The Waterfront of the Handsome City of Liverpool – Liverpool Part 2

I am still unwell on the day I have allocated to visit Liverpool’s impressive waterfront so this is just a few pics and explanations. I am staying very nearby, just around the corner from the stately Royal Liver Building and the Cunard Building so I have no distance at all to make my way over from Castle Street.

Liverpool’s waterfront stands on the River Mersey and faces the city of Merseyside opposite. There are tunnels under the water rather than bridges over, as well as ferries that cross the river. It’s a shame that my energy is low, there is so much to do here. There are lots of interesting and entertaining options but I will partake of very little this visit.

(Even my hair looks sickly! I feel horrid today!)
Behind me to the left is the Cunard building and to the right is the Port of Liverpool Building. (The Cunard Line today is a British-American enterprise but was originally founded by a Canadian, Samuel Cunard of Nova Scotia, in 1839. Throughout it’s history of transition, the Cunard family mostly owned the line throughout various it’s incarnations until 1998 when it was purchased by Carnival. ) Some distance behind but appearing to the right of that is the red brick building that is the White Star Building. The White Star Line head office, it was from this building that a very famous announcement was made to the media below.

A closer side-view to the White Star Building from which the world officially learned that the Titanic had sunk.
A better picture of these waterside buildings, from left to right: the Royal Liver Building which holds the LARGEST clock face in Great Britain (yes bigger than the one on in London paired with the bell of Big Ben), the Cunard Building, and the Port of Liverpool Building.

A great view through a window of the Tate gives better perspective of these buildings. Closer to us are some of Liverpool’s many museums and galleries, the one on the left is the Museum of Liverpool. Notice the maintenance crew on the black building furthers to the right, there are two tiny people in the basket at the top of the mechanical arm that show the scope of the building.
More views of the Museum of Liverpool.
And closer of these galleries.
Colourful sculptures alongside the Museum of Liverpool.
A view of Albert Dock, the largest collections of Grade 1 listed buildings in the UK. Surrounding 2.75 hectares of water, this is also a World Heritage Sight.
The enormous orange columns are actually cast-iron.20130701-183038.jpg20130701-183121.jpg20130701-183142.jpg20130701-183210.jpg
I have my lunch waterside at Revolution, a cafe named after the Beatles.
I am dragging myself about, such a shame to be unwell during travels but it’s bound to happen sometimes. As I mentioned already, there are lots of interesting places to visit. The only one I end-up actually visiting is the Tate Liverpool. I choose to do this because it is having the first exhibition in 15 years of Marc Chagall. When I was 22 and backpacking alone through Europe I stayed a few days at a hotel in Nice in the South of France where one of the highlights for me was visiting the Chagall museum there.
Visiting the exhibit on the 4th floor also had the added benefit of providing some great views. The photos from a higher vantage point in this posting were taken through windows of the Tate Liverpool.20130701-184126.jpg
Looking down at the mud at the waters edge from Albert Dock.
Looking across the river to Merseyside.

There are numerous souvenir shops along the dock and I am able to find some gifts for family at home. This artistic creation at a sweets shop is made of jelly beans.

More views around Albert Dock.









After a short day of sight seeing I collapse on my bed back at 62 Castle. I did not visit The Beatles Story as planned, I did not take a bus tour or a walking tour, the only gallery I visited I only viewed one specific exhibition. I was not able to go out and socialise to meet any Scousers or Liverpudlians who are famous for being warm, friendly, and hospitable so I don't have any fun personal stories from here. In a note, I need to visit Liverpool again if I am to really experience this handsome city.

Click on the image above to enjoy some street busking.

The Handsome Waterfront City of Liverpool – Liverpool Part 1


I arrived to Liverpool in a sad state with a nasty cold that unfortunately coloured my stay with a grey tint as I was simply not well-enough to go out and play with the friendly locals in their local pubs. I arrive mid-afternoon, around 4PM, but after a full day I do not feel well enough to go out and wander. I try to over room service but the small boutique hotel is overwhelmed with the wedding party they are hosting this weekend. This was obvious during my check-in when I helped staff carry chairs out of the only elevator and then to unblock the hallway so I could get to my room. A hotel of only 20 suites, the staff are run off their feet and no one answers the phone. Over the weeks I have come to stock some packaged foods for such occasions so I tuck into a tuna pasta salad and a cup of noodles. Fortunately Liverpool seems to be an affordable city and my hotel room is a nice place to spend time, it’s three times the size of the room I had in Manchester and the ceilings are twice as high. Also, I enjoy listening to my iPod attached to the nice-sounding stereo provided. This a rare offering in hotels because they generally do not equip guests to be able to bother their neighbours with provided sound equipment.


