Town centres can be hell in the run up to Christmas for even the most hardened of adventurers. Bad weather, more shoppers than you can shake a stick at and every shop on every corner trying to wrench your wallet open.

If you’re not actually shopping, however, it can be really fun to have a wander and see the sights.

This year, Liverpool city centre has gone all-out with lots of Christmas lights, German-style markets (fashionable at the moment, I believe), large Christmas trees, a fairground and other such delights. I took my two girls into town late on Saturday afternoon for some Christmassy fun.

After a stop-off at The Entertainer toy shop for the girls to spend some of their pocket money, we started in Liverpool ONE and wowed at the large trees covered in white lights and red baubles. We found ourselves unable to walk past the chocolate fountain in the window of the Thorntons café, so we stopped off to get the girls a chocolate shot each. Yum!

Looking up at a large Christmas-tree-like decoration made of a multitude of white LED lights, metal poles and large, red baubles Looking up at a large Christmas-tree-like decoration made of a multitude of white LED lights, metal poles and large, red baubles
A closeup of a cluster of white Christmas lights wrapped around metal poles A closeup of a cluster of white Christmas lights wrapped around metal poles
Another closeup of the LED lights around poles, with two young girls behind them, their faces partially obscured by the lights Another closeup of the LED lights around poles, with two young girls behind them, their faces partially obscured by the lights
A milk-chocolate fountain in a shop window A milk-chocolate fountain in a shop window
The two girls eating shots of liquid chocolate out of small containers The two girls eating shots of liquid chocolate out of small containers

 

We then moved on to the rather well-publicised giant Christmas tree made of large hearts with lighting that changes colour. The girls just loved it!

Looking across from first-floor level at the large Christmas tree made of hearts, lit up in rainbow colours. Shoppers are walking on the concourse in front of the tree Looking across from first-floor level at the large Christmas tree made of hearts, lit up in rainbow colours. Shoppers are walking on the concourse in front of the tree
The two girls at the base of the large Christmas tree. The tree has small, wooden huts around its base, which have people sitting inside them. The two girls at the base of the large Christmas tree. The tree has small, wooden huts around its base, which have people sitting inside them.
Looking up at the Christmas tree with one of the wooden huts in view Looking up at the Christmas tree with one of the wooden huts in view
The two girls looking down the street, hoods up as it's raining The two girls looking down the street, hoods up as it's raining
Looking up at the tree from the very bottom of it. At the bottom of the tree is a sign saying 'Bar Hütte' in German-style lettering Looking up at the tree from the very bottom of it. At the bottom of the tree is a sign saying 'Bar Hütte' in German-style lettering

 

By this point, the rain was starting to coming down, which made for great reflections of the tree on the pavement. I was also really grateful for my weather-sealed Fujifilm camera and lens. Phew!

 

A reflection of the colourful Christmas tree on the wet pavement

 

We then wandered on through to see the oversized reindeer made of lights, and then onto Church Street where we found another large Christmas tree, more Christmas lights, snowflakes being projected onto the walls of the buildings, a traditional nativity scene and some market stalls.

One of the large LED reindeers, photographed from behind and to the right One of the large LED reindeers, photographed from behind and to the right
One of the girls standing underneath a large reindeer made of white LED lights wrapped around a metal frame One of the girls standing underneath a large reindeer made of white LED lights wrapped around a metal frame
The two girls standing in front of a shop window with a pole-dancing polar bear The two girls standing in front of a shop window with a pole-dancing polar bear
A pattern of large snowflakes being projected onto the side of a large building A pattern of large snowflakes being projected onto the side of a large building
The two girls standing in front of a large Christmas tree (a proper tree, this time). The tree is covered in lights and over-sized paperchains. The two girls standing in front of a large Christmas tree (a proper tree, this time). The tree is covered in lights and over-sized paperchains.
The two girls looking at a large nativity scene outside the shops The two girls looking at a large nativity scene outside the shops

 

Treat number two was a few sweets from the (massively overpriced) pick-and-mix stall. I drew the line at a £5 hot dog from the bratwurst stall, however …

A German-style Christmas market stall with pick-and-mix sweets on a pedestrianised part of town. There are lots of shoppers walking up and down, some with umbrellas up A German-style Christmas market stall with pick-and-mix sweets on a pedestrianised part of town. There are lots of shoppers walking up and down, some with umbrellas up
One of the girls standing in front of the pick-and-mix market stall, looking at large piles of flavoured (and brightly coloured) fudges One of the girls standing in front of the pick-and-mix market stall, looking at large piles of flavoured (and brightly coloured) fudges
Looking at the interior of a circular, German-style bratwurst stall. There are three women all picking sausages off a round, central barbeque-type grill for customers. Looking at the interior of a circular, German-style bratwurst stall. There are three women all picking sausages off a round, central barbeque-type grill for customers.

 

There’s more to see in town than we managed in just a couple of hours – there’s a lot going on down at the Albert Docks, for instance. However, on this particular day it was time for home. It was getting near to dinner time and the rain was unrelenting. Treat number three: a taxi home.

We had a really fun afternoon, and it was a great opportunity to do a bit of street photography, too. All those wonderful lights and people and reflections made for a lovely photography session.

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