Art, Prison, and Engines: Exploring Liverpool!

With my first year of university wrapped up, a friend and I decided it was finally time to explore. We’ve been so busy ever since we got here that we’ve simply not been able to. So, this last weekend, we set aside three straight days. Here’s what we got up to!

Friday: Walker Art Gallery

If you’ve ever been to Liverpool, you’ll likely have seen the incredible buildings across the road from Lime Street station. St George’s Hall, the World Museum, the Central Library, and Walker Art Gallery. I’ve walked past them dozens of times, and only really been in the library.

Stumbled upon a #monet painting #artgallery #landscape #beautiful #tourist

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So our first stop was the art gallery. It had around a dozen galleries, from medieval European art to contemporary pieces. There was an early copy of the Mona Lisa, as well as a Monet painting (above). I quite liked how low-key it was; compared to the museums and galleries I’ve been to in London, there was actually space to look and pause without being somehow forced out of the way.

We spent a good couple of hours at this gallery, just taking it in. I will admit, we were a bit immature for a little while when we discovered that Snapchat filters would respond to the paintings… I won’t put those photos in…

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Saturday: Cathedral and Many, Many Miles

Saturday brought our trip to Chester! If you recall, I first visited Chester back in February and wrote a post about it, but that time was very purpose-orientated for a module I was studying. This time, we hopped on a bus, and had no agenda. We walked around the entire city wall, struggled to find the cathedral entrance, found out Google was sadly misinformed and that the castle is closed to the public, and ate food in a Grade 2 listed building.

A little side note, but I am impressed by the bus fares up here. It was £2 for a return journey that took over three hours in total, probably closer to four. At home it’s about £2 to go all of ten minutes.

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The weather the whole weekend was gorgeous. It rained a tiny bit but other than that, it was great. My friend happens to have an extremely friendly face and gets stopped all the time by people asking for directions etc., so when we were on our way out of the cathedral she got stopped for a survey. Of course. The woman asking the questions seemed quite amused at the fact we weren’t on a trip, but had simply sat on the bus from one end of the line to the other!

During the course of the day, we managed to walk almost the entire circumference of the city wall. When we reached the Phoenix Tower/King Charles Tower, the small room inside was open, so we sat there for a solid 40 minutes discussing which periods of history we’ve covered so far – yes, we’re complete nerds… The member of staff there found us amusing, though, so there’s that.

Sunday: Prison and A Lot of Rope

Directly opposite Lime Street Station is a huge building with a war memorial in front of it. That building is St George’s Hall, previously an ambiguous building I’d walk past every time I went into town.

Turns out, it was an old prison, courthouse, and hall for various events! The cells have certain sections of the walls preserved, where inmates wrote their names and sentences. The corridors have a lot of information about past practises carried out by prison guards, and the various forms of punishment. It was actually really fascinating. Oh, and the hall here is where part of Fantastic Beasts was filmed, just FYI.

Afterwards, we wandered down to Albert Dock. I’ve been here fairly regularly, but not done a whole lot. When we arrived, we were pleasantly surprised to find we could go on a couple of the ships docked there! The first one was a proper pirate-y ship, ropes and all.

Out and about and ended up on a ship! I love Liverpool 😂 #tourist #explore #albertdock #smoothsailing #nofilter

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The second was a ship that’s been through a lot. The guys on board told us a lot of its history. It was built in 1903 (before the first flight – woah), has very similar engines to the Titanic, spent years falling into disrepair, and took over £3 million to restore.

They took us to various parts of the ship, including the engine room, which was really amazing. It’s really an incredible sight, to see where the magic actually happens. I’d highly recommend seeing a ship’s engine room if you can, it should be a bucket list thing. I can’t imagine much of what’s produced today lasting the next hundred or so years, but back then, things were built to last.

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We finished the day (and our weekend of exploring) with the Museum of Liverpool across the other side of the dock. It incorporated a huge amount of the city’s history, from the First World War, to the Beatles, to now. The pair of us are history students, we can’t help but be attracted to all the historic places and activities of the city.


So there you have it! That’s pretty much what we got up to over the last weekend. I know Liverpool has a raging reputation for the clubbing and nightlife available here, but if you do come visit, I’d really encourage you to explore the way we did. Even though Chester technically isn’t Liverpool, but y’know. The history of this city is amazing, and the sights are great.