Driving towards Liverpool I cross one of these two handsome bridges.


Colourful row housing on the outskirts of Liverpool.


Driving towards my hotel in the city centre.

The hotel has me park in the enormous modern car park hidden under the waterfront road, I think it houses 5000 parking spaces. I exited the car park into the impressive open-air shopping structure of Liverpool One.

My first impressions are of an old city rich with traditional buildings mixed with new modern structures. Basic but traditional and warm housing on the outskirts. An impressive modern shopping zone and a car park where lots of well-healed shoppers have parked late-model cars a good proportion of which are German.

This statue of Queen Victoria is in the square just outside my hotel. Oops, you can’t see her from this perspective, she’s in the middle.

The Hotel I will call home for the next few days. It looks big but it only has 20 rooms.

It’s a good place to feel unwell. Sometimes I’m in rooms that are cramped, noisy, or otherwise not well appointed to spend much time in, so this was very lucky indeed. Perhaps not lucky to feel unwell, you know what I mean.

You can find my room by the white metal balcony, it’s in the middle.

Nice big windows, the four door sections are full-sized doors.

Looking towards Lord Street.

Looking towards Dale Street, the dark building at the end is Liverpool’s Town Hall.


I think that all the rooms at “62 Castle” are partially elevated. Named after it’s address, I would recommend staying here. It’s very convenient, comfortable, and good value. When travelling for a long time it’s a good strategy to enjoy nicer accommodation in cheaper cities (which this one seems to be) and save the budget accommodation for more expensive places. I also try to avoid large hotels which usually lack in character. After the fun of staying at a pub in Manchester, I have booked another pub accommodation for one of my next destinations. Coming-up after Liverpool are Chester, Shrewsbury, and Birmingham again.


I wake-up not feeling better so I linger and take my time before heading out. I have found handy cups of oatmeal that I can just add water to, I’ve never stayed anywhere in England that didn’t provide a kettle. It’s strange arriving to a new city and taking so long before seeing anything, it’s 21 hours after my arrival before I finally head out to take-in the streets of Liverpool at 1PM on a Sunday.


Notice the plants growing out of the gutters!

An actual tree growing in the gutters! But things do grow very quickly in wet climates.


I am finding a lot of impressive building stock in Liverpool, although some of it is in need of urgent attention. This seemed to be only partially in use.


Liverpool has a lot of museums, in fact it has “the most museums and galleries outside of London” according to a tourist information brochure. This is the World Museum.

This is quite the Library. I am reminded of Toronto, except that we have nothing like this.


Tourism is a huge industry in Liverpool and it shows. These wonderful sign posts were everywhere. Notice they even indicate the walking times to get to destinations. Very smart to provide distance location in terms of walking times. They were especially helpful because I forgot my mobile phone at the hotel and nearly the only thing I use it for is GSP when walking about.



I do love a good mish-mash of new and old and in-between.

Planning a party? This hall is available for hire!

Side-view of the same.


Liverpool Lime Street Station. (Railway)



The very famous football (soccer) club.





Looking up Bold Street towards a roofless church.

Only now did I notice the church is a contained courtyard where once was it’s main hall.

In this close-up through the window you can see the sky and the other interior wall.

I edit photos while waiting for my lunch at an Italian cafe on Bold Street.


A variety of housing as I make my way to Liverpool’s enormous cathedral.


This, the largest Anglican Cathedral in the world, was designed by a Catholic. Notice the scope of this side entrance by looking at the people who are near to the structure. The much larger central tower was not accessible from outside, but you can see it in one of the coming photos.

