Day 3. Liverpool – Crosby Beach & Sefton Park

After enjoying breakfast in our aparthotel we walked the short distance to Liverpool Central Station for a Merseyrail train to Waterloo.  As we intended to make another journey later in the day we purchased off-peak day returns at £4.20 each.

Liverpool Central Station
Liverpool Central Station

The journey heading northwards along the coast took just 17 minutes and from there we turned left out of the station down South Road passing numerous shops, bars and cafes until we reached the promenade.

Crosby Coastal Park, Liverpool
Crosby Coastal Park

It was another bright, sunny morning and ideal for a bracing walk along the seafront following a path through Crosby coastal park and the lakeside.  Before going out to sea the path winds its way between two lakes and then across sand dunes.  It didn’t take very long until we had reached the beach and the first of Antony Gormley’s figures had come into view.

Sand Dunes on Crosby Beach, Liverpool
Sand Dunes on Crosby Beach

Crosby Beach is now the permanent home for his installation, ‘Another Place’ after having previously been displayed in Germany, Norway and Belgium.  The statues were due to be moved to New York back in 2006 but the council agreed they could remain permanently at Crosby as it helped to bring tourists to the area.

The start of the art installation 'Another Place' Crosby Beach
The start of the art installation ‘Another Place’ Crosby Beach

Antony Gormley, best known for his Angel of the North statue in Gateshead created this installation in 1997, three years after winning the Turner Prize.  It consists of 400 life size cast-iron figures spread over a 3.2km stretch of Crosby Beach.  Each statue weighs 650 kilos and is a cast replica of the artist’s own body, all of them staring out to the Irish Sea in silent expectation.  As the tides ebb and flow the figures are revealed and submerged by the sea.

One of the Antony Gormley statues at Crosby Beach
One of the Antony Gormley statues at Crosby Beach

As the tide was out we wandered down onto the beach to take a closer look at some of the figures.  As several of the statues are positioned up to 1km out to sea, it is not advisable to go so far out as it is easy to get cut off by the fast incoming tide or to get stuck in the soft sand or mud.

Another Place, Crosby Beach, Liverpool
Another Place, Crosby Beach, Liverpool

As well as viewing the sculptures it is a very pleasant walk along the promenade and on the Saturday morning of our visit it was popular with both walkers and cyclists.  For the energetic, the promenade also forms part of the Sefton Coastal Path, a 21 mile walking/ cycling route between Crosby and Southport.

Antony Gormley, Another Place statue, Crosby Beach, Liverpool
Antony Gormley, Another Place statue, Crosby Beach

To our left we enjoyed far reaching views across the Mersey estuary to the Wirral peninsula whilst to the other side were pleasantly wooded areas with numerous Edwardian villas on the road behind facing the sea.  We turned inland by the coastguard station and continued to Hall Road railway station 450 m from the promenade.  Our leisurely morning walk had taken approx. 75 minutes and was 3.2 miles (5.1 km) in length.  If you prefer to travel by car there is free parking along the seafront and in the local car parks.

Sefton Park, Liverpool
Sefton Park

After returning to our accommodation for a little rest and some lunch we were ready to set off again and make further use of our rail day ticket.  Back at Liverpool Central Station we caught a train on the same line as earlier but this time heading in a southerly direction to St. Michael’s station as we wished to explore Sefton Park.

Blossom in Sefton Park, Liverpool
Blossom in Sefton Park

The station is located one mile from the park entrance and accessed via Belgrave Road and then by following Lark Lane to its end.  Sefton Park is Liverpool’s main park covering 200 acres taking the form of a natural landscape rather than formal gardens.  I think we had arrived at the best time of year as it looked delightful with cherry trees in full bloom by the lakeside and banks of daffodils still in flower.

The island at Sefton Park, Liverpool
The island at Sefton Park

There were lots of people out enjoying the fresh air but as it’s so vast it didn’t seem crowded, with ample room for everyone to spread out.  Several bands were playing in different areas, providing entertainment for families enjoying a picnic or just lazing in the spring sunshine.

