We had a day off on Monday so decide to go loitering in Liverpool for the day. We love going to Liverpool, the city that saw a lot of my youthful mischief! Not only for the fun memories and stories that I can share with Jit, but also the art and vibrancy.
Loitering in Liverpool
I say we were loitering in Liverpool because after 15 years living in Manchester and the regeneration that has gone on, I’m almost a beginner again in terms of direction. Not that that’s a bad thing as I get to really explore like a tourist – and I love doing that!
Getting the train over is also part of the fun. It turns a day trip into a day holiday as you have tickets and everything. So of course we planned our time perfectly to make packed lunch, walk into town and have time to spare in the station. And oh did we have time in the station! Our train was due to leave Piccadilly for a change at Victoria, so we headed straight there instead. Only this ended up giving us 40 minutes to spare which didn’t include the 20 minute delay!
So off to roam the streets we went while we waited for a better time to grab the train. Luckily we don’t mind getting wet and love wandering anyway!
Manchester Victoria Station
If you’re ever in Victoria Station in Manchester, keep your eyes out for the gorgeous original features. Things like the ticket office, the bar and the map on the wall. These are little reminders of how the station used to be. A time before crazy rush hour and hurried people all staring down at their phones. It is nice to imagine how it used to be and also suck up some history while you’re waiting.
The train journey was exciting as it took an alternative route to our usual so we got to see more of the area. We even passed by St Helens and could just about see over to Bold Forest Park (we think!). For some reason train breakfast picnics are 200 times better than the home version. On this journey we enjoyed some vegan fish fingers on toast – yum! – with a cup of tea from our flask. Totally worth a little bit of rushing about in the morning for that – perhaps that is what makes it better? I don’t know, I just love it!
Although I am not one for shopping, I do love arriving into Liverpool to see this…
It has changed so much since I was young and spent time here. Quiggins used to be just around the corner and you’d wander down the back streets, past the Bluecoat to get to the Pussy Palace. (you can see Quiggins in this great blog post by Ronnie Hughes on his blog ‘a sense of place‘)
Anyway, we were really in the city for the art, not the reminiscing – that was just a side effect! So we popped over to the Bluecoat for a coffee while we planned our art attack. (not a big one!)
We decided that our first port of call was going to be the Tate as we really enjoy the changing Constellations and also the walk around the docks. So after refreshing with only 10% split soya milk, we headed out. (well, kind of! We went up to the charity shops first as I was feeling cold and needed a jumper. Of which I found the best yellow one ever for £4.85!!) Winner!) …so then we went to the Tate.
The walk from town to Albert Dock has changed immensely since they built Liverpool One, but it enjoyable all the same – especially when you get to Wapping and you can see the Mersey alongside generations of architecture. This is a true taste of Liverpool in my view – heritage mixed with modern. Business mixed with leisure.
We went into Take, dropped off our stuff in the lockers and headed up to explore the exhibitions. We were only there for free stuff that day, so gave the top floor Francis Bacon and miss until another time. There is still more than enough to keep you busy with the free stuff though, so do visit!
After the Maria Lassnig work in the ground floor gallery, we headed up to the Constellations and it was there that we also discovered that we happened to be around for the Liverpool Biennial. Grabbing the booklet, we browsed the works and planned to expand our loitering in Liverpool to include some of the Biennial journey. Not to bombard you with my pictures of the artworks, here a are a few highlights.
Highlights from Tate Liverpool
Anyway, I was telling you about our adventure, not about my escapades in art! I think two will be sufficient to whet your appetite to make the journey out there to see for yourself.
We were feeling rather peckish by this point so grabbed out kit and discovered a little bit of seating just by the side of the shops. Perfect for us to set up, eat our lunch and have a brew. (Jit is hating that I keep sharing this photo!!)
The tour for the Biennial took us back up towards the top of town, so time to explore some other bits of the city that I haven’t trodden for many years. Of course more stories and memories came flooding back which made it even more enjoyable.
Up into China Town (the oldest in Europe!), up to the Anglican Cathedral and then around to the old Cains Brewery with plenty of opportunities to go off the beaten track and to do some urban wandering.
Cains brewery is a great venue with a lot of the original building features intact and bits and pieces remaining from when the brewery was functioning. The works of art fitted really well with the space and really brought it to life. We didn’t have time to have a really good explore there but know we’ll be back (the Biennial is on until October).]
A taster of the artwork
So as not to overwhelm you again, here are just two of the pieces from the Biennial. Unfortunately, I can’t find the artists names so I will update that after my next visit. Please let me know if you know!
And with that, our loitering in Liverpool began to draw to a close as our train was due in. So making our way back to the station, meandering the streets and houses, we prepared to call it a day.
We had a fantastic time and with the help and encouragement of the Liverpool Biennial we ventured to new and exciting places withe the opportunity to find ourselves lost, walk down streets and paths that we wouldn’t normally have found and make the day all that better. There is still so much more to see, which means we have another trip planned for sometime before October. Oh and I really want to get out into some different areas of Liverpool to explore too.
…and to the station then home to our slow cooked lentil detox soup! Yum!
Here’s to planing our next one day holiday to somewhere on the train. Liverpool is definitely on the list, but I know there are other paths that need to be trodden first. The memories of this day will last for a good while yet 🙂
Wander down those different streets, you never know what you might find!
What do you like to do for day trips? Do you enjoy going with a plan or exploring as you go along?
Let me know in the comments 🙂