Ellipsis on: What You Should Be Doing During Your Semester in Liverpool
One of the many great perks of university is that at some point during your degree, you might have the chance to study abroad for a semester. Each year, many University of Liverpool students spend a semester abroad and, equally, many students also arrive in the UK to spend a semester here in Liverpool. You lucky people. It’s been a long, or not so long, flight, but you’re here; you’ve been to some lectures; you’re settled. So what next?
This is my Ellipsis list of places to go and things to do before you head homeward.
- Sefton Park – If you do nothing else while you’re in Liverpool, I definitely recommend you make time for a trip to Sefton Park. Take just a short ride on the 699 (or a rather longer walk, if you’re feeling particularly energetic) and you can find yourself in 235 acres of green land. Sefton is a Grade I historic park, and you can spend as little or as long here as you please. As long as the weather is good, Sefton is good! Whether you take a stroll round the lake or just go to buy an ice cream (something I’m guilty of doing a little too frequently) I would recommend going at least once during your time in Liverpool. After all, it makes a welcome change from the buzz of the city centre
- Crosby Beach – This was one of the first ventures I made out of Liverpool after moving here. Like Sefton Park, Crosby beach can instill a huge amount of calmness in you and take you away from uni for a bit. On Crosby beach, you can also find Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Place‘, which consists of 100 iron men lined up along the sea-line. It costs a few pounds on the train, and that means you get to experience Merseyrail adventures too! Hurrah!
- Metropolitan Cathedral – No one can deny that Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral, or ‘Paddy’s Wigwam’ as it is affectionately known by the locals, is a stand-out feature of the Liverpool skyline. Whether you love its look, or can’t stand the sight of the thing, it’s worth a peek inside. Impressive doesn’t begin to cover it.
- Go to a gig – Perhaps what drew a part of me to Liverpool was the vibrant music scene it is home to. Yes, the city birthed the Beatles, but Liverpool’s musical identity is so much more than Penny Lane or the Cavern Club. With so many amazing and intimate venues across the city – the Arts Club, the Kazimier, Zanzibar, Constellations and Leaf to name a few – there’s no excuse to not experience a gig at some point. There’s so much local talent that you’re pretty much guaranteed a night of spectacular ear candy.
- Central Perk – Ever watched F.R.I.E.N.D.S? If the answer is ‘yes’ then you need to go here! Based on the identically named cafe that Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Chandler, Joey and Ross frequently visit, you can find Central Perk on Bold Street. Sit back on the orange sofa, relax, and enjoy an episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S or two. They make a fabulous cappuccino as well!
- Go to the top of the Radio City tower – From atop the radio tower, you can see all around the city of Liverpool, not to mention you can get a sneak peek at the studios of Radio City. Costing £4 for a student, the Radio City tower is well-worth a look.
- Otterspool – Another place to go and chill, Otterspool Promenade is one of the best places to walk along the River Mersey. And if that wasn’t enough to tempt you, who doesn’t want to be able to tell people they visited a place called ‘Otterspool‘?
- Attend an event at the ‘Bombed Out Church’ – Also known as St. Luke’s Church, the ‘Bombed Out Church’ is just that – bombed out. As a result, there’s no roof and so open-air events are hosted within the church’s centre. Sometimes, you might even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Batman and Robin if you go to the right play – Bombed Out Church performances are famous for being a little out of the ordinary.
- Visit the World Museum – Dinosaur bones and many other cool things live at the World Museum. It’s free entry, so you might as well have a look around!
- Tate Gallery Cafe – EVERYONE says to go to the Tate Art Gallery. It’s a classic Liverpool attraction. However, as someone with a relatively short attention span, I spend a lot more time in the Tate Cafe. And yes, it is definitely worth taking a trip to the docks for – with or without the art. They sell chips as big as your face, and they’re to die for.
- Watch a football match – Now you’ve been in Liverpool a while, I’m sure you’ve noticed how big football is here. Yes, Merseyside is home to two Premier League sides, Liverpool FC (the reds) and Everton FC (the blues), but have you ever thought of taking a trip to watch them in action? Visiting Anfield or Goodison Park on match day is on my Liverpool Bucket List.
- Bongo’s Bingo – Little did you know that on Thursdays, if you head down to Camp and Furnace, you can take part in one of the best games of bingo around. It’s £2 entry and 8pm start – “it’s bingo, but not as you know it.” Be prepared for bingo with a difference.
- Go to the Wirral – The squirrel? What squirrel? No, dear friends, the Wirral! So many people pass through Merseyside and don’t take a trip across the River Mersey, but they should. I’d been in Liverpool for a year before going this summer, and realising how much I didn’t know existed. On Wirral Peninsula, you can find such pretty beaches as the one pictured at Hoylake, and well as explore some much greener spots than Liverpool city centre. You can there either via the Merseyrail Wirral line, or by taking the ferry across the Mersey.
- Hire a Citybike – If you’ve been to London, you might be familiar with ‘Boris bikes’ – pay-as-you-go bicycles which you can collect from several ‘stations’ around the city. Well, we have them here in Liverpool too! Here, Citybikes are green, and you can find ones at stations on campus, near the Duncan building, and also at Sefton Park, as well as many other places. They’re a great way to travel whilst seeing more of the city than you would on the train.
- Hunt the Superlambananas – The original Superlambanana is a bright yellow sculpture of a lamb mixed with a banana and stands at 17 feet tall. Since then, more Superlambananas have been created and have been placed around the city as a trail. If you’re short of money and need something to do, why not try to find them all? There are some pretty cool designs.
- Everton Park – In the opposite direction to Sefton Park,you can also find Everton Park. It’s a great place to take a walk, have a run, or even get a good view of the city. As the park is on a hill, it’s an amazing opportunity to take photos across Liverpool’s skyline.
- The Lobster Pot – Situated in the city centre, The Lobster Pot sells possibly the BEST fish and chips I’ve had in Liverpool. Failing that, Reel on Mount Pleasant are also pretty tasty, and their deals are pretty tasty too. Basically, eat as much fish and chips as possible because it’s really good here – and I live by the sea.
- Watch the Everyman Christmas Panto – You can’t visit the UK and never see a pantomime. You just can’t. It’s a classic British Christmas past time (despite originating in 16th Century Italy) and the Everyman’s annual production is a little different – it’s rock ‘n’ roll!
- Explore – To be honest, the best way to find hidden gems in Liverpool is to explore it for yourself. What’s on this list is just a starting point, and there’s plenty more where that came from! Just set aside a couple of days where you can brave the swarms of demon seagulls and just wander around. It’s surprisingly effective (and very enjoyable).
(Article Image Credit: Superlambanana – commons.wikimedia.org)