Just got off a three day weekend. This is a distinctly American phrase, as over here they are called Bank Holidays. It was like the stars all lined up as we had the perfect plan with perfect weather thrown in for good measure.
We booked this weekend back in February and decided to visit Chester, which is a medieval city right on the border with Wales, and about 60 miles south of Liverpool, and about 100 miles from Melton Mowbray. We lucked out with a really nice apartment a minutes walk from the wall, as Chester is a walled city. York is a walled city as well, but unlike York we could see the wall from our balcony (yes, a first for us), which afforded us some cool air to sit in under sunshiny skies. We spent Friday night and Saturday day exploring the city and all its history.
Chester was crowded! Lots of people on holiday as well, taking photos, drinking, and shopping. We walked the walls (about 2 miles), stopping off here and there to see ancient sites, visit museums, buy snacks, and enjoy the sunshine. Heck, we even headed back to our flat for a midday meal just because we easily could, then hopped back onto the walls to explore more.
Chester is filled with all kinds of old things. Old clocks, old buildings, old Roman ruins. Lots of history and lots of fun to check out. Luckily the kids seemed to enjoy the history as well and were enthralled at the sizable crowds of people, as London had been the only place where it felt as busy.
As usual, we could not see all that we wanted. There were a few old sites inside the walls we missed, a couple pubs we could not find, and some souvenir shops that went untouched. We tried to eat in as much as possible to cut costs, and the kids saw that for 29 GBP we could eat multiple meals and have plenty of snacks, whereas eating out in a pub one time would set us back over 50 GBP.
Chester City was a lot of fun and we put some serious miles onto our trainers. But the weekend had plenty more to offer, as on Sunday we got up early to leave Chester for Liverpool.
Liverpool all along was Rebecca’s idea. She really wanted to go here to see some Beatles stuff and see this big city. I, on the other hand, did not mind if we missed it. I even heard that the city was a bit depressing. Fortunately no one listened to me as we had a great time. The sun was really out today. We caught a 9:30 train and got into Liverpool a little after 10. Straight away we headed for the Albert Docks to look for our first destination–The Magical Mystery Tour bus.
The bus tour was about two hours long and took us over North and South Liverpool, pointing out sites. Not too expensive and the kids liked all the Beatles trivia. Afterwards we got dropped off downtown to visit the Cavern Club. What was really interesting is that it opens early and is free to go into, and there is live music playing all the time. In the evenings bands play and you have to pay. The kids got a kick of being inside a really dark, loud, beer drinking club. And it was only 12:30 in the afternoon!
After we had our Beatles fix we headed back to the Albert Docks to take in the Tate Liverpool gallery, as well as the recently opened Museum of Liverpool. Both were well worth our time, but it was also nice to be alongside the Mersey River in the sunshine amongst all the Liverpudlians. Turns out there was a HUGE football match that day between Liverpool and Everton, so the town was full of supporters from both sides. This meant, of course, that when it came time to eat dinner no place was available for at least an hour. And I mean even the dingiest pubs were packed. Hey, it was Bank Holiday and the town was out to party down.
Lots of drinking outside in the sun and some public drunkenness, but nothing threatening. Rebecca even guided us to a brewpub near the Docks where the pints were made in the basement and were quite tasty. We ended up taking the train back to Chester and getting Chinese takeaway for dinner.
Coming soon…Chester Zoo!