Last Saturday I had a day out to Liverpool with two of my friends – we decided to hit up the free museums there and the Cathedral. Unfortunately by the time we’d visited the museums and figured out how to get to the Cathedral from where we were on Albert Dock – the cathedral was too far out for us to reach in time to get there, look around and get back to the train station in time for our train. So we plan on seeing the Cathedral on another trip there.
It was rather an early start meeting at the train station at 8am, but we dropped on a good deal – since there were 3 of us travelling together – we were eligible for a 3 for 2 deal on tickets – we had to specify which time trains we would travel on but other than that – no other requirements. We’ll definitely be looking out see if we can do this more often.
We arrived in Liverpool at 9:20am – picked up a Coffee for my friend Gemma (who will die – or some else will die of her grumpy tiredness without Coffee) from Lime Street and set off for our first museum – The Liverpool World Museum.
The museum doesn’t open until 10am so we were sat outside in the sun waiting for 30 minutes or so – but it was good to be there early as it’s a popular museum and being a Saturday it would soon fill up with people.
I’ve been to the World Museum twice before so I already knew it was a great place to visit. It has five floors all together – the ground floor is dedicated to being a great reception/welcome area, a cafe and two gift shops. Other floors are as follows:
- Floor 1: Aquarium and Treasure House Theatre.
- Floor 2: Clore Natural History Centre, Bug House and Exhibition gallery (the latter for us was showing Wild Planet which is a collection of really awesome photographs of animals from around the world – naturally, I LOVED this!).
- Floor 3: World Cultures, Ancient World and Weston Discovery Centre.
- Floor 4: Dinosaurs, Natural World and Community base (used for school groups and such like).
- Floor 5: Space, Time, Planetarium and World Museum café.
I haven’t ever been to one of their Planetarium shows or one of the Treasure House Theatre shows – so I can’t comment on those but overall this is one of my favourite museums, there’s so much to see – so much diversity and history and discovery centre’s are great to get some hands on experience.
By the time we’d finished here we were really hungry so we headed into town to grab some food. Nothing special, just grabbed a meal from Burger King.
Next we headed to Albert Dock to take in the Merseyside Maritime Museum – again this in on a couple of different floors. To be honest I expected a little more from it – since Liverpool has a big dock and lots of history to boot, but it was interesting enough for a visit.
Luckily for us, whilst we were there they had the Titanic and Liverpool: the untold story exhibition going on, which is well worth seeing – as well as a scale model of the ship, there were posters advertising the trip, letters from people who were aboard it, blue prints, etc. We caught some of the Performance: Tall tales of a Titanic survivor – which was quite good – not a real survivor you understand, but some great story telling by an actor of that fateful day.
By far the most poignant parts of this exhibition where the complete list of names of travellers from each class, the staff, the engineers, every single person who was aboard the ship and next to their name – whether they survived or were lost when the ship went down. The sheer amount of names and those that perished is rather sobering – we’re so very used to seeing a TV drama or movie about the Titanic now that the amount of people that lost their lives has slid by the way side.
There is one person that will always be a little more intriguing to me and that is Captain Edward Smith because he is from Stoke-on-Trent – my home town. He perished with the ship, his body has never been found and for some reason this always gets to me and I get a lump in my throat.
On the upper floors of the Maritime Museum is the International Slavery Museum – we didn’t see it all as it has a lot of information to take in. It covers the history of slavery but also very modern day slavery as well. They have lots of video and audio of people talking about their experiences with slavery, as well as photographs and artefacts. It very much leaves you to make up your own mind about slavery but boy does it open your eyes to how huge and widespread slavery was and still is.
After having a sit down for ten minutes in the Slavery Museum looking over the docks, we walked down the many stairs and headed across to Museum of Liverpool – which is… all things Liverpool related. It’s quite a new museum and a new building of which the steps on one side are still being finished.
Inside there is a huge modern spiral staircase which makes the museum look very modern and almost like an art gallery.
However inside the “rooms” this is not the case – it was a Saturday so there was a lot of people there but there was just so much in the available space that I really thought they could lay it out better so everyone can look better.
The museum is a mishmash of Liverpool related things – a car, a train, a bongo (which are so not from Liverpool so I have no idea why that was there), a carriage from the old Liverpool Overhead Railway and on the upper floor there is a dedicated area to football and The Beatles. They also have some stuffed animals and (old) Meccano.
Like I said, a great mishmash of stuff but definitely needs to be laid out better in my opinion.
We skipped the football and Beatles area because there was just too many people to see anything properly.
Unfortunately it was raining outside so we ran (yes ran) for the shops on the dock for some shelter whilst we waited for it to stop. The Dock is either posh/expensive shops and places to eat or tourist orientated with a lot of sweets and Liverpool souvenirs.
Rain stopped and we started to work out how to get to the Cathedral – but part way there, as I said above we discovered it was too far to get to before we would have to leave because from where we were we had to walk the long way around. So we stopped in a Mcdonalds for a drink before heading to the train station via a few shops.
It was a great day out, so do check these museums out. If you want more information on something, just click the links – this post was already really long without me explaining what everything was in detail.
Next time, we’ll definitely go to the Cathedral (and maybe some shopping too!).
What’s your favourite museum, or favourite thing to see at a museum?