Ad|Press Trip (kind of!) I was invited by Bee from QueenBeady to accompany her on a press trip to Liverpool, one of her fave UK cities! She had been invited by Visit Liverpool to explore some parts she hadn’t before. I went along to discover the city, as I’ve only been there before on hen do’s and conferences. So I hadn’t really seen the sights of the city- just a lot of the convention centre and bars!
Getting to Liverpool
The train from Leeds was surprisingly quick and we were in Liverpool within the hour and a half. Our tickets were paid for, but I’ve had a look and an off-peak advance fare is as little as £20 so reasonable price to get there too. If you are happy to spend an extra hour travelling there you can get the National Express coach for £8 return and save some money too. We did have issues getting back thanks to issues at Huddersfield and it’s safe to say we saw a LOT of Liverpool Lime Street that day. Luckily it’s well equipped with some cafes and pub and most importantly an M&S food. Mini rolls saved the day!
The Royal Liver Building
Our first stop was The Royal Liver Building. Pronounced Lie-Ver, not Liv-er (like the organ!) Possibly the most famous building in Liverpool, it was built in the 1900s to house The Royal Liver Assurance group who had 6000 employees at the time! It was the worlds first skyscraper and was the tallest building in the UK for 50 years which is quite impressive!
We went on the RLB 360 Experience which takes you to see the Liver Birds atop the building more closely. A lift takes you up to floor 10, where you can see the infamous clocks. These are huge, and my fave fact was that one of the faces was used as a huge dining table for dinner before it was put atop the building. After that, we climbed half the stairs up to the top. There we got to go inside and see the workings of the clock and an animated video projected onto the walls. I got right into it plus I was grateful for a rest too!
It was then time for more stairs to the top. The views of Bertie the Liver bird who overlooks the city are great. The views of The River Mersey and the port are fab too. I have to say I was quite worried about the 120 odd stairs to climb but they were fine. Coming down was the hardest! they are fairly narrow but I managed fine with room, so don’t let it put you off! Entrance was complimentary for us however it usually costs £15 per adult.
The Three Graces
Next up we took in the Three Graces building; the Liver, Cunard and Port of Liverpool Building. They are all very impressive and the architecture is amazing. To think they were all built by the end of the 1920s is fascinating. They form one of the six sites that make up the UNESCO ‘Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City’. I was very happy to say I’d ticked off another UNESCO site. Since visiting Barcelona and discovering most of its sights are UNESCO sites and laughing about it, me and Luke now shout unescoooo whenever we discover a place is one. I’m usually irrationally happy when I find out somewhere we are going is UNESCO and this was the same. Slightly sad? Maybe, but it makes me smile!
The Britsh Music Experience
Next up was the British Music Experience. We skipped the Beatles museum across the way as Bee had already been to that, and we were more interested in this. however, I did leave disappointed with this. It’s very interactive and you get to play instruments and even have a dance if you want to. It takes you through the decades of British music and it started off well. It has various bits of memorabilia including lyrics from some iconic songs. Seeing some of the typewritten fanzines of the day was interesting. Imagine having to put that much effort into something now! I also liked the letter from a Beatles fan who got married and had to leave the club as her husband told her to! Imagine that- I’d certainly tell Luke no!
The part I was more disappointed with was present-day music. It felt quite girl band heavy with spice girls and little mix outfits all shown. But Take That just gettings dolls and some CD’s and I didn’t even see anything 1D standing out. And then let’s talk about UKG, Rap, Hip hop and all MOBO related music. There was nothing. aside from an interactive wall where you could scroll and discover more. There were no artefacts or anything from any black/BAME artists that I could see in this section. If they are reading this I’d suggest a section dedicated to our most talented. Where to stop would be hard but I would expect Stormzy, Kano, Wiley, Skepta, Wretch and Cadet to feature. If your music taste spans across the genres (unlike mine) then tickets are £16 or an annual pass, or £14 for a day visit.
After that, we walked to the Albert Dock which is home to lots of restaurants, cafes, shops and bars. Plus The Tate. We hot-footed it across to Miller and Carter as I fancied Mac and Cheese and it features on their value lunch menu. All the noms.
The Tate Liverpool
It was then time for The Tate. Before we went in I got super excited. I spied a Magic Mountain. When we went to Vegas I really wanted to visit the seven magic mountains, but, as they are out of town I couldn’t afford it. So imagine my delight when I spied a lonely magic mountain I didn’t know was there! The wind that day was harsh though- see what I mean!?
I feel it is safe to say we peaked at that point. I’m not massively into Art in its purest form. The exhibition currently there is a Keith Haring one so I thought with his roots of 80’s New York and almost modern hieroglyphic/emoji type art I might enjoy it. There were parts I appreciated and it was interesting to read how he started his work. From the subways of New York and beyond, Keith was also a gay rights/AIDS Awareness activist.
As we went through his body of work, there were a lot of penises. Culminating in a large mural with a 10 boobed animal with a massive schlong being speared with another penis if my memory serves, as I didn’t take a photo of that one. Tragically. Basically, if you easily embarrass don’t go there with your parent and spend ten minutes looking at a piece to only realise there’s a massive dick staring out at you. Much like one daddy-daughter combo did whilst we were there. HOWLING. Safe to say I preferred his earlier work which was less penis heavy.
The rest to The Tate is free and there’s a family area where your children can unleash their creative sides too if that’s your/their bag. I was actually taken by this piece there. It was a much earlier creation than you’d expect. As we try and move away from fast fashion into a more sustainable way of living, this piece pricked my conscience. It wasn’t how it was designed to be seen, but that’s the beauty of art I suppose!
And if you have more time…..
It was soon time to head back to the train station. If we hadn’t had to go I think frequenting some of the bars we saw or going shopping at Liverpool One would have been in order! I must say there were lots to do and see. Even though some didn’t cater to my taste’s it was still interesting to see and experience. If you do one thing go on the RLB 360 tour as it was my fave part of the day!
Have you ever visited Liverpool? Or are you from there? tell me your fave places in the comments!