Earlier this week we went for an overnight stay at the Albert Dock in Liverpool. It was pretty special to have the chance to be a tourist in the city I love. I’ve been visiting the Albert Dock for as long as I can remember, my Nana used to take me over to Liverpool on the ferry when I was a little girl. It has changed so much over the years, at one point they were just disused, old dock buildings and now there is a wonderful myriad of shops, restaurants, cafes and attractions. I think right now it is the best it has ever been. It seems like everytime we visit Liverpool there is something happening, a great event or something new to see, it’s charm never fails us.
We stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn Express, which is part of the Albert Dock buildings. I was thrilled when we got our room and we could see out over the inside of the dock. It is perfect for people watching and we spent a good amount of the morning watching three narrow boats turning round. We were very comfortable in our room and had a great breakfast but the very best thing is being able to step out right into the docks and go exploring. Once we checked in we went for a wander around the shops and just before bed we were able to take the boys for a walk along the waterfront.
There is a fantastic range of cafes, restaurants and bars for eating out. While we were there we enjoyed a meal in Revolution and it is one of the best family-friendly places we’ve eaten in. The kids menu was fantastic and great value, the boys enjoyed a strawberry milkshake, pizza and chicken fingers with chips, garlic bread and veggies as well as ice cream for dessert. I have never seen them eat so much in a restaurant before, even Lucas who is notoriously difficult to please. I had a delicious chicken burrito and my husband went for the deep fried halloumi – which I can confirm was amazing! They have got the atmosphere just right in there, it still feels like a grown up restaurant but one that children are welcome in. It’s not somewhere I would have thought to go with my boys but I will definitely take them back, I couldn’t fault it.
Whenever we have visited the Albert Dock before it has been to visit the museums. The Merseyside Maritime Museum and the Liverpool Museum are both great for children and always have activities going on for kids. We wandered down to visit the Maritime after we had checked in, the rain had hit and the museum was the perfect place to wait it out. I noticed they have added a small children’s area, Sea Urchins, which my three loved playing in. The Tate is also right in the Albert Dock complex, we had hoped to visit but ran out of time – when the weather brightened up we decided to get outside instead. They have a few children’s workshops going on over summer including Clay Worlds which I think we’ll try and get back for. All the museums are free to visit and they have lovely cafes and gift shops attached.
The latest attraction, Mattel Play, has been on our visit list for a while and we were kindly invited to try it out. My boys spent two non-stop hours running round the place, with life-size Thomas the Tank Engine, Bob the Builder and Fireman Sam indoor play areas, it is quite frankly, a dream come true for them! It was quite hard to get photos in there but each character has a themed area with big trains, diggers, fire engines for the children to climb on. There are also little puzzles, building tasks, hard hats, role play areas and a spot to have a rest and watch the shows. I don’t think they stopped the whole time we were in there. I thought Lucas might be getting a little old for it at five but he had just as much fun as the twins. It had spells where it got busy but they managed to have a go on everything, it was hard work tearing them away from Jupiter. I would recommend checking the website and booking in advance to make the most of your visit as there are timed slots when it is busy.
Things To Do
It is so open around the Albert Dock that one of our favourite things to do was just walk along the waterfront. All the way along people have attached love locks to the chains and you can spot the cruise ships as well as the Mersey Ferry coming and going across the river. Right now you can visit for Summer at the Dock, there is a special Rio beach hut set up for coverage of the Olympics as well as fairground rides and food stalls. There a few special events happening over the coming months if you are thinking of visiting; Folk Festival is on over the August bank holiday weekend followed by one of our favourites, Pirate Festival on the Dock on the 10th September.
The Albert Dock is such an iconic Liverpool landmark in itself but it is a stone’s throw from the Three Graces including The Liver Buildings. All along the waterfront you’ll see Superlambananas (you might need to google that if you don’t know what it is) and statues, the newest one dedicated to The Fab Four looks great and you can also visit The Beatles Museum and go on a Magical Mystery Tour from The Albert Dock.
All in all in was an amazing couple of days, I make no secret of how much I love Liverpool. It is such a vibrant and friendly city but I feel like we’ve discovered it anew by spending a night there. You take in so much more when you have the time to truly wander around at your own pace. Have a look at our vlog if you’d like to see some more of The Albert Dock and let me know if you visit and what you think of it. I hope you love it as much as we do.