One thing I knew for certain when I fell pregnant was that I still wanted to explore new places as much as possible. Accepting that extravagant holidays and the bigger bucketlist entries were probably a no go for a few years, my focus was now on taking this opportunity to explore what was on our doorstep and taking some UK breaks once the baby had arrived.
We got straight to it with a fair few day trips in the early days, this won’t be practical for everyone but luckily we had a baby who loved car journeys and was content in her pram on a day out. So I took the plunge and booked a two night stay in Liverpool in December when she was just 3 months old. It was going to be the longest we had stayed away from home with her and we didn’t really know what to expect, it was going to be a huge step out of our comfort zone but I wanted to do it in the early days so that it didn’t become too much of a big deal and because I’m addicted to travel.
Neither of us had ever been to Liverpool before and it was a city which had been on our UK bucketlist for a while. A long weekend was the perfect amount of time to explore Liverpool for the first time and although we perhaps altered a few things (we drank less than we normally do on our holidays), I don’t think we missed out on anything just because we had a baby in tow.
Where we stayed
I must admit where we stayed was partially dictated by the fact that I was working to a bit of a budget and had a voucher to use on Expedia. We were keen to be as central as possible so that we could easily walk everywhere and we definitely wanted free parking which can sometimes be an issue with a city stay. In the end we decided on Dolby Hotel which was located only a 15 minute walk from Albert Dock. The room was very basic, similar to Travelodge but a lot smaller. There was enough room for a travel cot which they provided for us and there was also tea making facilities. One thing we had not thought about was that the room only had a shower and we should have looked for somewhere with a bath so that we could wash our little girl. Something to remember for the future. For 2 nights and the price we paid it was totally fine and I would definitely recommend if you aren’t after anything too luxurious.
Our biggest concern was feeding whilst we were away so we decided to take our Tommee Tippee perfect prep machine with us, yes its a lot of kit but it didn’t take much effort to have it set up in the room so that we could do the morning, evening and night feeds with as little stress as possible. It was the first time our little lady had slept in a travel cot which obviously felt very different compared to a moses basket which did mean that both our nights were more disturbed than they would have been if we had stayed home. This was a little frustrating, but babies are always switching things up and in typical fashion it was only really me out of the 3 of us who suffered a lack of sleep.
Our 2 day itinerary
When our little lady was born we bought ourselves a couples National Trust membership (pretty sure I aged by about 20 years overnight) and we were keen to get some use out of it if we could. Speke Hall is actually located near to the airport and only a 30 minute drive from where we were staying so it was the perfect place to explore before getting into Liverpool.
Speke Hall is a Tudor mansion built from 1530 and has such a different appearance compared to a lot of the other National Trust properties I have visited. When we arrived we were allocated a timed entry for the house as the property is quite small. Prams are not allowed to be taken around the house but they had a room to store your pram and you could collect it at the end. Luckily we were fairly used to using our carrier and with the two of us it was pretty simple to get her out the pram and into the carrier with minimal stress or fuss. It was very close to Christmas when we visited so we had the added bonus of seeing the house with its traditional Christmas decorations and I think they had a Santa you could book and meet too if you had older children. Once we had taken a quick look round the house we were able to grab the pram and check out the gardens and take a walk around the estate which was all pram friendly.
We had such a lovely visit, National Trust properties are incredibly baby friendly, with baby changing facilities and cafes being high on my priority list when thinking of somewhere to go for the day, they always have ample and they usually have at least one longer walk which is accessible to all. If long walks on rough terrain are your thing then I would recommend checking out all terrain prams when pram shopping as it is so reassuring to know your pram is designed for rougher ground.
Baltic Market and surrounding area
The Baltic Market is the kind of place we would visit pre children and I saw no reason why we should miss out just because we had a baby! Only a 5 minute walk from where we were staying we manged to head here late one afternoon, firstly making a stop at some of the shops that were open in the area. Repurposed factory buildings now house a vintage market which had everything from clothing to house décor and bric a brac, my kind of place to walk around and my husband has a thing for vintage clothing so I lost count of how many jackets he tried on during our visit. Further along from the market are a selection of bars, which at the time we were there were incredibly quiet so we stopped briefly for a drink before heading to the Baltic Market.
The Baltic Market is home to live music, several bars and ample choice of street food vendors. One half of the market houses long communal tables and we were lucky enough to get an end spot so we could easily park the pram up with (luck should have it) a sleeping baby inside. I always struggle to decide what to eat at places like this as quite frankly I want it all, but after eyeing up pizza, thinking about poutine and having cravings for halloumi we opted for Korean as we are suckers for Asian food and it didn’t disappoint, although we may have ordered far too much. The food vendors here change fairly regularly but an updated list is on their website so you can drool over the menus before you go. It was loud and busy but even when the little lady woke up she was happy enough and it was still early which meant the atmosphere was quite nice and relaxed. The Baltic Market is a must visit for anyone heading to Liverpool, baby or not, I would not hesitate to go back.
