Merseyside is a lively county, known for music, shopping, and nightlife. But it also has a softer side, with scenic beaches, green leafy countryside, and unique places to visit.
Whether you’re there for a day, a weekend, or a longer break, you will not be stuck for things to do.
New Brighton Beach
The Wirral Peninsula boasts many beaches, but if you’re after a classic seaside resort, then New Brighton Beach won’t disappoint. Popular among Photographers for its colourful sunsets which are framed by the scenery of the pier and the lighthouse, it is a beautiful place to go for an evening walk.
During the daytime there is a lot to explore nearby, including amusements, crazy golf, a cinema, bowling, soft play, and facilities such as shops and cafés.
Southport’s Crosby Beach has received the ‘Quality Coast Award’ from Keep Britain Tidy, and it is popular with both tourists and locals.
Crosby Beach is also home to a unique manmade landmark. ‘Another Place’ by artist Anthony Gormley features a series of 100 life-sized cast iron sculptures of the artist’s own body, positioned to look as if they are contemplating the sea.
Farms, Zoos, & Safari Parks
Tam O’Shanter Urban Farm
The Tam O’Shanter Urban Farm in Prenton is ideal if you are looking for a day out that children will enjoy, but you want to keep the pace relaxed.
Younger children will be happy identifying all their favourite farmyard animals- from goats, pigs, sheep, and ponies, to chickens, ducks, and even rabbits. Whilst there is a lot to see, walking around the farm won’t tire out little legs. Admission to the farm is free, but they do welcome donations.
Knowsley Safari Park
Older children and adults after a more adventurous day out will love Knowsley Safari Park.
Even adults may struggle to identify some of the animals here, including the weird and wonderful Bongo, the Red River Hog, and the Bush Dog.
There are a few different ways to explore the park. Choose from the Baboon Bus, Safari Self-Drive, Foot Safari, or the Boating Lake.
Here’s an insider tip though: Baboons are cheeky, playful animals. And whilst they are funny to watch, it becomes a little less funny when they start playing with bits of your car. So if you don’t fancy replacing your windscreen wipers, we would recommend heading for the Baboon bus instead of the Safari Self-Drive. That way you can enjoy the experience without the worry.
When it is time for lunch, there are also several options. The Oasis Restaurant serves a healthy Deli style menu including fresh salads and bespoke sandwiches. The Coffee House is conveniently located next to the children’s play area and giant sand pit, so you can recharge your energy supplies whilst the kids deplete theirs.
If you are lucky enough to visit on a sunny day, there is a large picnic area to spread out on, and if it’s really hot you can treat yourself to something tasty from the Ice Cream Parlour to help you cool down.
Amusements & Rides
As well as all the animals, there are also rides and amusements such as a Swinging Ship, Carousel, and Dodgems, so you’ll have activities to keep you busy all day.
Another nice feature of Knowsley Safari Park is that it has an interactive guide book. Download their free Augmented Reality app, scan the pages using the app, and watch virtual 3D animals appear and come to life before your eyes.
The guide book also has facts, games, and things to do, so it is perfect for keeping children happy on the car journey home.
Rice Lane City Farm
Rice Lane City Farm is situated in the heart of Liverpool. The farmyard is home to all the animals you would expect, including Ryeland Sheep, Saddleback Pigs, and Red Poll Cows.
The main aim of Rice Lane City Farm is to support the local community, especially children and young people, so as well as visiting the farm you may want to get involved in some of the community activities. The Chapel hosts regular events and youth groups such as the Young Farmers Club, as well as fundraising events, animal workshops, and environmental projects.
Theme Parks & Adventure Parks
Bubbles World of Play
Bubbles World of Play in New Brighton has both indoor and outdoor attractions, so there is something to do no matter what the weather is like.
The Puddles Outdoor Splash Water play area is suitable for children up to age 11, with all kinds of sprinklers and jets to play in on a hot day.
Bubbles World of Play also has the largest indoor play area in the whole of the UK, which makes it ideal for using up extra energy even when it is raining. The Indoor Play Area includes a New York themed Baby Area and a Role Play Mini City.
