Thursday, 4 May 2017

Review: The other sides of Liverpool, UK

While a visit to Liverpool City is well worth it there are other sides to Liverpool.

For our guide to the city centre check out our post here.

One of other sides I am referring to is the other side of the Mersey. Technically called Wallasey this area sits directly opposite the main water front part of Liverpool, if it wasn't for the river you'd be able to walk between the two in minutes.

The reason for bringing up Wallasey is because it's where we stayed and we would recommend getting the train, car, ferry over from the city to take a look.

When the Mersey tides sinks and flows out to sea what is left behind is a river bank beach - it was a new one on us too. Unlike beaches at seasides this beach never fully dries out as it only exposed for a small part of the day. It's fine to walk on though, as long as you watch out for the sink holes! The way the tides worked when we were there meant the beach appeared at about 7pm. As novices we didn't realise this was the case until we invited friends over for a beach walk in the afternoon only to find the beach was still a river!

Even when the river is at high tide the New Brighton promenade is worth a stroll. As our Airbnb host put it 'you could stroll your legs off' as the promenade is endless. At one end you are overlooking the city skyscape, at the other you looking out over the Irish Sea.

Our Airbnb had the promenade at the end of the road so we could stroll down and see the city as the lights came on and the sunset. It was a great view. 

As the river beach was dog friendly it also made it easy to wear out the puppy who was content running up and down and occasionally face planting the sand or scaling rocks.

The black pearl driftwood sculpture is also worth checking out:
Can you spot the dog?
Made from driftwood and debris washed ashore this is actually the third reiteration. The first was torched by youths, the second floated out to sea and so here stands the third and most successful version. Climb aboard and enjoy the view!

Continue up the promenade and you will find plenty of historic references to the great port this area once supported. At the very end you will see a slightly run down Fort Perch Rock that was built in case of French invasion and is now a tourist attraction. Across the road are the usual arcades, fun fair and sweet shops synonymous with a seaside.

We would recommend a stop in the Driftwood Cafe, it's dog friendly, does delicious cream teas - as well as other things - and is super friendly. Although worth booking ahead!

If you prefer pub style food then the Pilot Boat, named as it is where they launch pilot boats from, or The Magazine (Mags) where they used to keep gunpowder, are both good options. We opted for the Pilot Boat to spend our Sunday evening in their dog friendly snug. We competed in their pub quiz and played Pirate Bingo. We also got a round of sandwiches courtesy of the landlady - I only wish we lived closer so this could be our every Sunday evening.

Pirate Bingo - first one to turn over all the cards wins!
If the beach is not your thing then the other side to Liverpool is the green leafy suburbs on the same side as the city where you can go on a Beatles tour - self guided or paid for. As I have Laura ours was self guided and free. The National Trust has purchased John Lennon and Paul McCartney's childhood homes so we included them on our list to see (paid for tours can go in).

Strawberry Fields gate, involves stopping and pulling in on a fairly busy road. It was originally an orphanage that John Lennon attended garden parties at. It is now an overgrown field but the gate remains.

Penny Lane, this road has a number of road signs you can stop by, some have more graffiti than others. Our stop was by the Dovedale Towers where Freddie Mercury may have lived or stayed (guidebooks can't decide). Either way the building is impressive and worth checking out if you have time.

Had time allowed we also planned to check out Speke Hall that is also in the area but alas not this time. It'll have to be a reason we go back :)
pic courtesy of
Have you got any other tips for visiting Liverpool and its surrounding area?

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