Before you go, please feel free to go follow me on my Instagram and Twitter accounts – it’s where I’m most active!

Katy x

Stepping Stones & Statues

This Saturday just gone, I finally went to Sefton Park for the first time since I arrived at university. It’s one of those places people always tell you you should visit and I’ve kind of nodded along like “yes, I’ll go at some point” but been too busy to go (plus winter weather… not always great). But I woke up that morning and it was just so sunny outside, and I finally had the option of taking a day off essay writing, so I grabbed a friend and off we trotted.

You can 100% expect me to be uploading pictures on my blog soon 😍 #inlove #dayout

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If anything will make you feel like hopping like a child, it's stepping stones over water 🌈 #parklife #keephopping

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#nofilter #sun #summer #spring #liverpool #trees

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Sefton Park turned out to be about a 40 minute walk from my flat, but I was glad for the walk. Despite being here since September, I’ve yet to really branch out into different areas of the city, so it was fun to have a look around and go off in a direction I hadn’t before. Plus, the walk there was actually a lot prettier than I expected. Some of the houses were a bit of an illusion; they looked super thin from one angle but it was only because they came to a narrow corner. Reminded me of some West End buildings in London, actually.

The weather the whole day was absolutely gorgeous, and as someone who finds the winter darkness really quite difficult, I couldn’t have been happier about it (despite being of Irish descent and so, of course, got burned).

Our day at the park essentially consisted of ambling around, eating food and taking photos. It was seriously needed after the stress of the previous few weeks, that’s for sure! I brought my mini-speaker with me, so when we plonked ourselves onto the grass for a while to read (yes, yes, we still did uni reading, but it wasn’t much) we listened to a bit of Imagine Dragons – praise be to Spotify premium, which I did have on a 3-month 99p deal but have just purchased a contract to…

 

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I grew up in a town a little above London and around the corner from my house was a place we all referred to as “the lakes”, which I later realised that to every other person in the country this meant “the Lake District”, but it was basically a big park of open fields, hills, too many rabbit holes to count, and two large lakes. As such, I’ve sort of been accustomed to having wide open space near me, so this was really nice.

I would say that the park could do with expanding their Oasis Café, however. It seemed rather bizarre to have people queueing far beyond the doors and extremely little space inside. But it didn’t matter too much – we’d brought food with us for lunch on a bench overlooking the water, which was so nice.

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If you get a chance to go to Sefton Park for an afternoon, I’d definitely recommend it. It’s much bigger than I expected, and there’s no hint of being in a city! It’s like its own little world inside those gates.

Katy x

Hauntings in Chester!

Recently, I visited Chester for the first time! I was there on a day trip with my seminar group for a module I’m studying this semester, about the English Civil War. It turned out to be a really good day, though we were really quite cold the whole time… it even snowed on us at one point.

It wasn’t perhaps the most conventional day trip, considering we were being led around by our tutor, who was educating us on a very specific part of the city’s history – though a very significant and interesting part – but in the course of the day we did manage to go to Caffe Nero three times and an independent café once… We make no apologies, we all like cafés.

My favourite parts of the day (aside from the many and varied, bizarre conversations we all had together) were the ghost tales our tutor told us about various sites around the town. I won’t list all the details of all the stories, not least because I don’t remember all of it off the top of my head, but there were many that involved gruesome deaths, odd sex noises, and which featured thandmaidens. You might wonder why we’re studying ghost stories for a history module about a war, but it seems many of the stories very possibly had a basis in fact – and it’s just a way people remember the time period.

I think I'll probably make a post about yesterday's trip. I'd like to go back and explore #haunted #oldtown

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Most of us in the group hadn’t really met before we ended up on this module together, so the day also served as a sort of bonding day, I guess. Luckily, I think we all get on really well, so the project should (fingers crossed) go smoothly. Turns out most of us have a fair amount of Irish heritage, too, which was quite amusing.

I know I don’t normally post much about what I’m studying on my degree at any one time, but this was a cool trip so I thought I would. I like going to see places that have history, and when you’re looking for a specific part of history in a town with so much of it, it becomes even more intriguing – because it’s like people have, over time, selected which bits to remember or commemorate. Chester had a lot of celebration around its Roman heritage (and fair enough) but little obvious detail about the civil war.

Anyway, enough history chatter from me. I’ll be back with another post on Tuesday! (Feel free to click on the Instagram posts and follow me while you’re here, though.)

Katy x