Recommended: Liverpool

As I was brought up by the sea, I have found that the older that I get, the more landlocked I feel, longing to see the sea. Often, weekend breaks (particularly where we live with the Peak District, Wales and Lake District all close by,) are focused on historic cities or rolling countryside, yet I prefer a town I can get dressed up for, culture to absorb and a coastal influence, so en route home to Southport for Easter, we spent a day and night in Liverpool. When I was growing up, Liverpool was where I would venture for decent shopping and many a family day out was spent at it’s Albert Docks, but so much has changed since then it’s worth another look now. Liverpool gets a terrible rap whether it’s for the accent or sweeping generalisations about the people which are outdated and (like so many other stereotypes) ignorant. I’m proud of the city and I hope my little round up will encourage you to consider visiting and enjoying it – there is something for everyone.

We started off at the newly built Malmaison Hotel. Overlooking the river, it’s in a regenerated area that previously hardly existed and perfectly located next door to the Liver Building for walking along the river front into central Liverpool. I’ve mentioned the great deals you can get in most Malmaison hotels and we took advantage of a Room, dinner and cocktails for two offer, for just £99 and you can park next door for 24 hours for £10.

The next morning, after a Mal breakfast feast we bundled up (Liverpool is ALWAYS cold, due to the bracing wind off the Mersey,) and headed off towards our first stop, the Albert Docks. In 2008 Liverpool was European Capital of Culture and has been vastly regenerated as a result. We walked past the new Museum of Liverpool in it’s incredible purpose built building (free to visit) towards the Albert Docks which house the Maritime Museum (focusing on the city’s naval history and strong links to the slave trade triangle between Africa, Liverpool and the Caribbean,) The Tate Liverpool and where we were headed, The Beatles Story. I’m not a huge Beatles fan, but Pete is and wanted to see it, plus from a cultural perspective it’s an interesting take on an era. Our tickets were £12.95 and we spent about 2 hours going around with the audio guide. It was a little repetitive in places but a must for a fan, I would say.

Other cultural attractions in the city include The World Museum (a more traditional museum with egyptian mummies, dinosaurs and a planetarium,) 2 cathedrals and performances at the Liverpool Empire and St Georges Hall.

For me Liverpool was always a shopping destination and the shopping area was very disparate from the Albert Docks. The creation of the new Liverpool One shopping centre and surrounding sleek glass arcades and streets now house shopping to rival Manchester and you can literally cross the road from the Albert Docks and be there straight away. There are also restaurants and an Odeon cinema. After a quick Pret lunch we headed into the shops for a bit of a spree and ended our day walking back along the river front to pick up the car and head back to Southport. You can also explore nearby Mathew Street for a boutique area and lots of musical references as it was originally the site of the famous Cavern club.

Our Liverpool adventure didn’t end in Southport however. On Easter Sunday we drove back to Crosby to walk on the beach and see Antony Gormley’s Another Place. A public art installation, it consists of 100 life sized iron men positioned along 3km of coastline and up to 1km out. As it is an estuary, your experience of the men varies according to whether the tide is in or out and many of them are partly or completely submerged at different times of the day, particularly when we visted at the spring high tide.

The men are strangely haunting and spooky, meant to represent ‘the individual and universal sentiments associated with emigration – sadness at leaving, but the hope of a new future in another place.’ You’d be best driving here (probably 15 mins from central Liverpool or less, and there are directions, or public transport information here. We were lucky as it was sunny but wrap up whatever the weather to avoid freezing on the beach!

Have you ever visited Liverpool or have I encouraged you to plan a trip today? If you happen to be a Liverpool local and have any recommendations, for sightseeing or eating/drinking, do leave a comment below!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

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20 thoughts on “Recommended: Liverpool

  1. Oooh how spooky – my boyfriend just had an interview in Liverpool yesterday, so we’ve just been talking about the possibility of moving down there! I’m glad to see the stereotypes are well off the mark. Coming from Glasgow, I’m well aware how outdated and wrong they can be. Thanks for this Rebecca – feeling a bit more positive about the potential move! x

    • I’ve always had the impression that Liverpool and Glasgow are quite alike, despite having never actually visited Liverpool. Underrated, post-industrial cities with big personalities, interesting culture, great people and intense rivalries. I’m sure you’d settle in just fine!

  2. Liverpool’s amazing. There’s so much to do.

    If you’re staying for a little longer though I’d recommend a trip out of the city centre to Lark Lane, a quirky ‘bohemian’ road full of cafes (try The Moon and Pea), restaurants, bars and independent shops. It’s on the edge of Seftpn Park, a beautiful green space which hosts Summer events like Liverpool’s Food and Drink Festival and Africa Oye. It’s also home to a Victorian glasshouse, the Palm House, which is very special to me because it was our wedding reception venue! It’s a short walk from our house and we’ve spent countless hours there. Well worth a visit.

    There’s always something planned in Liverpool so definitely check an events schedule before you come. In May, there’s Liverpool’s LightNight where galleries, museums and special exhibitions stay open until the wee small hours. There’s a great atmosphere and we had lots of fun at the last one. There’s also a literary festival coming up in April/May which I’ll be checking out.