Statue of Eros, Sefton Park, Liverpool
Statue of Eros, Sefton Park

Positioned next to the main café stands a 7ft statue of Eros, the Greek God of Love.  If you think you might have seen this somewhere else you would be correct as it is a replica of the one in Piccadilly Circus, London.

Eros Statue, Sefton Park, Liverpool
Eros Statue, Sefton Park, Liverpool

A second casting was unveiled in 1932 and its designer Sir Alfred Gilbert is thought to have preferred the Liverpool one because it was set on a fountain.

Palm House, Sefton Park, Liverpool
Palm House, Sefton Park

Taking pride of place in the park is the magnificent Palm House, a Victorian glass panelled building erected in 1896 and more recently restored to its former glory.  It contains over 200 plants some of which are extremely rare and now doubles as a popular wedding and event venue.

Victorian Bandstand, Sefton Park, Liverpool
Victorian Bandstand, Sefton Park, Liverpool

Another point of interest we came across was the Victorian bandstand which is said to be the inspiration for The Beatles song Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Chinese zone, Festival Gardens, Liverpool
Chinese zone, Festival Gardens

On leaving the park we decided to visit another of the city’s parks on our way to the riverside.  It took us around 20 minutes to reach Festival Gardens, a former household refuse site which was transformed into the UK’s first ever International Garden Festival in 1984.  The festival was a concept designed to boost tourism in the city and during its five months a staggering 3.4 million visitors came to visit.

Festival Park, Liverpool
Festival Park, Liverpool

Since then a large part of the gardens were developed to form residential housing whilst the remaining gardens fell into disrepair.  Starting in 2010 the gardens have been transformed with boardwalks and woodland trails.  Both a Japanese and a Chinese pagoda have been restored both originating from the festival and we enjoyed following some of the winding paths that link through to the waterfront.

Otterspool Promenade, Liverpool
Otterspool Promenade

We had now arrived at the Otterspool Promenade, a level walking and cycling path connecting to Pier Head in the city centre.  We hadn’t walked very far before we came across The Britannia Inn and as luck would have it, we managed to secure a table bathed in sunshine overlooking the river estuary.  After months of pubs being closed, we relished our glasses of lager sitting out on the terrace feeling that life was once again returning to normal.

Brunswick Dock, Liverpool
Brunswick Dock, Liverpool

Refreshed, following our welcome break it then took us just under an hour to walk back to the hotel passing Brunswick Dock, Manners Wharf and Queens Dock on our way.  Soon afterwards we turned inland by the M & S Bank Arena, a venue I had seen ABBA The Musical at back in 2010 when it was known as the Echo Arena.  It had been perfect spring weather and both our short train journeys to Crosby Beach and Sefton Park had provided us with lots of interesting things to see and do.

The Fab Four, The Beatles, Pier Head, Liverpool
The Fab Four – The Beatles at Pier Head

Later in the evening we couldn’t resist going out again taking a short walk to Pier Head where we saw the city’s landmark buildings and The Beatles statue after dusk.

Pier Head Liverpool at night
Pier Head Liverpool at night

 

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Liverpool Crosby Beach & Sefton Park

 

58 thoughts on “Day 3. Liverpool – Crosby Beach & Sefton Park

  1. I really like the way you describe the feeling of the places and what happens around. I can really create the a clear picture of those places in my mind. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, yes, it’s quite extraordinary to find 400 casts of the sculptor on a beach isn’t it but they look to have found their perfect home there. Sefton Park is also beautiful especially with the blossom at its best. Hope you have a good weekend. Marion

