Traveller, tour guide and proud Scouser, Tom Colwell shares with us the top 10 things to do in Liverpool England. Liverpool is one of the biggest cities in the north of England and has an important history within the British economy, sport sector and of course the music industry, with local legends like the Beatles. Tom shares some of the best free things to do in Liverpool, local insights from his home town and the top 10 things to do in Liverpool England.
1. The Royal Albert Dock
Considered by many to be one of Liverpool’s premier tourist attractions. The series of 19th century docks and warehouses played an instrumental part in the trans-Atlantic trade in goods and slaves that made the city so wealthy. After the city fell on hard times in the 1980’s the docks were transformed into Liverpool’s cultural hub. These days the Royal Albert docks come in on top for one of the best free things to do in Liverpool. Featuring countless bars, restaurants and quirky shops. The best museums to visit in Liverpool include TATE Liverpool, The Beatles Story and the Merseyside Maritime Museum which includes the heart-rendering International Slavery Museum.
2. The Three Graces from the Mersey Ferries
One of the most iconic sights in Liverpool is of the mythical Liver Birds atop the Liver buildings. Together with the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool building they make up the “Three Graces” of the city. However, the best view of the Three Graces isn’t in Liverpool at all, it is actually from the River Mersey on board the Mersey Ferries. Located on the Pier Head, grab a commuter service towards the Wirral for just £3.50 during commuting times (approx. 7am – 10am, and 5pm to 7pm, journey time approx. ten min). Or grab a River Explorer Cruise for £10 online which lasts approximately an hour and includes entry to the U-Boat story in Woodside.
3. Museums of Liverpool
As a former European Capital of Culture, Liverpool has a strong and rich cultural heritage. It also has a strong focus on education and equality, and as such many of Liverpool’s best things to do are free to visitors. The Liverpool Museum Group is a group of 7 museums that are all completely free to enter. From the International Slavery Museum, to the Museum of Liverpool that includes the actual stage that Beatles Legends John Lennon and Paul McCartney met on. As well as the fantastic World Museum and Walker Art Gallery, there is plenty to keep visitors old and young entertained for free day out in Liverpool city.
4. Where to eat in Liverpool
Scousers love to eat – our nickname even comes from food (Lobscouse – a Norwegian stew that was popular with the inhabitants of the city). But while trying a beautiful bowl of our local dish is a must (Try Ma Boyle’s for meaty and vegetarian Scouse) Scouser’s aren’t limited to loving just local delicacies! Liverpool arguably has the most diverse food scene in the north of England. Just take a stroll up Bold Street to find cuisine from every corner of the globe. The best food in Liverpool includes: Indian, Turkish, Lebanese, Italian, Greek, American, Thai, Moroccan, Mexican, Korean, Vietnamese and Peruvian. Not to mention that Liverpool is host to Europe’s Oldest Chinatown! However, there is one place that is exceptional when it comes to the best food in Liverpool …
5. The Baltic Market & Cain’s Brewery Village
The best place to eat in Liverpool can be found a short walk from the city centre. Located in the old Cain’s Brewery building, The Baltic Market has been completely renovated to be a family (and dog) friendly food hall open Thursdays ‘til Sunday. However, it doesn’t just stop at local eats, they also have cocktail bars, boutique markets, Ghetto Golf, and even a Peaky Blinders themed bar. It is also a haven for street art and so there are definitely worse things that you could do than go and have a peak and support some independent businesses.
6. The Clichés of Liverpool
As a tour guide and a local, I have people ask me about the top things to do in Liverpool UK a lot. Liverpool is famous for two things: Football and the Beatles! International superstars Liverpool Football Club (LFC) call the city home, as do the Toffee’s, Everton Football Club (EFC). And whilst the two grounds of Anfield and Goodison Park are only separated by Stanley Park, the two teams are rivals. This can best be seen on a Derby Day, when the two teams play off. Even if you don’t have tickets, the atmosphere in the city centre is electric and the best time to be in Liverpool.
The other Cliché is the Beatles in Liverpool. From statues of the Fab Four at the Pier Head, to the Beatles Story Museum or the Magical Mystery Tour, the Beatles are visible 8 Days a Week. For enthusiasts, the Magical Mystery Tour is a great way to spend two hours where you can see the likes of Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane. However there is no location more iconic on the Beatles Pilgrimage than the next of the top 10 things to do in Liverpool.
7. Matthew Street and the Cavern
High on the list of everyone’s to do list in Liverpool is to visit Matthew Street. Once home to the iconic Cavern Club where the Beatles used to play to huge crowds and sweat would drip down the walls. These days the original Cavern Club has long gone, but you can visit the new Club which has had the likes of Arctic Monkey’s and Oasis grace it’s stage. Check the bricks near the statue of John Lennon to see some of the bands that have played there. Where to go out in Liverpool? Visit any bar in this area to experience Liverpool’s nightlife, a hot spot for fun loving Stag and Hen parties.
8. Nights Out
And if a few drinks in Matthew Street in the day happens to turn into a big night then Liverpool is definitely the right place for you. Rated the third safest city in the UK, the second friendliest city in the UK, and the kindest city in the UK, you let all of the stereotypes wash away. With a huge range of nightlife to suit all ages you can easily move between the likes of Beatles themed Matthew Street, the Albert Dock, and the city’s Rope Walks district (Bold St, Fleet St, Wood St and Seel St), Home to top spots like Concert Square, the Kazimier Gardens, and the legendary local bars Heebie Jeebies and Lago. For those of you feeling intrepid, try and find Liverpool’s premier speak-easy Berry and Rye, but good luck getting in, there are no signs and the door is guarded.
9. The Georgian Quarter and the Liverpool Cathedrals
If architecture or stepping back in time is your thing, then the Georgian Quarter is for you. A district of 19th century merchants houses that are in incredible condition, the Georgian quarter is regularly used in the filming of the hit TV show Peaky Blinders. However, there is more to the district than just wandering around and taking photos. It is also home to the two cathedrals of Liverpool, the Anglican and Catholic cathedrals (locally known as The Big One, and Paddy’s Wigwam respectively). Liverpool is a city with strong Irish links and the two Cathedrals are linked by the poignantly named Hope Street. The view from the top of the Anglican Cathedral is well worth checking out.
The area is also home to the Liverpool Philharmonic pub, which is one of the quirkiest and most beautiful pubs in the Liverpool. It is also reportedly the most haunted part of the city, and so there are plenty of ghost stories to be heard about the area.
10. Walking Tour
By far the best way to explore Liverpool is on foot. Whether you are in Liverpool for a weekend or it’s just a day trip to Liverpool from London, walking will ensure you can see everything. It is a small city centre and there is a fairly awkward one-way system in place. So the best way to see all the sights in central Liverpool is by taking a walking tour. It’s the most time effective way to learn a little bit whilst grabbing your bearings. From the sights mentioned in this post to other lesser known places like St George’s Hall, Liverpool One, the Bluecoat, the Adelphi Hotel as well as award winning pubs and restaurants. Exploring Liverpool on foot is still the best way to see the city.
A true insight into Liverpool from a local tour guide. The North of England is often overlooked by tourists to the UK but it’s by far one of the most friendly and pretty places to visit in Europe. Whether you’re heading to York, the stunning Lake District or walking Hadrian’s Wall make sure not to miss the best places to visit in the North of England. And of course make the most out of your visit to Liverpool with a stop at the Cavern.
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