Whether they take the 'ferry cross the Mersey', or a stroll down Penny Lane, most visitors will find it difficult to explore Liverpool without a song on their lips. From the Twin Cathedrals with their striking views over the city to the historical, Grade 1-listed Albert Dock and its Beatles museum, there's certainly plenty to see and do in Liverpool.
An important maritime centre and industrial port, Liverpool was one of the great cities of the United Kingdom during the Industrial Revolution, and much of its wealth came from its dominance in the shipping of textiles, cotton, sugar and slaves. The city was severely bombed in World War II and has struggled to get back on its feet, experiencing alternating waves of prosperity and depression. The 1960s saw the explosion of the Beatles and pop music, while the 1990s saw an attempt to regenerate the urban centre.
Liverpool's waterfront is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the city has achieved World Heritage Status, joining Edinburgh and Bath as the only UK cities to carry the honour. Millions of pounds were poured into the development of the city when Liverpool was announced as the European Capital of Culture for 2008, including the £920 million Paradise Street development in the city centre.
Famous for football, music and shipping, Liverpool has steadily increased in popularity with tourists over the last decade.
The Tate Liverpool is home to the biggest collection of modern art in the UK outside of London, and a browse through its galleries is always an afternoon well spent. Situated in Liverpool's historic Albert Dock in a converted warehouse, the gallery has an impressive collection of 20th and 21st century works of modern art, selected from the Tate Collection, and exhibited through regularly-changing, themed displays. There are also several temporary exhibitions of contemporary art and the gallery hosts various events and educational programmes throughout the year. Some of the artists on display include JMW Turner, Kenneth Noland, Henri Matisse, Paul Gauguin and Antony Gormley. Budget at least a few hours' worth of browsing to do the collection justice.
For Beatles fans, The Beatles Story Experience is an absolute must. Set in the trendy and historic Albert Dock building, The Beatles Story allows visitors to trace the development of the Fab Four, from their early days playing in Hamburg to the mass hysteria of Beatlemania, the eventual break-up of the band and their ensuing solo careers. Eighteen different features, as well as the Living History audio tour with the voices of Sir Paul McCartney, Beatles producer Sir George Martin and band manager Brian Epstein, continue to delight fans and win over new ones. See George Harrison's first guitar, view the world through a collection of John Lennon's signature round lens glasses, explore the Yellow Submarine and enjoy a recreation of the stage at the Cavern Club on Mathew Street, where The Beatles played over 290 times.
As well as the Beatle Story Experience, Liverpool also boasts several other Beatles-related tours and sights that are well worth exploring, including a Magical Mystery Bus Tour of famous Beatles sights such as Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields, Paul McCartney's former home at 20 Forthlin Road, the famous Cavern Club and the Mathew Street Gallery that houses the art work of John Lennon.
The fascinating Merseyside Maritime Museum traces the history and development of the city of Liverpool as a major port. The museum houses a range of collections, from an exhibition on the tragic and brutal transatlantic slave trade (in which Liverpool played a major role), to artworks reflecting Liverpool's maritime past, artefacts from the Titanic and the Lusitania, maritime archives and more. Visitors also gain access to the quaysides opposite the museum, and to two historic vessels. A worthwhile sight, budget at least two hours to experience it properly. There is no admission fee and the whole family should enjoy the experience.
On the edge of an industrial estate and just minutes away from the Liverpool Airport, the half-timbered black and white Speke Hall is a piece of history tucked in among modern-day Liverpool. Once on the brink of ruin, this purportedly haunted 450-year-old Tudor house is now a popular Liverpool attraction, and is also the departure point for tours to the neighbouring former home of Sir Paul McCartney. Speke Hall boasts beautifully restored rooms, lovely gardens, and spectacular views of the Mersey basin and the North Wales Hills across the high bank of The Bund. Speke Hall is also a popular venue for events such as weddings and it plays host to various concerts, particularly over the summer. Guided tours by costumed guides are available, and tours of the roof space are also available on selected days. The Home Farm is about five minutes from the house and has a visitor's centre, a shop and a good restaurant.
Liverpool's climate is typical of the United Kingdom; fairly mild yet highly unpredictable with a mixture of rainy, sunny, windy and cloudy days all year round. Summers, between June and August, are usually warm and sunny, while winters, between December and February, are cold and wet. Temperatures average around 68°F (20°C) in summer and 39°F (4°C) in winter. As with most of the UK, the most popular time to visit Liverpool is in late-spring and summer, although early-autumn can also be pleasant.
Liverpool is pedestrian-friendly, and visitors can enjoy many of the city's sights and sounds on foot, but taxis, buses and trains are also readily available. An underground system operates between the city's four main train stations. The Live Smart ticket, which can be bought online, offers free travel on two major bus lines as well as discounted entries into various attractions and is a good purchase for tourists. The city is relatively easy to negotiate by car, and there are several car rental agencies available. A great way to explore the city and its surrounds at a leisurely pace is on the Mersey Ferry. A regular service links Liverpool's Pier Head to neighbouring Birkenhead on the Wirral. Uber and similar mobile app based taxi services are available.
Liverpool is a city of diversity that boasts the greatest amount of Georgian buildings in the UK, Europe's oldest Chinatown, a number of striking Victorian structures, and plenty of world-class tourist attractions. The historical Albert Dock was restored in the 1980s and is now one of the city's most popular attractions, housing chic restaurants, bars, shops and museums, including the Merseyside Maritime Museum and the Tate Liverpool. The city boasts two famous football clubs, Liverpool and Everton, and fans can explore the grounds of their favourite teams on guided tours. There is also plenty of Beatlemania to satisfy fans, including the International Beatles Week every August, and several Beatles-related museums and points of interest.
The city plays host to plenty of other events, festivals and concerts, as well as the world's biggest steeplechase in the form of the Grand National, held at Ainstree. There are also several fascinating museums, beautiful parks and gardens, bustling markets and galleries to explore. Whether a Beatles fan or not, Liverpool has much to offer travellers, and it is no wonder that it has become one of the top UK daytrip destinations in recent years.
No direct flights from Heathrow to this Destination