The side entry to “Liverpool Anglican Cathedral”.
“How did it get it’s name?” I want to inquire at the information desk but alas at the end of the day it is unmanned.

I captured this front view somewhat later from afar after wandering through Chinatown.

Some interior views of the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.


Yes, neon tube signage. They must have had some debates over adding that little touch. The side I would have been-on didn’t win.

In case you were wondering, I am pleased to inform you that the pipe organ (which you cannot see here) has a lot of pipes.

How many, you wonder? See, I just somehow knew that you would want to know that. It has 9765 pipes. Which is quite a lot. Someone was playing with it, hopefully not a tourist, when I was inside but they weren’t playing anything, just a few notes. I think you can hear it in this short video. Click on the video image below to play the video. (Email followers, it will hopefully open in to a browser so you can see it.)

Sadly I did not take a photo of the pipe organ as I didn’t notice it at the time and I only read about it later.

Through this lovely gate stands Liverpool’s Polish community.


A moment ago I mentioned that this was home to Liverpool’s Polish Community. I was just kidding. This is an entry to Great Britain’s oldest established Chinatown. I just made that up. No I didn’t! Aren’t I silly tonight.

If I had been writing when I spent 4 months in China I’d probably remember what these cute little hybrid creatures are called that you see me getting fresh with at the other side of Chinatown. In China what I did do a lot of was paint. I’ll do a posting of my paintings someday, many of you probably don’t know that I made my living as a professional artist for a couple of years before I went back to school (OISE/U of Toronto) and became a high school business teacher.

The famous flower boxes that the Beatles gave to the city.

Okay, so I did make that up to give me a flawless segway to mentioning the Beatles. But the Beatles gave the city a LOT over the years by coming from here, so in a way they did. An estimated £21 million per year from Beatles tourism. (Tourism overall represents £1.3 billion yearly in Liverpool, so lots of visitors don’t come because of the Beatles too. Most. Actually, I think they may be wrong in that, how could it be so little? £21m is only 1.6% of £1.3b. Don’t believe these figures, they can’t be correct. Don’t blame me, I’m just passing them along from the tourist board who perhaps needs to employ someone who owns a calculator. Or even a mobile phone, that’s all I used myself.)

The area between Chinatown and downtown was lacklustre but still interesting.

By lacklustre I might mean desolate. Unsafe-looking. Verging on ruin.

Trees growing on the walls and here’s the mystery – how can they see out those windows? They’re made of wood!


Doesn’t this look like a fun building to rent!
Of course, “To Let” is British for “For Rent” but I always want to put an “i” between. That would be funny if someone did that on this huge sign. We’d laugh and laugh, wouldn’t we. Because that would be the British sign for “washroom”.

I don’t think there is anything notable here, but isn’t it pretty.

See previous comment.
No wait, I did think of something!
Liverpool has the most Grade II listed buildings in the UK outside of London.

Don’t look at this photo because it’s at the waterfront and I’m going to spend my time there tomorrow.

There she is! A better view of Queen Victoria, I’ve now circled back to my hotel where I will listen to some gorgeous music, have dinner from Sainsburys, and do this posting which I am now completing.

For my next posting I continue visiting the lovely city of Liverpool! But then you already knew I wasn’t finished with this handsome brute of a town yet. The waterfront contains Liverpool’s most iconic sites and is home to the Beatles Story. Anyway, tune in – in 4 days for part 2 of Liverpool.

(The above photo taken in Bayswater, London last summer (August 2012) on a trip with my then 15-year old niece, Abbe. It looks like I may have been on Sudafed that day also. Poor Abbe was horrified by me making her take photos, people had stopped on the pavement, they were wondering if I was busking! Nope, just another day in my life.)

The Archaeological Sight of Norton Priory


I choose to visit this site as a daytrip between Manchester and Liverpool. I always try to find somewhere interesting to stop between my more major destinations partly to make best use of my car journey and partly because I prefer to check-in to my accommodation when I arrive to a new city. Unload what I need, put the car away, and set off to explore. There is always a few hour gap between check-out and check-in times and most of my distances on this trip are very short.

