For some, a perfect winter’s day involves sitting on the couch in front of the TV covered in a warm blanket, doing as little as possible. But with so much to experience in Liverpool during the cooler months, why not wrap-up warm and get out there to enjoy the best of what the city has to offer.
Tucked away above a shop on busy Lord Street, you would be forgiven for walking straight past Rococo. But this really is one coffee shop worth seeking out – be it for a quick pit stop and a hot drink before carrying on with your sight seeing or for a well-earned sit down after a hard day’s shopping.
An independent oasis facing the Liverpool ONE development, Rococo is a real hidden gem with its mismatched chairs and reclaimed wood tables creating a unique environment in which to sit and watch the world go by.
Venture upstairs through the side entrance and you will easily find a seat in one of the cosy armchairs or sofas to relax in front of a roaring fire – a great way to recharge your batteries.
Formby Beach walk
A stroll along Formby Beach in the winter is a refreshing way to spend an hour or two. It truly can be a unique experience as winter storms and high tides can push the coast back by 10m overnight, meaning you could be the first to discover a completely new shoreline.
Starting at Freshfields train station, turn right off the platform and head down Victoria Road towards the squirrel reserve. The National Trusts’s celebrated red squirrel reserve offers a fantastic opportunity to get up close and personal with the animals which are quite used to humans, so they will let you get closer than most wildlife. Squirrels do not hibernate in the winter either, meaning you can still spot them searching for food on the woodland floor.
Continue along the main path towards the beach car park and out onto the sand dunes (Formby beach has 500 acres of sand dunes) and down to the beach for some breathtaking views across the Irish Sea – you can even see Blackpool Tower on a clear day. During the winter months, large flocks of several species of waders and gulls can also be spotted feeding up and down the coast.
Follow the beach via Mad Wharf to Formby Point before crossing back over the sand dunes and heading along a grassland path to the man-made lake and Wicks Woods, before ending up on Kirklake Road, which will lead you to Formby train station.
Don’t miss the Dazzle Ship
On a clear winter’s day there is surely no better vantage point to enjoy Liverpool’s famous waterfront than on-board a Mersey ferry.
Since 2015 visitors have had the added bonus of setting sail on the striking, Sir Peter Blake designed, Dazzle Ship. Sir Peter’s ‘Everybody Razzle Dazzle’ design is scheduled to disappear from the river at the end of the year but rumours are abound that the aquatic artwork could rule the waves well into 2017.
Either way, make sure you don’t miss out on this amphibious odyssey.
Tracey Emin and William Blake: In Focus
After a bracing journey on the Mersey ferry, you might be seeking some shelter and there are few better places in Liverpool to do so than at the Tate. You have even more reason to do so this winter as Tate Liverpool presents an exhibition of the work of Tracey Emin and William Blake.
The highlight of the exhibition is undoubtedly the first showcase of Emin’s iconic ‘My Bed 1998’ artwork in the North of England. One of the most recognisable and renowned works of that past 20 years, the piece is famously made up of Emin’s own bed complete with stained sheets and personal objects including cigarette packets, discarded clothes and empty vodka bottles.
Not only a haven for summer drinkers, the Kazimier Garden transforms into a magical ‘winter garden’ during the cooler months with roaring wood burning fires and an indoor wooden train carriage.
Its summer cocktail bar serves mulled wine alongside hot toddies with Scotch, lemon and honey. Meanwhile the typical summer BBQ fare is replaced with warming helpings of beef and ale stew along with plates of steaming roast pork and apple.
Now into its fourth year, the Kazimier winter garden is located in a derelict space on Seel Street; a real must-visit venue during the winter months for a homely lunchtime meal or a truly, distinctive way to while away a cold winter’s evening.