Monday, 5 August 2019

Exploring Liverpool With YHA

*This post is part of a paid partnership with YHA

Last week, we packed up the car and headed off on a very special little adventure, travelling 250 miles up North to my beloved home city of Liverpool.

It's a journey we've made countless times before of course to visit my family - but since the children came along and life got more chaotic, we usually only manage a trip home once a year and when we're there all of our time is taken up with visiting loved ones. So although the children have been to Liverpool a fair few times...they'd never REALLY experienced the city itself.

But that was all to change!

We spent two days and two nights becoming tourists in my hometown and I have to say - we had a pretty amazing time!

Liverpool is, in my admittedly slightly biased opinion, a city like no other.

Voted European Capital Of Culture back in 2008, it boasts an impressive array of museums and art galleries as well as stunning architecture, fantastic shopping areas, incredible nightlife, a choice of theatres and incredible restaurants.

I was determined to use our 2 days to teach the children about their roots and help them to become more familiar with Liverpool's past.

We spent our first day at the iconic Albert Dock - home to a fantastic selection of bars, restaurants, and shops as well as the Tate Art Gallery, The Beatles Story museum, and two of Liverpool's 3 main Museums too.

We spent our first day strolling around in the sunshine, taking in the sights of the Museum's outdoor Sculpture trail, and - of course - teaching the children all about Liverpool's Most Famous and Loved Sons - John, Paul, George & Ringo!

I'd wanted to do The Beatles Story myself for years, and it did not disappoint - passing through the room featuring John Lennon's iconic white piano with glasses atop as "Imagine" played brought a tear to my eye.

There was a fantastic children's area too, and they had a brilliant time exploring.

We also took the opportunity to visit the Tate, which was - again - a wonderful opportunity to incorporate some education into the fun we were having, something we're always keen to do as home educators.

That evening we dined out at my all-time favourite restaurant, Sapporo Teppanyaki - a Japanese restaurant where the food is cooked at your table. I wasn't entirely sure how the children would find it, but they were kept well entertained by the incredible chefs who perform plenty of tricks and jokes as they cook a delicious meal - so it was a hit with the entire family!

The following day, we started our day off with a real traditional bit of tourist activity - an open top bus tour of the city!

The children had never really been on a bus before, certainly not an open-top one so this in itself was a big novelty to them.

It should have cost £11 per adult, and £6 for children for our eldest but the lady on the bus wouldn't take payment for him, declaring that he was "still only 4 today!" - a real show of the kind nature you can often expect from Liverpudlians, in my opinion.

The bus tour lasted around an hour and, as it was such a beautiful sunny day, it was a lovely experience to see the city in all of it's glory.

The tour guide talked us through Liverpool's history, as we passed by the famous Liver Building - one of Liverpool's Three Graces  - as well as St Georges Hall and the White Star Line Headquarters which is now a newly refurbished Titanic'themed hotel, and past the citys Cathedrals and the old bombed-out church which now plays host to atmospheric movie nights on special occasions.

We really enjoyed our tour, and were ready for some lunch when it ended - calling in to the pirate-themed Smugglers Cove at the docks.

The children loved it here, it's so atmospheric with the attention to detail in its decor and the food even comes served in little barrels much to their delight!

After lunch, we headed to our final stop - The Titanic Exhibition at The Maritime Museum, where the little ones got to try on various Titanic style outfits and see some items retrieved from the wreckage itself.

Although we spent a fair bit on dining during our trip (which was our own choice, there are plenty of lower-cost options available) we didn't spend much else at all - in fact all of the museums we visited aside from the Tate Gallery and Beatles Story were completely free.

We also stayed at the YHA Liverpool Albert Dock which is ideally located right on Liverpool's waterfront, directly opposite the Albert Dock and within very easy walking distance of pretty much anywhere in the city centre, with fantastic public transport links across Merseyside too.

I have to admit I'd never even thought of staying in a YHA before, I think I thought it was only for youths but they actually have family rooms on offer.

As a family of five, we often struggle to find hotel rooms to accomodate all of us and it can get expensive to have to book into two seperate rooms - so the fact that the YHA offer family rooms like this one that sleep up to 6 and have an en-suite bathroom as well is ideal.

Although the rooms are basic, they are clean and provide everything you need - and for the low cost (this room would cost £49 per night) you really can't complain. I know I personally would much rather save money on our accomodation in favour of having extra spending money!

I also loved the communal areas in the YHA too, with the Fab Four adorning the Reception area wall as you enter setting the tone as well as a wall in the dining area which featured some very Scouse turns of phrase - this gave Jon & I a real giggle to read over as we realised that he recognised very few of our sayings!

What was really great was that there was a selection of children's toys and family games to use in this area too, which is always a bonus when visiting anywhere with little ones. The kids were delighted to find a game of Crocodile Dentist to play together as well as numerous other games and building blocks.

The YHA was really welcoming to families, and I'd certainly recommend it as a great budget option.

To find out more about visiting a YHA, please visit

We had such a great time exploring my home city, and we're already talking about planning our next adventure - perhaps it's time to explore Jon's home town of Newcastle next?!

Don't forget to check out our video showing what we got up to on our little adventure:

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