St. James Gardens is a strange place. It was used as a cemetery until 1936, and turned into a public park in the 70s. Almost 58,000 burials took place there. It's very odd to see a park with teenagers socialising, couples wandering, and the pathway an arrangement of worn down gravestones. Whilst many of the stones have been cleared away or repurposed, and very few are in their original positions, I think it's nice that the park is so full of life, and that at least some of these century-old memories are being preserved.
The atmosphere is very unusual, and makes me feel quiet and thoughtful, even when there's kids around laughing and playing music, joggers, and people walking their dogs. Those things don't often go together. There are many people of note buried there, who led fascinating lives, along with some with deeply upsetting stories. As a result, many people believe the gardens to be haunted. Either way, it really is a nice park to walk through.
The weather was quite nice so we spent a while walking around the park. We went to see the Chalybeate Spring, which allegedly once had healing powers but is now too contaminated with sewage to drink from. Nice. I'd never actually got around to seeing it up close before, so it was interesting - up until the part where I nearly fell into the water. Those stones aren't as stable as they look!
As it got colder very quickly, we decided to head inside the cathedral and visit the cafe for a warm drink and a bite to eat. Unfortunately we timed it badly and they'd stopped serving food so we just had drinks instead.
The Welsford cafe is located inside the cathedral, so has a beautiful grand entrance and amazingly high ceilings. I adore the architecture of this cathedral, so getting to just relax and have a cosy hot chocolate inside was a lovely experience. There's lots of little nooks and corners with ambient lighting and paintings on the wall, which is something I love in a cafe.
Freddie ordered a pot of tea, and I got a hot chocolate. I was surprised that my hot chocolate came with extra sugar, but couldn't resist adding part of one of the sachets to it. It was lovely and creamy and a delight after being out in the cold. Sadly, Freddie said his tea wasn't the nicest and had a bitter taste so he didn't enjoy it that much. At least the little yellow pot it came in was cute. On a much nicer note, there was a service taking place in the cathedral so we could hear the organ playing whilst we sat, which was really amazing.
Dress // BHS (charity shop find!)
Shawl // Primark
Tights // H&M
Boots // Primark
Bag // Lulu Guiness
Backpack // eBay
Jacket // Asos
Shirt // Cuckoo (eBay)
Jeans // Criminal Damage
Boots // Ikon (eBay)
After our little relax in the cafe, we went to have a walk around the cathedral. I didn't take any good pictures in the main room, as it was hugely busy due to the service just ending as we arrived. We visited each of the smaller chapels, and walked around everywhere with free access. To me, The Lady Chapel is the most beautiful part of the cathedral. It's just breathtaking, not that the rest of the cathedral isn't! It was nice to walk around in a warm, tranquil place, even though I'm not particularly religious myself.
I'd 100% recommend visiting the cathedral and gardens - it's such a lovely, beautiful place, and a good place to be with your thoughts. It's one of my favourite places in Liverpool. What gems does your home city hold?