Best Cultural Destinations
The World Museum
Aside from the UK capital, Liverpool has more museums and galleries than anywhere else in the country. One of the best is the World Museum which gives visitors an insight into the earth’s history and includes plenty of hands-on exhibits. The galleries are arranged in a timeline, so you walk through millions of years of history in just one day.
The Weston Discovery Centre looks at human history, whilst over at the Clore Natural History Centre the displays focus on the changing natural world. The unforgettable Mummy Room allows you to see a host of ancient Egyptian artefacts up close and there’s even a planetarium which puts on daily displays.
Walker Art Gallery
A few minutes’ walk from Lime Street station, the Walker Art Gallery has sculptures, installations and paintings from the last six hundred years. Whether you prefer the classic works of Gainsborough and Rubens, or your taste veers more toward contemporary artists such as David Hockney and Lucien Freud, there’s a huge amount to see here.
Some of the world’s best-known paintings from the Tudor and the Victorian periods are displayed alongside pieces from the Pre-Raphaelite movement including Rosetti’s large and complex work, Dante’s Dream. If you keep up with the modern world of art, you can see the John Moores Painting Prize winner when it’s hung here each year and also work from past winners.
It’s difficult to think of Liverpool without being reminded of the fab four and the city has many attractions celebrating the Beatles. At The Beatles Story, you’ll be treated to a tour of their lives and careers, backed up with lots of rare memorabilia which will be of special interest to fans of the band.
A highlight is a modest guitar that George Harrison learnt to play on and a display of colourful Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band military-themed uniforms. To give you a more authentic experience of life as a Beatle, the entire Cavern Club has been recreated and also the famous Abbey Road studio. Another highlight is a visit to the Beatles Museum.
Centuries of History
The largest of Britain’s churches, this neo-gothic cathedral was built over a period of seventy years between 1904 and 1978. The original plans were created by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott who also designed the icon red telephone box. His idea was to impress people who came to see the vast building, but also provide them with a sense of intimacy.
It is one of the best places in the city to visit if you want to enjoy a moment of calm, thanks to the cavernous interior, but to reconnect with the hustle and bustle outside, just climb the tower. From here you’ll be able to take in a panoramic view of the area including all the local points of interest.
When the weather is good, you might even spot Blackpool Tower sitting on the coast over 50 miles away. Back downstairs there’s a small art gallery to explore. The most memorable piece for many people who visit is likely to be Tracey Emin’s For You, a large pink neon sign that reads ‘I felt you and I knew you loved me’.
Popular: Liverpool Cathedral Tickets
An Elizabethan gem with stunning timbers and highly decorative rooms, Speke Hall takes you back in time to the Tudor era. Outside, the building’s diagonal patterns are exquisite and after a stroll around the grounds, you can test your skills on the Speke maze.
Designed by Adrian Fisher, an expert on the construction of mazes, this structure has a viewing platform and a series of gates which allow the layout to be changed regularly. Inside the hall, look out for William Morris wallpaper, 365 million-year-old fossils on the Great Hall’s stone floor and a Victorian billiard table which is still playable today.
World-Renowned Sporting Venues
Home of the Liverpool Football Club, Anfield is one of the best places to visit for people interested in the history of the club or the game. On the stadium tour, you’ll be able to take in stunning views of the pitch and the city from the highest point in the Main Stand.
Visitors can also pop into the Home and Away dressing rooms and take a few selfies with the celebrated This Is Anfield sign. The player’s tunnel is one of the most atmospheric experiences here, but if you’ve ever dreamed of managing your own team you can try out the manager’s seat in his Dugout. There are exclusive videos to see which provide details on various players who have been part of the club over the years and an interactive museum detailing 130 years of footballing greatness.
Popular: Football Experience with a Local Host
Royal Liverpool Golf Club
Set in acres of lush greed countryside at Hoylake, this historic golf course first opened in 1869 and is one of the UK’s oldest links courses. The first amateur championship was played here in 1885, followed by the first UK vs USA international in 1921, now better known as the Walker Cup.
Whatever level your game is at, you’ll be made to feel at home here as the club hosts numerous amateur events each year. The course appears to be quite flat at first glance, but once you make it to 7000 yards from the members teeing off points, the real test begins.
Beautiful Places to See Wildlife and Nature
Set in the regal Knowsley estate, the Knowsley Safari provides guests with a wild experience that spans 550 acres. The Safari Drive is probably the most adventurous attraction here and from the safely of your car, you’ll be able to get close to more than 770 exotic animals.
The lions are likely to steal the show for most visitors, but you’ll also see camels, rhinos and baboons. When you prefer an attraction with a number of different things to do, Knowsley is ideal because there are also zones dedicated to UK wildlife and birds of prey, as well as play areas and rides for children.
