A weekend away from the Big Smoke…getting to know other parts of the UK.

Will Estony is currently studying abroad with us through IFSA from Trinity College of Connecticut. When I (Jess of the Global Opportunities team) first met Will, after letting him know the pride I have for being from the best city in the North (disclaimer: this is personal bias and not exactly what we’d call a ‘fact’…!), the first question he asked me was what the main reason for people visiting Liverpool was. Hm, a good question. Naturally the reasons that sprung to mind were’The Beatles’ and Liverpool Football Club (sorry, Everton FC), not to mention all of the beautiful buildings, our two cathedrals, the Albert Dock and the locals’ wonderful sense of humour…

I encourage all students studying abroad in London to explore other parts of the UK. I appreciate we’re a tiny country and for many, we’re viewed as the continent of Europe above all else, but honestly, if you want to better understand the country in which you’re studying and living, make time to explore London outside of the West End and Covent Garden, and delve in to the other towns and cities of the UK. After all, London can act as a bit of a bubble, and shouldn’t be viewed as a cross-section representation of the UK as a whole. So, amidst your plans to travel Europe; from getting a selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower and enjoying beers bigger than your face at Oktoberfest, to eating tapas with a view of the Sagrada Família or trekking across the glaciers of Iceland, do make time to visit some other parts of the UK. Us Brits are a weird but wonderful people!

When Will told me he’d booked his trains to head to Liverpool, I was over the moon! In just 2.5 hours he’d be in my home city, navigating his way around thick Scouse accents and Liver Birds… According to Will:

“I began my day by grabbing a hardy breakfast near the indoor/outdoor mall area in the shopping district of Liverpool.  I then had some time before the museums opened so I walked around the Albert Dock and even along the waterfront. At around 10am I started the Beatles Story – I got there at 10:05 and the line was already out the door! There, I learned so much about the band and their Liverpool origins. After grabbing a quick snack, I hit the Museum of Liverpool. There, I read all about the historic Cathedrals built in the 20th century as well as the city’s role in WWII. 

My favorite part of the day was at 2pm when I boarded the Magical Mystery Tour! This 2 hour bus ride took me and a group of people all around Liverpool, stopping at the most historic Beatles sites to be found. Strawberry Fields, Penny Lane, the childhood homes of John, Paul, George and Ringo to name a few. What was so great about the tour was they would play Beatles’ songs that corresponded to the different areas we were traveling through at that particular moment.

After the tour I went to the Walker Art Gallery for a quick look at some paintings. I concluded my day at the Cavern Club to hear some live Beatles covers! It was just an incredible experience to know that I was in the same room as the greatest band of all time. 

Liverpool is truly such a beautiful place full of charm and character. If I ever get back, I will certainly have to check out a Liverpool FC match.”

So guys, our advice to you – don’t forget to explore other parts of the UK when you’re studying abroad in London!

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