Although I’m originally from Liverpool, I hadn’t been back for over twenty years, ever since a disastrous visit in about 1995 when the streets were piled with filth and everything looked so scruffy it broke my heart.
That all changed yesterday, when a sudden realisation that my passport had expired meant a hasty trip to the passport office for a renewal – and that’s our nearest branch. We got the train down from Windermere, got the paperwork lodged with them, and then had four hours to kill in the city while they prepared the actual passport. So we set off to explore… pretty much everything!
We must have walked over 4 miles, from Lime Street Station to the waterfront, to the business district, to the huge new shopping area of ‘Liverpool One’… and then back again. On route we saw lots of interesting ‘things’ including the famous Beatles statue (I queued up for a photo), some of the original old buildings, new venues like the museum on the waterfront (where we had a really good and cheap lunch), and lots of new bits of sculpture, art, and heritage trails.
It’s changed out of all recognition from that scruffy place of the mid-90s into an incredibly smart, cosmopolitan, bustling city that beats Birmingham, Manchester and even Glasgow into so many cocked hats, in my opinion. In fact, wandering the streets, the feel was far more of a London of the north than any other city I’ve visited in the last 20 years. Even on a drab, wet day of constant spattering rain, it was vibrant and interesting, and we’d have loved to stay and see more.
Sadly, we couldn’t as we had things on over the weekend, but we’ve made a mental note to go back soon and stop over a few more nights so we can visit some of the new museums, get up the hill to the cathedrals again and generally mooch around more.
Here’s a few photos I managed to grab in spite of the drizzle, including some rather damp pigeons… and that Beatles statue, minus John’s foot.