Liverpool, the city where the Beatles were born! Since my brother made the controversial move from Manchester to Liverpool we find ourselves visited at least a few times a year and despite clearly not being quite as good as our great city it does have its charms!! Oh, who are we kidding, we love spending a day in Liverpool! Here’s what not to miss in this unique and characterful city and how to have the perfect day trip here! Our guide to what to do in Liverpool!
A maritime city which sits on the river Mersey and was built around the docks Liverpool has a character much like Boston
in it’s own unique “scouse” way!
Royal Liver building
So, you might not actually be able to go inside the Liver building but for me it is something I always want to come and see when we are in Liverpool. This icon of the city sits right on the waterfront and takes pride of place alongside the impressive architecture of the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool building, also known as Liverpool’s Three Graces. Opened in 1911 this grade 1 listed building is also part of Liverpool’s UNESCO designated World Heritage Maritime Mercantile City. A visit without seeing it would be incomplete!
Liverpool boasts one of the best China town’s in the world and the arch which marks it’s entrance is in fact the biggest multi span arch of its kind outside of China! The sight is impressive enough in its own right but it is also a testament to the multicultural nature of Liverpool. Around here you would be forgiven for thinking you were wandering around Shanghai…and it’s definitely worth a visit for some of the city’s best food too!
Liverpool doesn’t just have one cathedral to boast…but two! A church of England (protestant) and a catholic cathedral which demonstrates this city’s close ties with Ireland over the years. This can also be seen, as with many other UK city’s, in the fact it also has two football teams…both also traditionally associated with different factions of Christianity. Even if, like us, you are not all that religious these two stunning buildings are still worth visiting for their history and architecture alone!
In fact the Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool (Church of England) is the longest cathedral in the world at 189m and the fifth largest cathedral in the world in terms of internal volume! The grade I listed building is also one of the worlds tallest non spired churches and dates back to 1904.
The Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Liverpool is only half a mile away and is linked by Hope Street. Often referred to in jest as “paddy’s wigwam” due to its unique design and the fact that it was originally commissioned after the influx of Irish immigrants which have shaped the history of this city. The current incarnation was completed in 1967 and is a grade II listed building.
Then the bombed out one
Ok, so not another cathedral but an church non the less! St. Luke’s was a former Anglican parish church which was badly damaged during the Liverpool Blitz in 1941. Left in ruin for many years the roofless shell now has a new lease of life as a venue for entertainment and even weddings. This grade II listed structure now no longer sits quiet with evening screenings of movies throughout the summer, music concerts and festivals all taking place in this unique venue! The building also serves as a memorial to those who died during the war.
Another absolute must see spot when you come to visit Liverpool! This complex of dock buildings and warehouses was opened in 1846 and was a revolutionary design at the time being the first structure in Britain to be built from only cast Iron, brick and stone. Without the use of structural wood it became the first non combustible warehouse system in the world!
After closing in 1972 and laying derelict for 10 years it was redeveloped into one of the UK’s most popular tourist attractions as well as a vital part of Liverpool’s UNESCO designated Maritime city status. The complex and warehouses now compromised the largest single collection of Grade I listed buildings anywhere in the UK. The site now includes museums, galleries, restaurants, bars and heritage sites.
The Beatles Story/ Museum
Situated within the Albert Dock complex The Beatles Story is a must visit for all fab 4 fans. This in depth experience charts the groups history from personal stories, never before seen photography, original memorabilia and fascinating footage. As a Beatles fan myself this was a highlight when we first visited the city, it goes into so much depth and detail you will most certainly learn something new about the worlds most famous band! The shop here is also great if you want to pick up some Beatles gear!
Matthew street / Cavern club
Keeping with the Beatles theme…I mean, this is Liverpool they are hard to avoid! Mathew Street is the location of the famous Cavern Club where the lads first made a name for themselves. Here you can visit the “Cavern Quarter” and experience some of the swinging 60’s for yourselves! There is even a Mathew Street festival each year which celebrates the musical legacy of the area. Also keep an eye out for a statue of a young John Lennon and the mural sculpture named “Four Lads Who Shook The World”. The street still also has a lively nightlife scene to this day.
St. George’s Hall
This magnificent neo-classical grade I listed building greets you as soon as you step out of the train station. Built from 1841–1854 it is one of the city’s most beloved buildings and most beautiful. Inside are concert halls and law courts and the area surrounding includes the lovely St. John’s gardens and a collection of other grand old buildings. It really makes for a bold and impressive entrance to this great city!
Liverpool has a lively art scene and is home to a whole host of different galleries but the two main ones are the Walker Art Gallery and the Tate Liverpool. The Walker houses a much more classical collection which is one of the largest in the UK after being established in 1877. It is located just around the back of St. George’s Hall. The Tate on the other hand is much more modern and is over at the Albert Dock. This is a northern part of the wider Tate collection of galleries and has some really interesting work. It was also one of the first galleries I visited properly when I was at school and really got me in into art!
Wander the streets: Lots to see
Much like any city Liverpool is wonderful to explore on foot. It’s quite compact size means that wandering around is easy and of course there is so much to discover. The beautiful Town hall, Liverpool one and the high streets with the landmark Radio City Tower (Which I hear you can now visit the viewing deck of!!). You can wander further along the docks and see a more off the beaten path side to Liverpool such as the New Bird Skate park, the Georgian houses and the spooky old graveyards!
My brother, a Liverpool resident, recommends heading down Bold Street for the best food the city has to offer as well as Epicured in the rope walks area for an epic breakfast (I can attest to this!). Also a little further out of the centre is a place called “Camp and Furnace” which hosts food slams in an old warehouse which turns into a club later in the evening!!
Have you ever been to Liverpool, what are your favourite places to visit?
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Nic is one half of the Roaming Renegades, a passionate traveller, climber, adventurer, photographer and artist who has a B.A in Fine Art and M.A in Design & Art Direction.
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