Liverpool is a compelling, fascinating city with a compact central area that provides good transport links to the rest of the region. If you are fanatical about sports or fancy a sporting chance at the races, if you want some culture or prefer to go clubbing, explore some heritage sites or experience some musical delights, this is the place to be! A visually spectacular city that guarantees visitors a warm and friendly welcome.
Aigburth The artsy student quarter otherwise known as Lark Lane is a very trendy and bohemian area with fabulous bars and restaurants. Enjoy a slap up Sunday breakfast at Keith's Wine bar, and walk it off in nearby
Aintree Famous for top quality horse racing and of course the Grand National. A new attraction at Aintree is the
Allerton Mainly a residential area, this pleasant leafy suburb has, in recent years, become a very popular eating quarter. The main stretch of Allerton Road has a fine selection of shops and is a good alternative to visiting the city center. Entertainment is plentiful, a cinema, lively bars and excellent restaurants are all situated in the area. The district attracts tourists who come to visit the infamous Penny Lane and
Anfield Strictly one for
Childwall A quiet neighborhood, well worth a visit due to the friendly pubs and exceptional food that can be found in
Chinatown On the outskirts of the city center sits a spectacular gateway to Europe's oldest
City Center Great for a shopping expedition, lots of variety but compact enough to see what's on offer in one day. The main pedestrian area and two indoor shopping centers—
An abundance of fine architecture and culture are visible throughout the city center. The grandeur of
Edge Hill Not much to see on the surface, but underneath lies a totally different story. Around 1820 Joseph Williamson—the mole of Edge Hill—built a kingdom of underground tunnels and caverns. The tunnels are believed to include complete houses and an 80ft long banqueting suite. Robert Stephenson, the great railway engineer came across the incredible sight while extending Lime Street station.
Speke This is a busy commercial area of the city and home to Liverpool Airport. Just seven miles from the city center, this is the U.K.'s fastest growing regional airport and offers excellent facilities. Not far away is the New Mersey Retail Park that contains a wide range of superstores and high street shops such as Next, Boots and PC World. Also in the area is one of England's great historic houses,
Toxteth Once inhabited by wealthy shipping merchants, it lapsed into a rather run down neighborhood in later years. Today, regeneration projects are making vast improvements to this multi-cultural district and the true magnificence of the buildings is visible once again. Europe's best example of Moorish revival architecture can be seen at the
Walton This is the home of Everton Football Club, which can be found at Goodison Park. Sign up for a
Woolton This quaint village has retained its original style and is awash with listed buildings. It houses a small but busy shopping area and has a good selection of pubs and restaurants. The fabulous
Travelers have a choice of walking or purchasing an economical one-day ticket, valid on buses, trains and ferries. Queen Square, in the heart of the city center is a good place to start. It's a brand-new complex dominated by the Marriott City Center hotel and has an amazing variety of modern and high-tech designer watering holes and eateries. Have your breakfast on the piazza or roof terrace of the Rat & Parrot, and survey the scene. Take a moment to consider the evening dining possibilities, perhaps La Tasca Tapas Bar & Restaurant, Squares, De Alto Mediterranean restaurant, Ask and many more. Close by is the Royal Court Theater hosting a wide range of concerts. For those on the culture trail follow the signs to St Georges Hall, which is one of the finest Neo-classical buildings in the world. After gazing in awe, you can stroll across to the Walker Art Gallery and view the collection of old Masters. Next door is the Liverpool Museum and Planetarium. Children will love the outstanding displays from the natural world and the inner mysteries of outer space. Spaced-out? Then you could indulge in some light refreshment at the museum or gallery. If you have time, you could pop down the road to Rumford Street and visit the Western Approaches Museum. Here you can search the underground labyrinth of rooms that were once the top-secret nerve center in 1940s wartime Britain.
Enjoy a pleasant stroll back to Mathew Street and Cavern Walks. For those who support the reds, about-turn to Williamson Square as the Liverpool Football Club shop supplies the lot, from LFC hallmarked baby bottles to home and away kits. Fancy a bargain? Call at St John's Market, sharp left and you're there. Or are you a high street groupie? If so carry on down Tarleton Street, past John Lewis (George Henry Lee) and Marks & Spencer, to find what used to be the main pedestrian shopping area. Never fear, however, as the shops are only a side street away. Discover the chain shops you know and love so well, whilst squeezing past the street market stalls that sell everything from handbags to hot dogs.
