Hey, did you know that there was a really famous band from Liverpool? If you ever go there, you can’t miss them. It’s impossible to go far without a reminder of Echo and the Bunnymen. Oh, wait. I mean that other band. Here’s my adventure getting to (and from) Beatleland.

My first choice to get to Liverpool from Swanley Bridge Marina was to go north on the Shroppie through Chester and Ellesmere Port (where I went last year) and then across the Mersey River. I knew it would be a bit daunting, not just because it’s a large, tidal waterway with ocean-going ships plying it. I had no idea, however, that it would be quite so much trouble. It requires permissions from at least three bureaucracies, hiring a pilot, having the boat surveyed and the fuel polished, and probably other organizational items. That’s far too much paperwork for an ex-government employee. Plan B was needed…

The other choice was to go north past the Anderton Boat lift and skirt Manchester on the Bridgewater Canal. This is a very historical waterway, the first purpose-built canal in England. The Duke of Bridgewater built it to carry coal from his mines to the docks of Manchester. It made him fabulously wealthy, the richest man in England at the time. He is credited with starting the canal-building craze throughout the late 18th and 19th century which ultimately resulted in over 6000 miles of canals during the height of the Industrial Revolution, of which over 2000 miles continue to survive.

I can’t say I enjoyed the trip. I had made a reservation in Liverpool for my boat, in Salthouse dock. This is a CRT boat basin in the very core of Liverpool, next to the world-famous Albert Docks but my mistake was making the reservation without enough time to easily get there, given uncertainties and weather along the way. I found I had to push the boat, and my endurance, with long days in sometimes pretty awful weather. Wind and rain every day made it, um, annoying. In addition I was unfamiliar with the area and found it difficult to find adequate mooring locations. The route went through some pretty industrial and sketchy areas, not very inviting.

In the end it was fine, I found good moorings, met some great people, and arrived in Liverpool pretty much uneventfully. Entry into the South Docks is dramatic and amazing.

After exiting the Stanley Docks, the first thing you see is the iconic Victoria Tower with its 6 clock faces. It was known as the Docker’s Clock as it was used by mariners leaving (or arriving) to set their chronometers to the correct local time.

Travelling deeper into the docklands, the route passes through huge basins with massive bollards and locks. Sailing cargo ships, and later steam ships, would find secure landings here in order to fuel the immense trade flowing in and out of England’s largest northern port.

The world-famous Royal Liver Building, with it’s Liver Birds looking out to sea and inland, is the first of the Three Graces the route passes. Next is the Cunard Building (Customs House), and finally the Port of Liverpool Building.

The time I spent in the centre of Liverpool was pretty cool. I have been to the city several times in the past but being right in there, for almost no cost (as opposed to hugely expensive hotels with the same view) was a bit of alright! While there I visited several museums and galleries, bought some souvenirs, ate at a couple of restaurants, and just enjoyed myself. However, the highlight (and main reason for going) was visiting Wendy across the river in The Wirral (Merseyside). As it turned out, visiting her and her lovely family was not just worth the long cruise up there, it was worth it’s own blog post. Stay tuned…

4 Replies to “Liverpool or bust”

    1. Notice I avoided pictures of the Fab Four? Not easy, their images were everywhere. In every shop window, on the street, everywhere.

  1. Fantastic photos of your adventurous travels, cousin! So interesting to read about the history of the areas you visit! I hope the weather has improved for you. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks cuz! Hope all is well with all of you… ❀️ The weather hasn’t changed in the UK so I came home early! (I’m back on the island now, still catching up on the blog).

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