The New York themed Baby Area features a sensory zone, as well as objects that encourage babies to sit up, stand, and take their first steps.
Role Play Mini City is a very cute soft play area for children between the ages of 1-5 years. It includes a pretend shop, an adorable mini coffee shop, a zoo, police station, garage, construction site, and an igloo.
Adventure Dock is a giant inflatable obstacle course on Duke’s Dock in Liverpool.
Suitable for children age 8 and up, it is much more difficult than it looks! There are inflatable slides, trampolines, rafts, and barriers to negotiate, which quickly become slippery from the water.
The ticket cost includes hire of a wetsuit, buoyancy aid, and helmet, but you will need to bring your own swimwear and towel.
Museums & Art Galleries
As you may be able to guess from the name, the World Museum in Liverpool covers a fairly wide range of subjects…
There are several permanent exhibitions such as the Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt collections, as well as a Planetarium, an Aquarium, and a Bug House.
There is also a Theatre, where you can see multimedia presentations by experts, watch live performances of drama and dance, or hear stories about specific pieces from the collections.
The World Museum has quite an impressive gift shop, so it’s worth a look before you leave.
Merseyside Maritime Museum
The Merseyside Maritime Museum is a good choice for adults, with over 800 watercolour paintings, prints, and drawings for you to admire and learn about.
The Maritime Paintings collection documents Liverpool’s Maritime History, showcasing artwork that captures life at the docks and on board the ships, as well as posters which were used to advertise shipping companies.
The Seized! Gallery gives you a peak into the elaborate lengths people have gone to in the past to attempt to smuggle items such as weapons, tobacco, and drugs across the UK border.
The collection includes modified objects which were hollowed out and used to hide illegal items, as well as some more inventive creations such as items of clothing, and even full body suits with drugs stitched into the lining.
The Merseyside Maritime Museum has a huge boat collection including more than 70 full size vessels. Take your time to read the information as you look around to help you learn about the history and design of each boat.
Set in a Grade I listed building in Albert Dock, Tate Liverpool mainly focuses on contemporary art.
It is well worth attending one of the free daily talks for an introduction to the artwork. Based around a theme, they will help you to learn more about the art and consider new perspectives. Entry to the main collection is free, but there is usually a fee for major exhibitions.
The gallery is just a short walk from the city centre, so you will be faced with a lot of options when it comes to lunch. Whilst there is a café at the Tate, why not venture out a little and try one of the independent venues that are bursting with style and character…
Quirky Cafes & Boutique Lunch Spots
Yes, you read that right. And yes, it is exactly what you are thinking. Why have your coffee alone or with other people, when you can surround yourself with friendly, fluffy, snuggly cats?
Depending where you stand on the Cats vs Dogs debate, this will either sound like a dream situation or an absolute nightmare.
If it sounds like a dream, you’ll need to book your visit in advance because the cats are very busy and important.
If however, this sounds like a nightmare, then you might want to try one of the following places instead…
Filter + Fox
Don’t get your hopes up – unlike the Cat Café, there are no actual foxes at Filter and Fox.
Instead, you can expect very tasty food. Describing itself as a café, bar, and hideout, Filter and Fox serves delicious food in a hipster inspired environment.
Cow & Co Cafe
No cows here either, I’m afraid. But it does have a twist. Starting off as a design store selling gifts, Cow & Co installed a coffee machine so that customers could enjoy a cup of coffee whilst they were browsing.
Over time the concept evolved, and now it is a café that has firm roots in design.
With a boutique feel, there are hints of design everywhere if you know where to look. When you go to the counter to order an artisan coffee or a loose leaf tea, you can pick up a copy of an independent design magazine. When your drink is ready, it will arrive in a hand thrown Aubrac cup and saucer, designed specifically for the café.
Sugar and Dice
Forgo the animal theme entirely and cosy up with a mug of tea or coffee and a good old fashioned board game at Sugar and Dice. Where other cafés might have bookshelves, Sugar & Dice has board game shelves, filled with more games than you could possibly name. Just be careful who you take with you, people show their true colours when playing board games…