What to do in: Liverpool

When I was in Manchester for university I would pop across to Liverpool every now and again because it was a cheap little train ride away. I love Liverpool and there is so much to see and do there, which earnt it the ‘European Capital of Culture’ in 2008. There are a lot of draws for someone to go to Liverpool from its maritime history, the hometown of the Beatles and of course the football.

 

It’s waterfront dock buildings, known as Albert Docks, is a wonderful place to walk around. As well as being able to walk around there are a number of restaurants and museums located there. We have visited the International Slavery museum which gives a real insight into enslavement as well as life in Africa before slavery. We’ve also visited the Tate, which houses art from the 1500’s right through to modern times.

 

 

The restaurants I’ve visited around the docks include Gusto, which is a chain that I ate at frequently in Manchester. It’s a very modern restaurant serving delicious Italian food. The Smugglers Cove is another fantastic restaurant there, it gets very busy. If you love rum this is the place to go as it holds a Guinness World record for the amount of different rum it offers. There is a deli style menu which I really like and there is a really great atmosphere. What’s cooking is a great restaurant and one for the kids too. It has American/ Mexican style dishes, does some really great value offers and even has little game consoles on the tables. I’ve never been to Liverpool and not eaten here for some kind of meal. If you want to eat at the docks I absolutely recommend making a reservation. On one visit I made this mistake and after going from restaurant to restaurant for about 2 hours we had to settle for a Burger King!

Everything in Liverpool is really centrally located, which is great. From just by the docks you can catch a Mersey ferry. We caught the 50 minute daily river explorer cruise, which gave us great views of Pier Head, the riverside skyline dominated by the Royal Liver building. The mythical Liver bird, which sits on either side of the building, is the symbol of Liverpool.

 

Just a short walk away from the docks is Liverpool One, the enormous shopping complex, which is where I watched the Royal wedding back in 2011. If you love shopping then Liverpool One really offers everything you want. Nearby you can also visit the Museum of Liverpool, which tells the story of the city and its people. It’s a rather impressive building with a huge central spiral staircase.

There are plenty of funky places to eat around the city, like Manchester they do the whole modern industrial restaurant really well. A couple of my favourites include Maray, which serves tapas size dishes alongside gorgeous cocktails, and Bacaro, which also serves small plates but with an Italian theme.

When I have stayed in Liverpool overnight I have always stayed at 30 James Street. The hotel sits in the building that used to be the offices of the White Star Line, the company that made the Titanic and the hotel seeks to bring that luxury to their hotel. The rooms are absolutely spectacular and by staying midweek I’ve always found them to be amazingly good value. We once stayed in a room with its own kitchen, lounge and the biggest bath I’ve ever seen for the same price as a travelodge.

I’m a big Beatles fan and therefore a trip to the Cavern club was always a must for me. The Cavern club was a club that became the centre of the rock n roll scene in the 1960’s and the Beatles played there, alongside pretty much every other rock n roll star you can imagine. The club closed down in 1973 but was rebuilt next door in the early 80’s using the original plans and many of the original bricks. Despite not being the original club it is still a great place to visit as it holds a lot of memorabilia from the time and hosts live music pretty much all day and all night.

For the more upmarket Beatles fan there is the Hard Days Night Hotel. It’s a beautiful Beatles inspired hotel, which sits next to the Cavern Club. I have frequented here a few times, for cocktails, afternoon tea, lunches and I’ve never been disappointed with any of them!

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