One of the city’s most treasured public parks, Sefton Park is a Grade I English Heritage site that provides over 200 acres of greenery. With a minimum of formal design features, it retains the beauty of a natural landscape and is a great place to get away from the busy city for a few hours.
The flowers are magnificent here, especially in spring when bluebells and daffodils carpet the lakeside area. The gently curved pathways are flanked by towering beech trees on both sides and there are plenty of benches to sit for a minute or longer. There’s a café on the boating lake serving a good selection of ingredients and don’t forget the fantastic Palm House which has only recently been restored.
Unexpected Treasures in the Heart of the City
Liverpool Waterfront (Pier Head)
One of the city’s most incredible spots, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has something for everyone. Whether you simply want to soak up the atmosphere on a dockside stroll, take in the art at Tate Liverpool or learn more about the area’s cultural significance at the Merseyside Maritime Museum, everything is within walking distance.
The historic docks are linked to a series of canals where colourful narrow boats cruise through the city centre and nearby cafes offer refreshing lattes. To get a different perspective on the dock and the entire city, get on board the Mersey Ferry which leaves from here on a guided tour and offers excellent views of the Liverpool skyline. The area is home to some of the most luxurious Liverpool hotels and serviced aparthotels.
Popular: River Cruise & Open Top City Bus Tour
Beneath Liverpool’s second cathedral, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, things are far quieter than inside the lively meeting place above. Accessed beside the Blessed Sacrament chapel, it is part of Sir Edwin Lutyen’s original design and dates back to the 1930s.
The vaulted ceilings and dark brick provide a contrast to the solid granite pillars, making for an awe-inspiring sight. The crypt is separated into four different places and set out symmetrically. Look out for a number of intricate wall hangings, bronze sculptures and displays that explain more about the building’s history.
Where to Eat and Drink
Ever wanted to eat lunch 100m above sea level? It’s not for everyone, but if you crave a dining out experience that comes with incredible views the Panoramic 34 is ideal. Set on the 34th floor of the West Tower, this is the tallest of all the UK’s restaurants. Clear days allow you to spot the entire city below and even the undulating Welsh hills in the distance.
The menu consists of fine dining classics inspired by seasonal ingredients but if you prefer things to be slightly less formal, try the afternoon tea menu or sip a cocktail beside the full-length windows.
A vibrant, lively and friendly café that’s a favourite of tourists and locals who work in the city, The Quarter is a stone’s throw from the cathedral and a great place to visit if you need to refuel after a day of sightseeing. The array of freshly baked cakes is mouth-watering and the owners promise that each confection tastes as good as it looks.
As well as the sweeter treats, you can fill up on hearty breakfasts, fresh pizzas and generous bowls of pasta. If you prefer, there’s also a great choice of sandwiches. Sit outside to watch the world go by as you eat and enjoy great cathedral views.
Top Music Spots
One of the many places that have taken on a legendary status in Liverpool, the Cavern Club is famous for hosting the inaugural Beatles gig in 1961. In the twenty-first century, it remains a thriving venue for live music and opens seven days a week. The stage itself is pretty small and set beneath brick arches to the front of the club.
Turn up at any time from mid-afternoon onwards to see soloists, new artists and resident bands. For a wave of sheer nostalgia, visit on a Saturday night to see Beatles tribute bands giving fans a taste of how things were done in the 1960s. If you don’t have time for the full experience, you could have lunch at the nearby Cavern Pub or just pick up a few items of interest in the souvenir shop.
Popular: Full Day Beatles Tour
The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the world’s oldest concert societies and the oldest professional symphony orchestra in the UK. Housed in a Grade II listed art-deco building, it stages more than sixty concerts each year, but not all of these are classical.
You can also visit to see pop, roots and jazz bands, as well as films and stand-up comedy shows. The smaller Music Room has been refurbished to present concerts in a more intimate setting, go along to get a closer look at the artists as they perform.
Whether you prefer familiar high street shops, traditional department stores or designer boutiques, Liverpool One has it all under one roof. Encompassing more than 170 shops, there are also places to eat and drink as well as an eight-screen cinema to keep you entertained.
At one end there’s a large John Lewis department store and at the other Debenhams offers everything from makeup to kitchenware. In between, Armani, The White Company and Victoria’s Secret sit alongside Build-a-Bear and the Disney Store, ensuring everyone can find the things they love.
On the cobbled Bold Street in Liverpool’s Ropewalks quarter, you’ll find a more independent collection of shops and stores. Whether you enjoy browsing for rare records, film collectables or vintage clothing, it’s easy to while away an entire afternoon in this bohemian enclave.
Buy loose leaf tea, shop for books and then pop into Rennies Art Gallery to nab affordable pieces from upcoming local artists. At Pop Boutique there are retro clothes, recycled furniture and endless curios to take home as mementoes of your trip.