As I’m writing this, I’m sat in a dressing gown with a steaming cup of hot chocolate, staring out of my window onto the rainy garden with my cat on my lap. The only thing I’m missing right now is a cinnamon stick Yankee candle and a wood burning stove. That’s right, it’s Autumn! It’s finally my favourite season, and as much as I love the summer sun, I’ve been dying for the days to get shorter and for my clothes to get fluffier. However, I know that some people find the Autumn months really tough. The days get darker really quickly, and before you know it, you’re barely seeing the light of day. So, here’s some of my top things to do during the Autumn in Liverpool/Wirral to keep your spirits up! (pun intended, it is spooky season after all).
The ultimate spooky season activity. One of the best things about Autumn has to be picking out a pumpkin from the shop to take home and carve. Well, what if I told you that you could go and pick it YOURSELF? FROM THE GROUND? I know, these are exciting times. There are Pumpkin Patches scattered across Merseyside, but my personal favourite has to be the one at Claremont Farm. You can spend half an hour choosing the perfect pumpkin, and then you can pop into the cafe and treat yourself to a hot chocolate and a cake for all of your labour. My number one piece of advice? Get in there early. The patch opens on the 14th October, but it gets more and more popular every year, and once they’re gone, they’re gone! I still have nightmares about the time I went a little later on in the year and it took me so long to find the perfect pumpkin. I scoured the grounds for almost half an hour, but alas, I found the best one. Then a young child came up to me crying and asked if she could have it and I couldn’t say no so I had to go home with a shitty pumpkin. Moral of the story – the early bird gets the pumpkin. Or you can just cry about it and you’ll get your own way anyway.
A Hot Chocolate Crawl
So, this is something that I’ve totally made up on the spot, but let me explain. A pub crawl, but searching for hot chocolate instead of alcoholic beverages. Liverpool is full of incredible cosy cafes and hidden gems, and they sell an array of incredible hot chocolates. Independent Liverpool released an article this month talking about the best hot chocolate spots, which you can read here. Create a bucket list, and visit one each time you’re in town. I can personally vouch for Barley & Beans and Leaf, but the others I’ll have to try myself. Pictured below is also the diner bus located on the Albert Dock, where Frankie and I really did have to get emergency shelter from the rain. They do some really good Baileys hot chocolate!
Independent Liverpool brought us our first floating cinema this Summer, showing films such as Grease and Finding Nemo. But what’s better than a floating cinema in the Summer? That’s right, a halloween-themed floating cinema in the Autumn. You can catch viewings of Hocus Pocus, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. For the faint hearted, they do also have “relaxed screenings” of Casper at 10:30am too. Find me there.
Cat Cafe Film Showings
If you prefer to be indoors whilst getting your scary movie fix, why not do it alongside some feline company? The cat cafe have now announced their halloween film nights, showing Scream, The Nightmare Before Christmas (ultimate best halloween film ever) and many more! It’s £15 a ticket, and for a film screening, unlimited drinks and popcorn AND a kitty to cuddle, what more could you ask for? Even if you’re not into spooky flicks, the Cat Cafe is an amazing place to spend a rainy autumn afternoon.
The best things in life are free, right? Embrace autumn this year by going on a stroll through some of Merseyside’s prettiest places. Watch the leaves fall in Sefton Park, and if you’re still not ready for Summer to be over? Go and sit in the Palm House and pretend you’re in Hawaii. How about going to see some rare red squirrels in Formby? Or walk through the picturesque town of Port Sunlight, have a cake in the Tea Rooms, use the leaves as confetti or just pretend you’re in Peaky Blinders. There’s so much to see, and everything is prettier in Autumn!
One thing to always remember to do in Liverpool? Look up. Perhaps without you even realising it, you’re surrounded by incredible buildings and astonishing architecture. Why not use a rainy day as an excuse to go the Liverpool Central Library? Not only is it home to as many books as you could wish for, it embodies the old and the new. Travel up the winding futuristic staircase to the roof, and gaze out upon Liverpool in all it’s glory. Once you’re done soaking up the view, head down to the Picton Reading room with it’s beautiful winding bookcases. Next to the library, in the World museum, venture back in time. Visit the Egyptians, walk with dinosaurs, or watch the stars in the amazing planetarium. Over on the docks, learn all about the history of Liverpool in the Liverpool museum. The Double Fantasy exhibition is still there, and it’s extended date ends on the 3rd November 2019. It’s a must-see, and something that made me smile, laugh and cry. From the Tate to the Bombed-out church, you’re really not far from some incredible sights in Liverpool, wherever you are.
If you really want to immerse yourself in the Halloween side of Autumn, there a few places that really put on a show. The most popular one being Farmaggedon, a place I will never set my foot in. It’s described as an extreme scream attraction, and this year they have four options to choose from: The Beast of Terror, Contagion, The Meat Locker (I don’t even want to know) and Zombie Outlaw. The website also states that there’s no escape, so I guess you’ve been warned? Another spooky experience is Shiverpool, a ghost tour and history experience. They have numerous tours, one being the Hope Street Shivers tour which I’ve endured on a school trip (just stop and imagine 50 screaming girls running through the streets of the Georgian Quarter). They also run a tour called the “Liverpool Dead House” and a “Ghost Bus Tour”. I’m not going to give anything away, so go check it out yourself!
Finally, one of my favourite past-times when it’s pouring down? Just having a bevy indoors, preferably by a fire. There are tonnes of cosy bars to wind down in, here are a few:
- Elephant Coffee (Parkgate, Wirral) – Elephant is a hidden gem on the Parkgate front, with views across to Wales and cosy interior, it’s the best place to stop off for a drink. Whether you’re having a Terry’s Chocolate Orange hot chocolate, a Malteaser Milkshake, or trying out their 2-4-1 cocktails, there really is something for every occasion.
- Brass Monkey – Think warm lighting, swings for chairs, and a lot of rum. Brass Monkey is a tiny bar situated just off Hanover street, and is the perfect place to chill whilst you wait for the rain to stop.
- Frederiks – A Hope Street haven. Not only do they do great drinks, but they have a fire, and having a fire is reason enough to go to a bar in the Autumn time.
- The Grapes – Currently my favourite little pub. Cheap and cheerful, and the best place to start a rainy pub crawl before you head to the Pilgrim.
- Miracle on Seel Street – Okay okay, we’re heading towards the festive bars now. That being said, Miracle on Seel Street is THE cosiest bar I’ve ever been to in my life. Hands down. There’s a fireplace, massive grandad armchairs, and all of the Autumn/Winter drinks you could wish for. It opens back up in November, and it’s not something to miss!