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  2. I love reading and learning more about Liverpool through your wonderful posts and photos, Marion. One of the places I always wanted to visit was the Walker Art Gallery that holds a stunning collection of paintings, sculpture and decorative arts. One of the things I love about Brittan is its train network from Cornish coastal trains to the wild Scottish highlands. I think that Rail travel is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable ways to explore Britain. Can’t wait to do it one day. Thanks for sharing and have a good day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. Travelling by train is one of my favourite ways of getting around too Aiva. Just being able to relax, tuck into a packed lunch, gaze out of the window and not having to worry about finding a parking place on arrival! I’d also like to visit the Walker Art Gallery when I next return to Liverpool to view some of its extensive collection. Hope you have a good weekend. Marion

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    1. The statues are really life-like Shane and it was splendid to be able to view them. I’ve seen the Angel of the North many times but only from train windows on the east coast mainline. Had lunch in a beer garden today and ended up having to get my umbrella out! Still worth going though and hope you’ll be able to do the same before long. Marion

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  3. Crosby Beach looks to be a beautiful one…and not too crowded, it seems! The cherry trees at Sefton Park are abundant and a delight, and a great way to capture the season’s atmosphere. There’s so much more to Liverpool than just The Beatles, as you’ve come to show us, and it’s been great exploring the city vicariously through your posts!

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    1. The beach art installations are very interesting with the ones furthest out to sea easily being mistaken for real people! Sefton Park is a delight especially its glass Palm House, just a pity it was still closed. Thanks for your welcome thoughts Rebecca. Hope things are going well. Marion

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  4. To have the statues consumed by the tides and then be visible when the tide recedes is such an interesting way to showcase an art installment. And I loved the glass greenhouse- what a beautiful place to hold an event. Wonderful post!

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  5. Love the statues in the sand. Hope no life guards ever get confused and try to save them. So nice to be in Liverpool during cherry blossom time. We miss our blossom time in Vancouver and our area will not come into blossom for a few more weeks yet, with apple, chokecherry and flowering plum blossoms. Hope we get some rain soon. Thanks for sharing Marion. Allan

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    1. I also wondered if ever the statues got mistaken for real people, especially the ones far out to sea! The blossom in Sefton Park was beautiful and in fact it’s lovely everywhere right now. Just hope we don’t get any strong winds or heavy rain to spoil it. At least you will still have the blossom to look forward to in Edmonton Allan. Thanks for reading, Marion

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  6. I took my mum to the Festival Gardens, we had a great time! Spool on many years – Gormley’s statue are still amazing. I lived not far from Sefton Park for many years and I can’t count how many hours I spent there. Thanks for the wonderful tour, Marion.

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    1. I went to the Gateshead Garden Festival in 1990 but for some reason never went to the Liverpool one despite it being probably nearer to where I lived than Gateshead. The leafy Sefton Park area must have been quite a nice place for you to live Chris. Thanks for commenting. Marion

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I wondered that too, especially the ones furthest away from the beach! Walking through the sand dunes was very pleasant as was our later trip to Sefton Park with its cherry and almond blossoms. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Marion

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Leah Stout Travels

    Thanks for sharing! Love Liverpool, but have never seen the beachy part or Sefton Park – looks like a lovely getaway. Glad you enjoyed your time there!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Leah for taking an interest in this post. Both Crosby Beach and Sefton Park are easy to reach from the city centre so hopefully you’ll have time to fit in a visit next time you are in Liverpool. Marion

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  8. A lot of fun to see your article on two spots I have recently finished writing up. The Statues in the Sand was one of my favourite experience in Liverpool, they are just stunning when the sun shines and all that reflective light gets going. And Sefton Park is just lovely! In Beatles folklore it’s widely believed that the bandstand is where Alf Lennon and Julia Stanley used to meet up when they were courting. Nice shot of Palm House, a gorgeous structure!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Those statues on the beach (or in the sea) is quite interesting. And wow, I just love your photo’s of the Cherry trees in full bloom in Sefton Park – it’s really beautiful!
    It seems you had a long walk on this day – great to be outdoors on such a sunny day!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We were so lucky with the weather and I think that when we returned to the hotel and checked my phone, we had walked a long way but with so many interesting things to see and do, it didn’t feel like it. Thank you for your welcome thoughts. Marion

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