    Of course, every visitor also get a ‘Feeeery ‘cross the Meeeersey’, have a bowl of scouse, see the cathedrals on Hope Street, and join the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour!

    Ah, I love Liverpool! I’m glad you had a fun visit. Lynsey, if you do make the move, you’ll love it!

  3. My recommendations for Liverpool as follows:
    – Kazimier – excellent gig venue will surprisingly good bar! Near Liverpool 1
    – Food – Salt House Tapas is great as is Lunya in Liverpool 1
    – If you can be bothered to find it (5 mins in a cab from Liverpool 1), Camp and Furnace is excellent. It’s a converted warehouse, great eclectic mix of people and lovely food and drink
    Would really recommend taking the Ferry across the Mersey on a sunny day too 🙂

  4. This is timely, I’m going in June (for a beer festival!). I forget there’s a Tate there. Will try make a weekend of it, but I’ll have to do some research on other things to see and do.

  5. I’d love a weekend in Liverpool and have long -promised to take my mum! Being from Cardiff, I get the impression it’s a similar vibe and one I love! That’s a great deal at the Mal, I’ll sign up for their newsletter

    x

  6. My mum and I are hoping to take a trip to Liverpool when the weather warms up a bit – an overnight stay with plenty of shopping! Will have to keep my eyes peeled for some more Malmaison deals!

    xoxo

  7. This post makes me excited… I’ve been trying to convince my friends and my man to book a weekend break to Liverpool for years… now I can send them this link and INSIST that they accompany me!

    Thanks for this! 🙂

  8. Yay! Glad to see some people loving Liverpool!

    @Katie @Kates and @Sarah hope you enjoy your trips!
    @Laura is right there is always so much going on – always check online.
    @Lynsey – whoop that is exciting – fingers crossed!
    @Louise thanks for the recs!

  9. We visited last August and stayed at Hope Street Hotel- booked through Mr and Mrs Smith. The food there was amazing 🙂
    We also did the Beatles / Liverpool and Maritime museums and really enjoyed the live music in the Cavern during the Saturday afternoon.
    Our most interesting find /Surprise was ‘The Green Room’ a comedy / cabaret type venue owned by Ricky Tomlinson who hosts the evening and then stays for drinks afterwards! a great night out away form the usual crowds of teenagers!

  10. Liverpool remains one of the last of the UK’s cities for me to see so I think a visit is long overdue! I always hear great things about it and looks like there is plenty to do. I wasn’t aware it had the potential for a bit of sea air!

    Hmmm just need to think of the best weekend and travel buddy! 🙂

    x

  11. So happy to read all these great comments about Liverpool! I have lived here for 12 years now and absolutely love it!

    Another top foodie tip would be Lucha Libre on Wood Street, fantastic street style Mexican food and right next door to FACT, our Art-house cinema/exhibition space…

    Bold Street has loads of great shops, cafes and restaurants too, and I’d definitely recommend both Leaf and the Italian Club Fish as part of a night out.

    Liverpool also has the most green spaces of any city I know and Sefton Park and Calderstones Park are great for a sunny afternoon, as are either Proms at Otterspool, or at Waterloo/Crosby (where the Anthony Gormley exhibition is).

    And one last tip – You can do a tour of the Radio City Tower on the weekend for the most amazing view of the city….. I could go on and on!!!

  12. I went to Liverpool for the first time a few months ago and it was fab! I took my husband to Anfield and we stayed in an apartment down near the malmaison. One recommendation – we had breakfast in Moose Coffee on Dale Street which was great.

    My mum had always said how great Liverpool was, she visited the Cavern many times when she was younger and was in the Ferry Cross The Mersey film so I’ve always wanted to visit.

    Lynsey – we’re from Glasgow as well and I do think both cities have a similar kind of vibe.

  13. I’m actually planning a weekend away with some girlfriends in early August and Liverpool is on the list of places to go! I went on a hen do last year but didn’t get a chance to really see the city, so I’d like to explore some of the places I only managed to catch a glimpse of! Will definitely check out the Mal as well, looks like it’s in a perfect location! xx

  14. I’m another Liverpool native and I recommend the city to anyone – I love it when I find posts like this and I sincerely hope it means the seed of a Liverpool city break idea is planted in people’s minds! I find it does have lots of similarities with Glasgow (and I know, since I’m married to a Glaswegian boy, though we live in Manchester now), both cities have that gritty sort of reputation, but I think both are emerging in terms of tourist appeal which is great. They are both cities I intend to write much more about myself, because neither get enough praise!

  15. Love your post and everyone’s comments too! I’ve recently moved back home to Southport having lived down south and in the midlands for the last 15 years so I’m rediscovering the area including Liverpool! All the recommendations are brilliant – we’re going to head over there this afternoon to check some of them out!
    Thanks!
    Nicola

  16. I second the tips for
    Lucha Libre – the best Mexican food and ridiculously reasonably priced
    FACT – just great and their membership deals (birthday present!) are good value
    Moose Coffee – yes, brill for breakfasts

    And for a pub our fave is the Ship and Mitre, many many beers, very friendly atmoshpere. I enjoy working my way through the fruit beers.

    We’ve moved from London to North Wales spending a stint in Liverpool inbetween, I do miss it!

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