A Slow Travel Guide To Liverpool

A Slow Travel Guide To Liverpool
A Slow Travel Guide To Liverpool A Slow Travel Guide To Liverpool

I love the excitement of visiting a new city. Most recently I took a trip to Liverpool for a family celebration and extended my stay to explore the city. I stayed for two nights, three days, and crammed as much as I could into my visit. Despite being only two hours away by train, I hadn’t visited the city before yet I’d heard so many great things about it.

One tip I find super useful when travelling, anywhere really but particularly when time is strained: create a Google Map. Bookmark places you want to eat and things you want to see. I trawl through Trip Advisor and Atlas Obscura, as well as asking for recommendations from friends I know have visited before or even from you via Instagram. Having this map saved to my phone means I’m never short on things to eat or places to go; it saves time (frantically) searching when I’m there and avoids any terrible mistakes (although, perhaps not this time…)

My partner and I travelled up by train on the Saturday, packing light with a travel capsule and shared luggage. We had a little spare time to get dinner before the family celebration. Sunday and most of Monday were free to visit museums, galleries, and shops as well as eat at some highly recommended restaurants and cafes. My trip was fantastic, Liverpool is everything everyone said it would be and I’m looking forward to when I can revisit.

Where To Stay In Liverpool

Hotels in the centre of Liverpool are on the pricey side and you don’t get much for your money if you opt for a cheap room. The most comfortable place to stay in Liverpool is an AirBnB. You can find affordable apartments in the centre with great views. The place I booked for my trip overlooked the Liver building. It was a little noisy, as to be expected when staying in a city, but not overly so; it didn’t keep me up at night. Booking an apartment is a great option if you’re on a budget and want to save some pennies by cooking your own food, and helps reduce waste when you're travelling.

A Slow Travel Guide To Liverpool
A Slow Travel Guide To Liverpool A Slow Travel Guide To Liverpool

Where To Eat In Liverpool

If you’re looking for a place to have your morning coffee, head to Bold Street Coffee (they have a breakfast menu too) or if you want a sweet treat to eat alongside your cup, visit Bagelry. Their donuts are delicious. My favourite was the Lotus Biscoff; sweet, savoury, and perfect for devouring with a cup of coffee. Bagels, pancakes, and cake available too.

Maray is outstandingly good. Small plates to share with an excellent wine and cocktail menu - my kind of dining. The service is great, the food is delicious, and the restaurant is welcoming. I highly recommend the Disco Cauliflower and Sweet Potatoes. There’s vegan-friendly desert options too (and not just sorbet!) I ordered the orange praline cake and a huge wedge was delivered to me with a scoop of ice cream. My partner had the date plate, a decadent mix of oats, dates, and nuts. Everything was delicious and I’m dreaming of when I can go back.

For a ’tasty casual’ dinner with friends, try Crust or Rudys. My preference is Rudys but Crust has some great options too and the fries are delicious. I’d recommend skipping the vegan cheese at Crust (it wasn’t bad, it just didn’t add anything to the pizza) and trying out whatever vegan special Rudys has to offer - it’s always great.

Down The Hatch offers a hefty vegan-friendly menu during the week and a streamlined Sunday version including a roast. The restaurant has a traditional pub vibe going on but better. They serve big portions of what can only be described as comfort food: seitan burgers, mac’n’cheese, jackfruit nuggets, and donner style kebabs. I really enjoyed our Sunday roast and would definitely revisit to try their weekday menu.

Where to avoid. I don’t usually include places that I didn’t enjoy but I had such a bad experience at Rocket & Ruby that I felt I had to mention it. Our server seemed to forget about us, our order took over an hour to arrive (people seated after us were served before), and the food we were served was cold and made incorrectly, twice. Maybe we caught them on a bad day; perhaps there was a lack of trained staff. Whatever the problem was, it wasn’t communicated. We were comped for the meal but I would have rather we had been told there was a mix up so we could have gone somewhere else and not wasted almost two hours (!) waiting to eat.

A Slow Travel Guide To Liverpool
A Slow Travel Guide To Liverpool A Slow Travel Guide To Liverpool

Where To Visit In Liverpool

What’s lovely about Liverpool is how close everything is so traversing the city to see as much as possible isn’t difficult at all. All the major museums and galleries are grouped together in somewhat of a triangle with only a few minutes walk between each. I’d planned to visit a couple more places than I managed to on this trip but the ones I did visit were exceptional.

A must-visit for everyone is the International Slavery Museum. Although uncomfortable to witness, it’s important to learn about the impact the slave trade has had on our cities. It literally changed the landscape of our country. I learned so much from the small but excellently designed exhibitions.

Tate Liverpool was a highlight of the trip for me. The exhibitions were curated by theme, rather than chronologically, which I find much more engaging. I really enjoyed the Op Art in Focus exhibition in particular, with the colourful swirling floor and visually engaging artwork. The Sol Calero: El Autobus is delightful too, although no longer at Tate Liverpool at the time you're reading this.

The Museum of Liverpool is fantastic for learning about the history of Liverpool, although my favourite part of the museum was the Double Fantasy Yoko Ono and John Lennon exhibition. I knew very little about their relationship or even them as individuals; the exhibition was so personal and heartfelt, it really helped you to see them both for the individuals they were.

If you like houseplants, a trip to Root is a must. It’s a tiny little shop packed with all kinds of wonderful plants from the common to the unusual. It was top of my ’to visit’ list after purchasing a plant from them online after following their Instagram account and discovering they had their own Liverpool-based shop. The plants are fairly priced with some pretty good deals to be found and the staff are lovely and super helpful. Drop by, if you can.

I found the charity shops in Liverpool to be fantastic and well worth a visit, if you have time. The big Oxfam on Bold Street has rail upon rail of vintage clothing from jackets to dresses, and plenty of bookshelves to peruse. Heads up: there’s no dressing room. So do your second-hand shopping with a little time to take things back if they don’t fit!

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A Slow Travel Guide To Liverpool A Slow Travel Guide To Liverpool