Where to stop with kids on drive from Liverpool to London?
September 1, 2020 5:33 AM   Subscribe

We are driving from Liverpool to North London on Friday with our two small kids! We'd love to stop once or twice to stretch our legs and get something to eat. Any thoughts? (Bonus: breakfast ideas in Liverpoool?)

Would ideally like places along the way from Liverpool to London to eat with play space for kids or large park/playground/nature reserve/anything at all interesting for little poeple. Hopefully not too far from the main road.

Would also love an idea for a good breakfast place in Liverpool! :)

Thank you!
posted by caoimhe to Travel & Transportation around Mexicali, Mexico (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
About 2.5 hours into the journey you will have got past Birmingham and could call into Warwick to see the town and castle? Tickets for the castle aren't cheap (!), but the town is pleasant and I think you can get views of the walls without paying?

A little further away from the motorway, but still not far, is Kenilworth castle, more of a ruin than Warwick but still impressive and much cheaper.

I think for both places you need to pre-book tickets because of coronavirus restrictions.

Both Warwick and Kenilworth, as well as nearby Leamington Spa, have plenty of nice cafes and things as well for you to refuel in. All have free park areas to wander in too if not keen on paying for castles!
posted by knapah at 6:29 AM on September 1, 2020

Also assuming you're coming off the ferry, you'll arrive into Birkenhead and it's probably easier to get straight on the road than head into Liverpool for breakfast.

It's about a half hour drive to Chester where there are plenty of places to eat and cool walls for the kids, or if you want to eat straight away, Woodside Ferry Village is very close to the ferry terminal. I've got decent pre-ferry food there and I assume they'll do breakfasts too. There's also an old U-boat there to peer at, which is fun.

(I used to use the Belfast-Liverpool route a lot. Strongly recommend getting a cabin if you can, though if it's an overnight one, I'd assume you will.)
posted by knapah at 6:46 AM on September 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you! Great ideas (castle intriguing.) And yes, Knapah, taking the ferry (actually got the recommendation for the route from metafilter, and did get a cabin for the overnight.) Hadn't thought that it would be hard to stop in Liverpool -- will definitely take that suggestion.

Open to other suggestions as well!
posted by caoimhe at 7:18 AM on September 1, 2020

As a local, I second the recommendation of Warwick / Leamington / Kenilworth. But don't pay to enter Warwick Castle if you're only passing through - it's a nice day out & quite easy to find discount vouchers to cut the price, but you're wasting it if all you have is a lunch stop. Needs the day.

I would leave the M40 at J14, and head for the (free!) carpark beside Victoria Park in Leamington. Walk alongside the river - there's a playground for your kids after like 100 yards, then a small cafe another 100 yards further for ice cream. Keep on walking into town - cross the river by a footbridge after you descend a short set of steps - then you can either turn right & cross the road into another nice park (Jephson Gardens - formal gardens & a big duckpond), or pass by the bandstand into the centre of Leamington - along the Parade & the side streets off it, there are lots of places to sit down & eat.

Small bonus nature reserve, very close to your parking: Foundry Wood.
posted by rd45 at 8:40 AM on September 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

Breakfast in Liverpool, personal favourites:

The Bagelry, although I'm not sure if it's open these days or delivery only. Their donuts are amazing too.

Love Thy Neighbour is good too. Anything on Bold Street is going to be a solid bet as there will be something open and it's all great little cafes. I really like Tabac as a cheap 'n cheerful breakfast spot, but it's somewhat dark and mostly serves as a bar in the evening, so that may not be as kid friendly as the other places on Bold Street.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:49 PM on September 1, 2020

There was an article about the best stops near motorways in the UK here recently: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2020/aug/15/10-best-motorway-stop-offs-readers-travel-tips - I haven’t checked which are on the way to Liverpool from London but a fair few motorways are mentioned there.
posted by conkystconk at 5:16 AM on September 2, 2020

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