Take a ferry across the Mersey, stroll down Penny Lane and take the stands at Anfield, all in lovely Liverpool
Whether you’re looking to learn more about the history of the UK’s trade industry, which the city propelled forward from its historic docklands in the 18th century; take a peek into the Anfield dressing rooms or simply tap your feet somewhere – Liverpool is an exhilarating place to spend a weekend break.
Visit the UK’s best selection of museums outside the capital
If you’re craving culture over a weekend break don’t just think London. Liverpool has so much to offer too – did you know it has more museums and galleries than anywhere else in the UK? The most obvious place to head is William Brown Street – a magnificent avenue lined with splendid public buildings, including the Walker Art Gallery (an impressive place, like the National Gallery of Liverpool), The World Museum, complete with child-pleasing Planetarium, and Liverpool Central Library. These institutions are the cultural epicentre of the city, rather like London’s Trafalgar Square – and equally impressive to look at on the outside. Liverpool also has its own Tate – which is located on the iconic riverfront and has a fun café decorated in the vibrant designs of pop artist Sir Peter Blake – who has an obvious significance in Liverpool, as one of the Beatles’ most trusted designers. The Merseyside Maritime Museum is another must-visit – you can’t really understand the city until you’ve grasped its roots as the engine of trade in the UK when the British Empire was being built.
Choose between Everton and Liverpool
Footie fans, like Liverpool residents, will have to make a call between red and blue: Anfield and Goodison Park. The latter has been the home of Everton FC since 1892 and today, you can go behind the scenes of this proudly blue stadium, complete with underturf heating. If you’re more of a red, Liverpool FC have a vast array of activities and insights for the footie fan at their Anfield ground. As one of the world’s favourite teams, Liverpool actually have a whole museum dedicated to their fancy footwork. In it you’ll find the Steven Gerrard Collection – his own personal cache of memorabilia, medals, trophies and awards. It’s a fun spot for young players, too – there are interactive games (like the ‘Place a penalty’ shootout… nerve-racking stuff!) – but, of course, the real attraction for proper fans will be the stadium itself. The main stand has recently reopened after a big redevelopment, taking 650 days. You can now sit in Klopp’s dugout and imagine what it’s like to watch a real game take place in front of you.
Liverpool’s most famous export is the world’s biggest rock’n’roll band. From themed hotels to legendary gig venues – including the Cavern Club, where they played more than 300 times (and Cilla Black started out on the cloakroom!) – the city provides enough Beatles history and entertainment to fill a year… or plenty to tide you over for a weekend break. There is actually a small museum on the Albert Dock, The Beatles Story, with a permanent collection describing the journey of John, Paul, Ringo and George. If that gives you Beatlemania, you can pick up the Magical Mystery Tour, a bus ride around the most pertinent bits of Liverpool, such as Penny Lane. There are plenty of Fab Four walking tours, too; The Beatles Walk will give you the same experience as the bus, but combined with a little exercise. If you’d like to see where it all began, take a visit to Mendips and 20 Forthlin Road, John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s modest childhood homes – the National Trust now owns both, and offers regular tours for visitors.
Take a ferry across the Mersey
Make like Gerry and the Pacemakers, and view Liverpool from its famous river. This trip is a must while you are in Liverpool and gives you a great opportunity to see the constantly evolving waterfront from the deck of a famous vessel. The 50-minute round trip takes you round Liverpool’s most historical sights – don’t miss those Liver Birds perched atop the Royal Liver Building – all to a soundtrack of (yes… you guessed it) Ferry Cross the Mersey. Save a bit of cash and buy a combined ticket with an open-topped bus tour to take in all the sights Liverpool has to offer.
Check out Liverpool’s underground scene on a tunnel tour
The Queensway Tunnel Tour takes you into the bowels of the city, starting under George’s Dock and running under the Mersey to Birkenhead on the other side. The Mersey tunnel network is an extraordinary feat of modern engineering, with the Queensway completed in 1934. The tour shows you both how the tunnels were constructed without the city collapsing into them, and how they continue to be operated today – with an incredible CCTV network to co-ordinate traffic. Children over 10 and those up for some leg work (there are many steps) might be fascinated by this labyrinthine adventure – particularly when they find out it was used as a shooting location for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Have a drink with a 360-degree city view
The restaurant might be only for the budget-breakers, but it’s worth splashing out on a glass of something, or an afternoon tea, at Panoramic 34. This flash restaurant on the 34th floor of the West Tower skyscraper is a fabulous place affording superb views of the Liverpool skyline, from its waterfront right to the hills of north Wales. Cheers!
If you want to see where it all started for The Beatles or fancy a trip across the famous river, then why not take a look at our hotels in Liverpool.