Serious shoppers will not be disappointed. Clayton Square shopping center offers a wide selection of stores including Disney Shop, Virgin, Boots The Body Shop and Oasis. Walking out of the Square opposite Central Station, to your left is the huge Lewis's building with its "statue exceedingly bare". To your right, you will see Bold Street, well-known in the 50s and 60s for its posh frock shops. Now pedestrianized, you can find a more contemporary selection of stores including Monsoon, Karen Millen, Warehouse, Kookai and Dune.
If you are already weak at the knees from shopping overkill, then visit one of the many café bars further along the same street. All new, Bijou, Coffee Union, Cafe D'oro, XS and more.
Walk back through Church Street, past Top Shop, WH Smiths, and Next; you will now be back in Mathew Street, otherwise known as the Cavern Quarter and have at last reached the infamous Cavern Club.... Ah! Those heady days of the 60s with stone walls, dripping excitement and sounds of the Beatles, the Searchers, and the Swinging Blue Jeans. If you want to know more, The Magical Mystery Tour will take you there.
Time for lunch now and just around the corner you can find Casa Italia and Casa Bella, or try De Coubertini's, an exciting themed sports bar serving delicious light meals. For the afternoon's delights head towards the Pier Head, the River Mersey, and Albert Dock. Walk or ride on one of the circular mini buses that run from the city center to Albert Dock at regular intervals. Once there you can enjoy a 50-minute cruise on the Ferry across the Mersey and view the spectacular sights of the famous waterfront; The Royal Liver Building, complete with mythical Liver Birds, the Cunard and Port of Liverpool Buildings are all magnificent in grandeur and architectural vision.
Back on dry land, take a pleasant stroll to the Museum of Liverpool Life. A footstep away is the renovated Albert Dock complex offering a haven of goodies. Shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs are in abundance and don't forget a visit to the Tate Gallery. Within the gallery, the Tate Cafe with its boat-shaped mezzanine level is well worth a visit. After a light snack you could visit four floors of displays that make up the largest modern art collection in the North of England. Back among the Colonnades, there are plenty of souvenirs, jewelery, sweets, books and toys to buy. Children can examine Fred the Weatherman's Island and perhaps take a trip on the ship that sails around the dock throughout the day.
Situated within the complex, The Beatles Story awaits, so take a walk through time and re-visit the 60s Mersey beat era; George Michael's recent purchase of John Lennon's piano is hopefully due to return here later in the year. During peak holiday periods you will often find a fairground geared towards young children in the vicinity. You may now be feeling exhausted and ravenous, seek no more.... sustenance is close at hand; What's Cooking, Mister M's Seafood Restaurant, Blue Bar & Grill, Bar Monaco and Est Est Est all offer exceptional cuisine and a warm welcome. Enjoy the break as the evening has only just begun.
Originally thought to have been an unnamed barley farm, historical documents first referred to Liverpool as "Liuerpul". The pool was a mile long tidal inlet that flowed in a curve where the Mersey tunnels now begin.
In 1207 King John, who had given the land away 15 years earlier, reclaimed the small coastal area and established it a royal borough. People from all over the country were invited to accept plots of land; a community of around 150 families eventually settled and made a living from fishing and agriculture. By 1235, the Church of St. Nicholas and the Liverpool Castle were built, surrounded by seven small streets; these medieval streets have survived to the present day and can be found around the Town Hall in the city center. During the next five centuries the borough remained a backwater with very little commercial progress.
During the Civil War (1642-48), royalist soldiers besieged the town and the castle was burnt to the ground. However, it was not all doom and gloom-as the Black Plague swept through London, merchant families fled to the small town bringing skills and capital. An industry based on coal, salt and glass grew rapidly and in 1715 the first dock was built, marking the beginning of the modern ports. The Town Hall (1749) and Bluecoat Chambers (1717) are two examples of the fine architecture built in this era, and both are still in permanent use today.
Overseas markets were established and the city was renowned for its spice, sugar and tobacco trade; unfortunately the city was also notorious for dominating the slave trade until it was abolished in 1807. Today, the story of this legacy can be found in the Transatlantic Slavery Exhibition at the Merseyside Maritime Museum.
Between 1841-1848 the entire Albert Dock complex was built at a cost of 514,575 Pounds. Opened as a fully working dock by Prince Albert in July 1846, it has since been beautifully restored as a major commercial site and tourist attraction and continues to provide the city with prosperity.
From 1837 affluent types flocked to attend the annual Grand National, the world's most famous steeplechase at Aintree. Many of the international set including royalty, and presidents would have stayed at the luxurious Britannia Adelphi Hotel, which is still as popular today. By the end of the 19th century Liverpool achieved city status and was the second greatest port in the British Empire. In recognition of this accolade, building commenced on the magnificent Anglican Cathedral in 1904.
