This year is a big one for Liverpool in north-west England – the birthplace of the Beatles, and a city where music, sports and culture fans will feel right at home.
Liverpool FC, one of the city’s two Premier League football teams, celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2017, while the Beatles’ iconic album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band turns 50. The latter will be celebrated with a three-week long series of special events and performances, taking place between 25 May and 16 June.
But whenever you visit, Liverpool has lots to offer. Claiming the title ‘European Capital of Culture 2008′, the city has experienced a renaissance in art and culture in recent years. It is home to an impressive collection of museums in which to discover the city’s 800-year-old history, while the arts scene has its feet firmly planted in the modern day, with the spruced up Albert Dock home to Tate Liverpool and cool FACT media arts centre.
A buzzing city filled with life, Liverpool’s many restaurants and boutiques ensure visitors will have a 48-hours to remember.
Time to check in:
Arty and discrete, 2 Blackburne Terrace in the city’s Georgian Quarter offers a haven of refined tranquillity. Located in a cultural hotbed with both the Everyman Theatre and Royal Philharmonic concert hall within walking distance, expect a welcome tray of sloe gin and macaroons on arrival in this upmarket and chic boutique guesthouse.
For fuss-free accommodation close to the city’s sights and attractions, Ibis Styles has funky reception areas, energetically coloured bars and public spaces, and a youngish, sociable crowd.
International Inn is a great option for budget travellers and is located in the heart of the city centre cultural quarter. A converted Victorian Warehouse with a choice of apartments, dormitory rooms and en suites, the hostel offers an insight into Liverpool’s history.
09:00 START WITH THE BEST COFFEE IN TOWN
Start your weekend with breakfast at The Cow & Co Cafe on Cleveland Square. Sitting quietly between the river and the main bustle of Ropewalks and L1, this friendly cafe serves up fantastic waffles and some of the best coffee in town.
11:00 SAMPLE SOME WORLD-CLASS ARTS AND CULTURE AT THE FAMOUS ALBERT DOCK
After breakfast, head over to the famous Albert Dock; the vibrant heart of Liverpool’s historic waterfront. Loop around the complex of restaurants, bars and shops, which make up the largest group of Grade I listed buildings in Britain, to the Tate Liverpool art gallery. The renovated dockland warehouse is home to hundreds of works from some of the biggest names in modern and contemporary art. Photography fans should head to Openeye Gallery at nearby Mann Island too.
13:00 LEARN ABOUT MARITIME HISTORY OVER LUNCH
You’ll be spoilt for choice for lunch around Albert Dock. Try the fourth floor Maritime Dining Rooms at the Maritime Museum. Take a wander around to learn about Liverpool’s important maritime history and pay a visit to the International Slavery Museum there too.
16:00 DISCOVER LIVERPOOL’S HERITAGE
An ideal place to get a sense of how Liverpool was shaped is the Museum of Liverpool. The Mann Island landmark tells the story of the city you see today from its beginnings as a village on the banks of the Lyver Pool. Exhibits include the Lion steam engine, the only remaining Liverpool Overhead Railway carriage (dating from the 1990s), and the stage from St Peter’s Church Hall in Woolton – where teenagers John Lennon and Paul McCartney met for the first time.
19:00 DINE IN THE SKY
How about dinner 300 feet above sea level? On the 34th floor of the West Tower, Panoramic 34 is one of Britain’s highest restaurants and a celebrated fine dining restaurant to boot with floor-to-ceiling windows offering breathtaking 360 degree views.
21:00 ENJOY SOME MUSIC!
Classical music fans should check out Britain’s oldest surviving professional symphony orchestra at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.
10:00 VISIT AN ICONIC LANDMARK
After breakfast, start the day at The Royal Liver Building, one of England’s most iconic landmarks. There are many myths about the liver bird sculptures, most of which believe that the birds are a female and male pair, with the female looking out to sea to protect seamen returning home. You can even get a Liver Bird’s-eye overview, by taking a spin on the 60m high Echo Wheel of Liverpool at King’s Dock, which even has its own VIP section.
11:00 EXPEREINCE LIFE-SIZE ART ON THE SHORELINE
Catch a handy Mersey Link train to Crosby Beach where sculptor Anthony Gormley’s haunting installation, ‘Another Place’, of 100 cast iron life-size figures stand along the shore. The beach also offers a new perspective of the Liverpool waterfront from the outward curve of the coast.
13:00 TIME FOR A TRENDY LUNCH
Have lunch in one of the many hip eateries in the city’s Georgian Quarter such as The Art School and London Carriage Works. Then wander around the well-preserved squares and street soaking up the history and atmosphere of buildings like Blackburne House and Paul McCartney’s ‘Fame School’. Explore the Bold Street/Seel Street area’s galleries and the trendy FACT media arts centre. If you fancy something spice, EastZeast
16:00 MARVEL AT LIVERPOOL’S CATHEDRAL ARCHITECTURE
Take in the stunning architecture of Liverpool’s two cathedrals. The Liverpool Cathedral is surrounded by stained glassed windows and a peaceful interior that creates an ideal space for a quiet moment of reflection. The Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral is a dramatic icon of faith and spectacular in both scale and design. Its majestic interior features modern works of art and the world’s largest stained glass window. Check for events before your visit, as there are often music concerts and walking tours on offer.
18:00 DON’T FORGET THE SOUVENIRS!
Before you leave there is just time for a spot of shopping (so you don’t have to carry bags around all day) at Liverpool One, the city’s stylish mega shopping experience before heading off thoroughly charmed by the city.
How to get here: Liverpool is a city in the north-west of England. Only two hours 15 minutes from London by train, it also has both the International John Lennon Airport and Manchester Airport nearby.