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The Big Ears Boy Club's Dog-Friendly Day Out In Liverpool With Virgin Trains

Following on from our last post, Basil and I took a first class dog-friendly trip with Virgin Trains, along with pals @winnythecorgi and Rachel Oates; our destination – Liverpool. The former capital of culture is just over two hours from Euston, has loads of excellent heritage and cool stuff to see, is my nearest home city (I’m Northern) and as it turns out, is pretty swell with the dog in tow too.

This quad squad arrived not long after midday and packed our day to the max before catching our return train just before 7pm but if our itinerary looks too meaty for you and yours either allow for a longer day, scale back the sights, or make a night or two of it, as there's plenty beyond the city centre. Here's the Big Ears Boys Club's dog-friendly day out in Liverpool...

MATTHEW STREET - the epicentre of Beatles’ culture and lively nightlife. We’ve no dog-friendly venues to report of as such (there may well be some) but it's a Liverpool must-see to soak up the atmosphere, grab a snap with John Lennon and Cilla, and look through the history wall of fame showcasing the acts that have played the legendary Cavern Club.

THE PIER HEAD – located at the end of the city, this is where you will see Liverpool’s iconic skyline at its best (look up for The Liver Birds) and where you catch the Ferry. You can also pose with John, Paul, Ringo and George. Thankfully no leg cocking took place!

FERRY CROSS THE MERSEY - another Liverpool must-do is the River Explorer Cruise. The ferry tour runs year round, lasts approx. 50 minutes and is a superb way to see the famous waterfront and soak up some city history thanks to the onboard commentary. We sat up top so the boys could feel the wind in their fur and they seemed quite at ease. As I’d done the ferry before and we still had more places to see in the city, we hopped off at the first stop and caught the ‘Scouse Subway’ from Hamilton Square Train Station under the Mersey back to James Street station in the city.  For info, prices etc, visit Merseyferries.co.uk

THE ALBERT DOCK – in the 1800’s, the Albert Dock was a working dock and warehouse location storing valuable cargoes such as brandy, cotton, tea and silk. For those of you old enough to remember, it was also the original studio location for This Morning. Now it’s the vibrant heart of Liverpool’s historic waterfront packed with things to see and do including some great alfresco spots to enjoy with your dog. There’s even a little fun steam train that allows dogs on board. Discover more at Albertdock.com

CHAVASSE PARK, Liverpool One – to soak up the sun and rest our legs, we walked back to the city centre via this gorgeous landscaped area of beauty. There’s a main lawn to relax on but’s there also pretty winding paths with benches for a tranquil moment. Summer through Winter, there’s often events happening here too. Find out more at Liverpool-one.com

SALT DOG SLIMS – after taking in all the sights the dog’s little legs could handle we headed to an area that is a bit like a Liverpool Shoreditch. We only had time for a quick beer and catch up with my folks/Basil’s grandparents at SDS but stick around longer to enjoy world beers, bespoke cocktails and American style chilli dogs. Get the skinny at Saltdogslims.com and visit at 79 Seel St, L1 4BB. 

BREWDOG – a 60 second walk round the corner led us to our final stop and we couldn’t have asked for a nicer send off from duty manager Sam and his team, who’d laid on a Very Important Paws table for Basil and Winston, complete with Bottom Sniffer Beer and Pawsecco on ice. In case you haven’t heard of the BrewDog group before – craft beer is their thing but they are also famous for giving their employees Puppy Parental Leave so you know they DIG DOGS! Go hang out with your hound next time you are in Liverpool at BrewDog, 8 Colquit Street, L1 4DE. Visit Brewdog.com for their other bars across the country.

Also on our adventures, the dogs stopped for a sniff of a Lambanana or two, which can be spotted around the city!

Should you want to make a night of it, Aloft Liverpool (aloftliverpool.com) and Hope Street Hotel (Hopestreethotel.co.uk) will have you and your four-legged friend sleepover. Beyond the city, there are some other great places that are reachable via public transport including the lovely historic city of Chester (Visitchester.com), Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet village (Basil has set paw in plenty of the shops there – discover the brands at Mcarthurglen.com/uk) and The Wirral (Visitwirral.com) to walk the beach from Hoylake to West Kirby before stopping at one of the town’s dog-friendly cafes. My folks live there so if you ever seen a wide-eyed Boston tearing down the beach at a million miles an hour, please stop us and say hi.

VERDICT: as they sing in the song, 'you'll never walk alone' in the city of Liverpool. Everyone is ready to smile and to talk to you and your dog. Rachel had never been this far North before and was overwhelmed by how friendly everyone was so thank you City of Liverpool, you did me proud.

In addition to all of the above, I give thanks to Virgin Trains for getting us there and back in style, Love My Dog for Basil’s gorgeous Hanbury collar and lead set, Winston for his furry companionship and Rachel for her ever amazing photo skills. All photo credits: Racheloatespetphotography.com

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