The early years of the 20th century were not so kind-the opening of the Manchester ship canal caused trade to suffer, and World War I had severe effects upon the city. The World War II blitz was even more dramatic; in May 1941 eight nights of bombing left 4,000 dead, 4,000 injured and 10,000 homes reduced to rubble. Post war years left the city defiant, but trade and industry were in decline.
The swinging sixties brought a happier outlook to the city, new docks opened, and, of course, the Beatles phenomenon was born. Four local boys joined a group in 1957 and they went on to perform as the Silver Beatles in Hamburg. On their return to their hometown in 1960, they were signed up to play on a regular basis in The Cavern, a basement club in the city. They recorded their first single Love Me Do in September 1962 and Beatlemania began to rock the music world. The 60s also saw the completion of the Metropolitan Cathedral, affectionately known amongst locals as "Paddy's Wigwam" due to the unusual design of the building. The next two decades proved difficult as unemployment was rife and the economy was bleak. However, a mass program of regeneration schemes in the 90's changed the fortunes of the city; the tide began to turn and the city began to flourish.
In contrast to the historic Victorian slums that testified to the appalling conditions and struggles suffered by the working classes, the stunning architecture around the city reflects the legacy of vast economic growth, wealth and power. The 21st century marks a new chapter in the history of Liverpool, which has seen technology, commerce and tourism escalate in recent years. Whether you are a resident or visitor, you can't help but notice the upsurge in spirit and vitality of a city confidently looking towards the future.
A vibrant and visually stunning city, Liverpool offers an extensive choice of places to stay. Accommodation within the city center and around the waterfront at Albert Dock will suit all budgets. Clusters of hotels, guest houses and B&B's in the suburbs of the city can provide a quieter stay, but are equally accessible to the train station, airport and motorway links.
Albert Dock is the ideal location for business travelers and those wishing to view the many attractions. Situated close to the 19th century warehouse buildings and delightful waterfront are a selection of luxury hotels. The recently built, stylish and elegant Crowne Plaza, complete with full leisure and business facilities would provide an excellent break, as would the more traditional Thistle Atlantic Hotel. If you're looking for something a little less extravagant, the Campanile or the Dolby Hotel in the same area provide excellent value for money. If you are looking for a comfortable base to see the sights or just a quick stopover, The Holiday Inn Express within the Dock complex would be an ideal choice. Across the road, a brand new Ibis Hotel has just opened and offers a great service at a very attractive price.
Moving into the heart of the central shopping area, the atmosphere is lively, busy and exciting. A good range of hotels are available from the infamous and opulent. The Marriott City Center is a modern and spacious new addition to the city and is conveniently based close to the Tourist Information Center. Around the same area, the recently transformed Holiday Inn offers quality accommodation and up to date facilities.
For the visitor who really wants to let his hair down and experience the great nightlife the city has to offer, try Henry's Café Bar; a part of the Premier Lodge chain, it offers good value for the money and is set in a prime position. The Moat House, popular with football celebrities, is a luxury hotel with superb beauty and fitness facilities. The Gladstone Hotel, part of the Forte group, is near to the main train station and offers a modern and comfortable setting.
Heading out of the city center, but still within a short walking distance of the main train and bus stations, the smaller hotels Antrim and Aachen will provide a warm and friendly welcome.
If you are visiting the city on a budget, there are some excellent options including John Moores University and Hope University, who both rent out campus accommodation during the Easter and summer vacations. Various locations are available within the city center and the suburbs. An International Youth Hostel and Embassie Independent Hostel are situated in the city center.
Three miles away, the Sefton Park and Lark Lane districts encompass a range of good quality accommodation. The Solna and the Alicia are part of the well-established Feathers chain and both provide excellent facilities. Other alternatives include the The Blenheim and Holme Leigh Guesthouse, both of which overlook the park and provide easy access to the M62, city centre and Airport.
Visitors wanting to stay near the airport have several alternatives. Grange Hotel and Restaurant, just 10 minutes from the airport, is surrounded by beautiful gardens and is located in a quiet residential area. A homely alternative can be found at the Somersby Guest house, and the surrounding neighborhood offers many excellent bars and restaurants. Penny Lane, made famous by the Beatles can be found a short walk from here. The luxurious Liverpool Marriott South is due to open shortly. If you looking for something a little bit special and away from the buzz of city life, there is a secret hideaway. Situated in beautiful grounds, the luxurious Woolton Redbourne Hotel is an excellent family run hotel set in a large mansion house; crammed full of antiques and exceptional style, it also appears to be popular with celebrities. Definitely not an ordinary hotel, but then again, this is not an ordinary city.