On entering the museum I learn that this was a monastery that was decommissioned by Henry VIII in 1536. He did this in a wide sweep, caused lots of destruction all over the empire at that time. The Priory was subsequently purchased by the Brooke Family who lived here for nearly 400 years.




In the 1700’s the Brooks family had built a 2 1/2 acre walled garden. This garden would have provided the home with all of its fruits, vegetables, and flowers. It also would have housed a leisure section.

Ornamental and practical, this walled garden was reconstructed in recent years based on typical Georgian gardens since the original blueprints were not recovered. The Brooks had moved out of the priory in 1921 and the garden had been let to local gardens and used to raised pheasants. By the 1960s it had started to fall into ruin.



It is far from ruins today, this lovely plot have been lovingly reclaimed and the walls completely restored.




The kindly woman knitting in the entrance cottage of the walled garden chats with me openly and warmly. I come to learn that today the gardens employ a head gardener, an assistant, and many local volunteers who come in and dedicate their time to weeding and even staffing the entry.

There is a tea house, book stall, and plants for sale in the area that once housed potting sheds and was also where the gardeners were housed. This was a tough job, I am surprised how much so. The next photo explains.


Try to guess what I am standing in front of.
Don’t look ahead, guess what it is!

Here is a hint, between the exterior and interior it had very think stone walls. During the war this was also used as a bunker due to it’s been mostly recessed and covered in earth.

This is an ice house. A luxury for the family, it was large enough to supply ice throughout the year. In fact this home never had electricity right until the family left in 1921 so the ice was needed for refrigeration. I read that this was one of the mostly undesirable tasks, hiking to the pond a half mile away, going at it with axes, and carrying back the frozen water during winter’s coldest days. Continually until it was full of ice by the end of winter. Not a long Canadian winter either, the short English winter. It would have had a drain system to remove melt.


Back at the carpark I notice this sign at a crossing of bicycle paths. A fun chance to explore, I pull my folding cycle out of my trunk and go in search of Amoor Old Town where I hope to have lunch.

I cross this lovely canal from high above.

At the first main cycle path intersection, there is no signage to give direction.

I don’t know where I am anymore, but this looks to be modern suburban housing. I follow a sign that says “village square”.

Still following a sigh to “village square”. Hoping to find some charm.

This sign lies to me, or I have arrived to a town of mutes.

Well, I have found the village square, not what I had in mind. The only option for lunch is a convenience store, so I get a dry packaged sandwich and a can of starbucks. In the square I greet three separate groups of people who pass by. They look but no one replies. Just when I am thinking that I have happened upon a land where people have no tongues a man shouts at his dog and violently jerks him into the air for running into a puddle nearby. I feel sick to my stomach. The nasty man has two really cute basset hounds. I want to shout at the jerk but decide not to, me shouting at him would make no difference, he could even kick his other dog just to show me so. Disgusting.

I walk back to my bicycle at the edge of the square and make my way back to the priory. I had made more turns than I had remembered making so I am pleased when I have found my way.

Back at the carpark I decide to try the other direction, I don’t want to pull away with this bad taste in my mouth. Perhaps a visit to the lovely-sounding Sandymoor will do the trick. I have already been the other ways, the ones perpendicular are actually of the Norton Priory.

The cycle path leads to alongside a roadway until I arrive. Not quite what I was hoping to find. I will continue on to see what there might be around the corner.

Sandymoor is probably a lovely modern quiet suburb to live in, but absolutely nothing to see here. Back to the car.

They have gone to a lot of expense and trouble to have wonderful, seemingly-unused cycle paths here. (I encounter no one in any direction during my usage.) But they need to go one step further and put-up some more direction signs, without those this is a waste.

I return to the Priory Cafe where I do this posting from start to finish sipping a self-serve cappuccino out of a push-button machine. The sunlight and gardens make it a nice place to work, and I have cellular reception to be able to do my blog using my portable internet.

There are loads of things to see and do in nearby Liverpool and Manchester. If you are going between the two cities, this is an interesting diversion. But if you have limited time I would not recommend dedicating time to this over spending more time in the other cities. This is the perfect place to have a day out if you live in Manchester or Liverpool and therefore your travel time is not limited, but unless you have a strong interest in archaeology I would not suggest you put this high on your list.