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There’s loads of Yuletide fun to be had with events in and around the city, and of course we’re all heading into town to the shops and stalls to tick off pressies on everybody’s wish lists.
There’s so much to see and do so leave your car at home and hop on the train to get you to your perfect Christmas destination on Merseyside.
And, if you’re not getting behind the wheel, you can enjoy a mulled wine – or two – while you’re out and about to make this festive season a wonderful one to remember!!
Wherever you’re going this Christmas season, Merseyrail has got just the ticket to get you there, from its Family Ticket with unlimited off-peak travel for a family of up to five for just £13; a Day Saver which allows you to make as many journeys as you want in a day from only £4.10, and returns from £2.25 (so getting to your festive night out doesn’t have to cost a fortune).
So, to help put the ‘Ho’ into the Holidays this year, here are 10 places you can get to with Merseyrail this Christmas.
Nearest station: Lime St/ Central
With everything from gifts and rides to fabulous festive food, Liverpool’s Christmas Market is back bigger and better and in its slightly new location – St John’s Gardens, William Brown Street, and the area around the North Entrance of St George’s Hall. Open every day until Thursday, December 23, there are around 40 stalls, a new Bavarian bar with German beers and hot cider, and Santa’s Village with rides including a big wheel and a giant Bavarian snow slide.
Nearest station: Southport Station
The seasonal spirit has certainly struck in Southport! Singer and actress Claire Sweeney is starring as the Fairy Godmother in the Atkinson’s panto production of Cinderella; from December 20-24, Anna and Elsa will be skating into Wayfarers Arcade to greet people to a special Frozen Grotto and, in the run-up to December 25, Southport Market promises festive food, impish elves, panto pranks, and more.
Nearest station: Chester station (then a bus service direct to the zoo)
Now in its 10th year, visitors can enjoy a special after-hours experience with Chester Zoo’s Lanterns light trail which will take them through spectacular illuminations and introduce them to enchanting costumed characters along the way. There are some new characters this year, as well as a 90th birthday light show taking visitors on a journey through time as they explore the zoo’s history, and the Christmas Food Market also returns for another year. The Lanterns is on until Thursday, December 23.
Nearest station: New Brighton
New Brighton’s buzzing this Christmas with panto fun at the Floral Pavilion. Gavin and Stacey’s Melanie Walters is starring as Fairy Bon Bon in Beauty and The Beast which runs until Sunday, January 2, and, while you’re treating yourself to songs and slapstick, why not treat yourself to a drink and a bite to eat too?! There are plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants both in and around Marine Point, offering everything from Italian pasta to Spanish tapas, and Mexican dishes to burgers and the best beef roasts.
Nearest station: Central
Radio City and Guide presenter Leanne Campbell is inviting us all to the ball! She’s starring as The Fairy Godmother in Cinderella at The Auditorium at M&S Bank Arena from Saturday, December 18 until Tuesday, December 28. Bippo the clown is Buttons, CBBC and Waterloo Road’s Shannon Flynn is Cinderella, and X Factor’s David Heath is Prince Charming, guaranteeing a lot of laughter and more than a hint of romance this Christmas.
Nearest station: James St
There’s a flurry of frozen fun at Liverpool’s Waterfront with Liverpool Ice Festival – and its biggest sheltered ice rink ever. It’s there until Monday, January 3, transforming the Pier Head into a magical winter wonderland with an Alpine Bar serving food and drinks, Christmas market stalls and festive fun and rides including a daredevil ice slide and the UK’s only Ice Jet ride!
Nearest station: West Kirby
It’s not just the beach that has us heading to the Wirral hotspot but its brilliant bars and restaurants. There’s tons to choose from and they promise a festive feast at this time of year – like Leaf with its £29.99 set festive menu which includes caramelised parsnip and pear soup, roast cod with warm potato salad and coconut curry sauce, and Mascarpone and tonka bean panna cotta, and satsuma suzette; Hickory’s Smokehouse where you can discover the flavours of the Deep South and book a brilliant brunch with Santa, and the award-winning Wro bar with fab food and drink, lots of live music and Christmas events like the Festive Film Club.
Nearest station: St Michaels
There’s nothing like a walk round Sefton Park at this time of year when you can just about catch its lovely Autumn colours and, if you’re lucky, the Palm House sprinkled with frost to make it look even more magical. Then, when you need to warm up with something to eat and drink, you can head towards Lark Lane which has everything from family-owned restaurants, cute bistros, coffee and cake havens, and inviting eateries that cover the globe; as well as great boutiques that add to its bustling vibe and colourful character.
Nearest station: Central or James St
Royal Albert Dock Liverpool will be illuminated with the return of the much-loved Light Trail around its historic colonnades from now until January 1. You can download the Light Trail map from the albertdock.com/christmas along with a specially curated Royal Albert Dock Christmas Spotify playlist, before setting off on a magical waterfront walk with a hot chocolate or mulled wine.
Liverpool ONE Shopping
Nearest station: James St or Central
There are few better places to tackle your Christmas shopping than the heart of the city centre and Liverpool ONE has everything you can think of from designer shops like Jo Malone, Reiss and Flannels to high street shops including Zara, LEGO and New Look (not forgetting independents like Merseymade on Paradise Street where local creatives showcase gin to jewellery, furniture and artwork). And, when you’ve shopped till you’ve dropped you can enjoy the magic of the Christmas lights, and maybe cocktails and karaoke at Bar Hutte.
Merseyrail trains run every day over the Christmas period expect Christmas Day. Some services finish early on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, and a special Boxing Day service will run (09.00-18.30). A 30-minute Sunday service will run on New Year’s Day.
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