Liverpool, and through the porthold you can see the beautiful 18th century brickwork, sloping down into the gloom. A wonderful reminder of the past.

      That takes me on to the seafront itself. More shops, a couple of museums - especially the Maritime Museum and the Tate - and a lot of historic boats tied up, renovated or in process of renovation. Incredibly atmospheric.

      And the Pier Head!!! It now has the extension to the Leeds-Liverpool canal bisecting it, mostly parallel to the river before they join up, and it is really startling. The Three Graces, with the Liver Building at the centre, is the centrpiece of Liverpool's beautiful river frontage, and many of the lobbies of the nineteenth century office buildings have been restored and can be walked through. Its fascinating. And even though its such a tourist area, its so big, it can still be quite quiet (well, apart from the construction work - because its such a big area, construction is more or less ongoing).

      So, after all that short breaks *from* Liverpool? Well, a trip on the ferry is a must - they still run from the Pier Head, though during the day its mostly likely to be tourists going there and back rather than economic activity. My dad used to use the ferry, before the second tunnel opened up. When I was little and we went on the ferry to visit relatives, we used to count the number of boats that crossed the wake of the ferry; as a teenager, we had to move to counting the number of boats that we could see on the river at all. Now, its rare to see another boat at all - but thats because the ships now go to Seaforth Container Docks, nearer the mouth of the Mersey. Liverpool ships more tonnage than it ever did, you just can't *see* it any more.

      Unless, that is, you go to see Anthony Gormley's statues at Crosby. The statues are beautiful, and its a short trip from the centre - just hop on the Northern Line, from Central Station, and you're there in short order. Its a nice little walk to the beach, near the lifeboat station. And then, depending on the state of the tide and the weather, you can see anything between zero and fifty statues staring out to sea. When you can stop staring at *them*, you'll see the ships coming in and out of Seaforth - so many, and so regularly, they look like commuter trains, which is kind of what they are.

      When you walk back to the train, you can then carry on up the Northern Line - or you could walk north on the Sefton Coastal Path, but its a fair way - and go see the red squirrel reserve at Formby. Its an amazing landscape of sand dunes and huge native pine trees, made safe for red squirrels by an accident of geography (and by wardens, who are actively trying to keep the grey squirrels away from the area). If you have patience, the reds will feed out of your hand, because of years of patient effort by local people. We gave them a treat of apples, one day (as opposed to the more usual peanus): with the peanuts they sit there and eat, but the apples sent them a bit crazy, they ran away up a tree to eat them! It was very funny.........

      Another day out from Liverpool is to go to Southport - again along the Northern line (you won't be able to do all this Northern line stuff in one day!). Southport is beautiful, no doubt about it. The shopping street itself, Lord Street, is a pleasure to walk along; just off it is the Wayfarers' Parade, a beautiful nineteenth century arcade, delicately formed, that can rival anything in Piccadilly in London. There are parks and boating lakes between the centre and the sea, and then there is the pier! One of the longest in England, though also one of the plainest, it must be said :) you can see an oil rig from the end, and once you turn back to land, the view is breathtaking. There's a cafe, nice and warm, with a little exhibition - and, enchantingly, there's a little train that goes up and down the pier.

      So thats it; and thats only one direction out of Liverpool, there's much more to see and do there.

      Highly recommended!

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      • More +
        09.06.2001 01:56
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        Liverpool is ideal for a holiday short or longer there are so many Hotels to choose all resenebly priced.There are two art gallery;s, St Georges Hall, The Albert Dock,The famous Mersey Tunnels and The Liverpool Phiharmonic Theatre has just been refurbished.Public transport,taxis,ferry boats, buses.et.One knew attraction that is very populer is the Wacker Quacker Liverpool Duck Tours operate a tour up the Mersey. Best of all the people of Liverpool are very helpful and friendly, and there are loads of clubs and places to eat.

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