Only a 15 minute walk from our hotel we ended up heading out pretty early on our first day because lets face it I had been up since 5am so 9 always feels like about midday. The weather was perfect, it was cold but the skies were clear which made for some pretty good photo opportunities at the docks.
We found a great little breakfast spot, Peaberry Coffee House and Kitchen, open early and plenty of space for a pram. The food was also pretty amazing, poached eggs are always my go to when I am eating out for breakfast as lets face it who has time to make poached eggs with a new baby. Everything was super fresh and the staff were very welcoming. Later on in the day we also grabbed some freshly made pastries for the next morning from Rough Hand Made. The choice was limited by the time we got there as they obviously bake fresh in the morning but I was more than happy with my cinnamon bun which I ate in bed with a sleeping baby on me. Perfection.
Now art isn’t usually my cup of tea, however, the Tate is free to enter, accessible to prams with a lift giving access to all floors and we had the time to explore so we thought why not.
I did enjoy some of the artwork, mostly for its instagrammable value (im talking about the stripey colourful floor). The first room we went into was more sort of abstract block colour, shapes, mirror installations which I can kind of understand why people like them. They are simple and colourful, whats not to like. But then it took a turn and the other room we went into was full of questionable art, the question being ‘who the f##k thinks this is good’. I guess each to their own and I am sure its not the weirdest stuff out there but yeah, confirmed we still don’t really like art. Sorry Tate.
Museum of Liverpool
Thankfully just across the road was the Museum of Liverpool but I am not stupid enough to think that this fills everyone with as much joy as it gives me. I love a history museum as my job is knowing about the past so I love nothing more than nerding it over a city’s history. But if like me you do like history then take the time out to visit this museum, its also free to enter and accessible with a pram. The displays included some brief information on nearby sites dating from the prehistoric period but also concentrated greatly on Liverpools more recent history which I found quite interesting. Visiting a museum like this is such a great way to learn about a place and as museums go, this was a good one so I definitely recommend.
Explore the rest of the city
We love nothing more than walking fairly aimlessly around a town or city, seeing where we end up and what we stumble across. We obviously nipped up to the Liver building to get some photos and we knew that although we aren’t huge Beetles fans we should walk past the Cavern Club, which if you are a fan would be a must visit if you are exploring the city. We also came across a lot more vintage clothing shops which we took a look at. Although cities in general are pram and baby friendly you quickly realise how inaccessible some shops are and quite often one of us would have to stand outside so that the other could go inside to have a look. This is not just an issue with Liverpool so we were pretty used to having to do this 3 months in.
As it was close to Christmas we managed to locate Liverpool’s Christmas Market! I am a huge fan of a christmas market and although the UK ones arent a scratch on those in Germany, I still like visiting them when possible over the festive period. The one annoying aspect of the Liverpool christmas market was its location, the main entranceway being up a large set of steps so we had to walk all the way round to the back entrance. Not really a major issue just another realisation that accessibility isn’t always ideal. We were however lucky enough to get ourselves a table and have a drink and soak up the atmosphere.
Later that afternoon we headed to a restaurant I had seen mentioned numerous times on blog posts about the city and that was Mowgli. An Indian restaurant that serves their meals in the traditional tiffin boxes that are used for packed lunches in the country. We didn’t make a booking as I wasn’t sure what the layout of the restaurant would be like and whether we could get in with a pram. Luckily we arrived at the end of the busy lunch rush so they managed to give us a table where we could keep our little lady in her pram next to us, which in those early few months is the perfect scenario. I was super excited by the menu here, loads of different things to try and quite frankly I wanted them all. In the end we both went for the office workers tiffin, four tiers of meat, veg and carb street food dishes randomly chosen by the chef as it is in India. To me this was going to be the best way to try the food here and it was all incredible. It was definitely an Indian to remember and the portion sizes were perfect.
So all in all our trip to Liverpool with a baby was a success, we had a busy couple of days but also kept things as relaxed as possible working around her routine. We made sure we had regular stops at places with cafes and toilets so that we could feed and change her without worrying about where to do it. Although our nights sleep didn’t go perfectly it still wasn’t terrible and did not put me off going away again. We had a great first family trip and Liverpool was a great city to visit.
Where was your first trip with your baby? Did it go as well as you had hoped?