Thursday 17 August
Set off from home towards the North West and rendezvoused around 11.00 with our fellow Motorhomers Pete & Nina. You may remember that these guys full time around mainland Europe on a permanent basis but come back to Blighty in the summer months for van MOT and catch up with relatives & friends until their Seratonin levels hit rock bottom and they desperately need a sunshine fix.
This trip is so we can have a look around Liverpool which the three others have never been to. We stay on a site at Formby point which is about 15-20 miles up the coast from Lverpool. The site is mostly fixed Mobile homes and the toilet facilities are fairly basic but very clean and serve the purpose. Of course there is the usual grey waste, water point, chemical disposal etc and it costs £20 a night. The touring pitches are down by the sand dunes with easy access to the sea.
After arrival we get pitched up and Mrs Weather forecast informs us that today is going to be the best day for avoiding rain so we head off into Liverpool by train. The train station is about 20 minutes walk away and then a 15 minute train journey into the city. We get off at Lime Street station and take refreshment in the Weatherspoons attached for a brief respite.
I lead the tourist troupe for a little wander and bring them to the Philarmonic which is a beautiful old traditional pub with wood panelling and stain glass windows and mosaic tiles everywhere. John Lennon is purported to state that the only thing he missed about Liverpool is ” The Phil ”
Scooby Snacks !
We soak up the ambiance here for a while before moving down towards the city centre passing the bombed out church which is known locally as the ” Bombed Out Church ” strangely enough and we venture to another Weatherspoons because it’s Curry Thursday and that’s what we fancy for tea. All is fine until it’s time to leave and we realise that Pete & Nina have lost their phone. After much emptying of bags and pockets we realise it’s definitely not there. Jane rings the phone and luckily some kind person hears it and hands it into the bar staff back at the Phil. On answering we are assured that it is now safe behind the bar.
So we troll off back up the hill past the bombed out church again and retrieve the phone and then set off back down the hill into the centre again passing the ……… You guessed it ! and head for Central train station stopping for a nightcap on the way.
It is well dark by the time we arrive back into Formby and need the lights from our phones to light up the route back to the campsite as it is through pine trees and dunes but at least it is still dry. Within 20 minutes of arriving home it hammered it down for the rest of the night.
Friday 18 August
We start with a belly buster cooked breakfast ably cooked by Chef Nina before wandering through the dunes down to the sea and walk along there for a couple of miles before leaving the beach and wandering into the pine forestry where there are wild Red Squirrels in a natural habitat sanctuary administered by the National Trust. On arrival the lady overseeing the National Trust van informs us that it is best to come earlier in the morning as now it is about 2.00 they may have gone to sleep. Walking along the forest tracks however, we are lucky enough to spot several Squirrels and endeavour to catch some decent images of them better than the two very poor ones I took up in Northumberland earlier in the year. This is quite hard as the squirrels don’t stand still enough to pose ( unlike some people I know ! )
Having spent an hour here we head inland and come to Freshfields where there is a micropub called “The Beer Station” with a decent selection of local beers on offer. We of course sample a few before setting off back to the campsite which takes about 45 minutes to reach
Just a quick one thanks !
On arrival we sit out for a while but it is very windy and we eventually give in and take refuge inside. Nina again cooks us a lovely meal of Paella suitably washed down with a keg of Adnams Broadside for the fellas and proseco for the ladies. We keep that up until after midnight when we decide that perhaps we should give the rest of the site some peace. The wind continued the rest of the night banging the flap of the fridge air vent and the blinds on the roof vents causing both of us to have a restless and disturbed night even though we had deployed the secret weapon of the ear plugs.
Saturday 19 August
Bit of a slow start due to the restless sleep but after showering and breakfasting we set off once again into Liverpool. We do the tourist trail, down along Pier Head where the Three Graces are. These consist of the Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool building. All of them were closed but I carry out a risk assessment of the latter and know the security guards who allowed us in to have a quick look at the beautiful interior with the staircase, dome and stained glass windows. Thanks fellas !
I prefer the fluffy handcuffs !
From there we wander through to the Albert Dock and see the Clipper boats which are about to set off on a round the world race tomorrow with the first stop being in Uruguay.
We then set off into the city centre passing the big shopping centre of Liverpool One and spotting the girl wandering around with a full head of rollers in her hair ready for her evening out. Why would you wander around a city in rollers ! Perhaps that’s where the Bay City Rollers got their name !
We end up at a favourite pub of mine called the Ship & Mitre which always has a full guest list of beers and has has some sort of beer festival from one country or another when I have previously visited. Not so today but I had a very nice Honey Porter and Pete had an IPA followed by a Kwak which is a very nice Belgium beer. The ladies had a soft drink believe it or not !
We ordered food here with Nina wanting a Scouse which is a type of stew and where the Liverpudlians get their nickname from. Unfortunately they did not have that so she had something else instead. I ordered a burger with Stilton cheese on it. I was told they’d run out of cheese so he sent someone out for it and my dinner would be delayed if that’s what I still wanted to eat. I was happy to oblige, however the chef came up shortly after and said it would be too much wait so he returned my money and gave me a free burger with cheddar. Thanks very much.!
We then sauntered down to the area where the Cavern club was situated in the sixties and where the Beatles got their first break. Unfortunately despite the numerous fake Cavern lookie likes that are there now, the original has long gone, although there is a poster up telling people about it in the old entrance door.
Shes’s not Lonely now !
Help. I’m stuck !
We decided then to catch the train over to Birkenhead and look back over the city on the other side of the Mersey and popping into another little pub before catching the train back to Formby.
I thought it’s supposed to be Yellow !
Sunday 20 August
We begin the day with some bacon butties this time cooked by Jane and after breakfast head off back to the train station and visit Crosby where there are a hundred life size iron figures positioned on the beach which can be seen when the tide is out. These are called ” Another Place ” and were produced by Anthony Gormley who designed and built the Angel of the North which is a huge metal statue situated just off the A1 near Newcastle.
We get off the train at a stop called Hall Road and walk down to the beach and eventually through to Crosby stopping to see the statues. We were also lucky enough to see the round the world clippers coming out of the Mersey into the sea, setting off on their global race, next stop Uruguay 6500 miles away.
The weather was beautiful again and we enjoyed our stroll along the sea front finally ending up in Crosby town centre where we came upon another micropub called “The Corner Post” where again we had a cracking selection of local beers to slake our thirsts accompanied by some extremely hot chilli peanuts ! We also met Michael Conteh, the brother of the boxer John Conteh who is sadly suffering from mental health problems when he came in the pub singing Land of Hope & Glory.
From the pub we walked up to the train station back to Formby and popped into the ” Railway ” pub for a last one before walking the 25 minutes back to the site where a very nice dinner was prepared and served by Madame Chef Jane. We ate outside until it became too cool and finished off the night inside the warm bosom of “Cis”
Monday 21 August
After breakfast and packing up we returned home wishing Bon Voyage to our weekend companions who are remaining in the UK for another month but we won’t be seeing them again as we are both working and then setting off on our next adventure to Holland & Germany. So watch this space and catch up with us soon
P & J xxxx