My heart sinks every time I say this, as the Great British Pound is at its lowest for over 30 years, now is the time for you to discover how amazing some of our UK towns and cities really are. Liverpool is a place with an incredible history and it’s even home to some world firsts and maritime gems.
7 Scouse Facts:
- Place of the world’s first railway, Liverpool and Manchester Railway
- Home to Europe’s oldest Chinese community
- Liverpool was previously described as the “New York of Europe”
- The city was the first in the UK to operate an airport from 1930
- Home to the first lending-library, arts centre and theatre
- James Street and Hamilton Square stations are the oldest deep level underground stations in the world
- Apart from London, Liverpool is the most filmed city in the UK used as movie and TV sets to depict Moscow, New York and even Rome
Where should you visit?
Don’t expect spectacular sandy beaches or pristine sunshine weather, however what Liverpool does offer in bucketloads is culture and history. Before visiting I had no idea that the city is home to the most museums outside of London and thankfully most of them are free!
Museum of Liverpool
This place has everything! A really well laid-out museum that features information about the Overhead Railway, Liverpool’s Chinese community, The Beatles and even about the products that used to be shipped in from all around the world.
I’d recommend that if you don’t know much about Liverpool’s past, this would be the best place to start. You’ll feel absorbed into its past but also be intrigued by what will happen in the future.
The world’s very first train, The Lion, is housed here. It was built in 1838 and was used on the Liverpool to Manchester Railway, an incredible achievement for the city.
St Johns Beacon / Radio City Tower
This place is an absolute must-see whilst visiting the city! At only £5.50 (2016 prices) it is such a bargain and if you pick the right day you’ll see as far away as the Blackpool Tower and even North Wales. When I visited there was barely anyone there which I thought was rather sad given how sunny it was. At less than a quarter of the price to visit the Shard in London and with a much better view make sure you add it to your to do list.
If you follow my blog you’ll know I’m not religious, however I do like visiting places like this and discovering the history. Liverpool’s Cathedral was completed in 1978, so it isn’t particularly old but it does look incredible sitting on top of St James’s Mount.
I genuinely didn’t know that the Titanic was a “Liverpool ship”, nor did I realise I could discover all about it in Liverpool. This museum is smaller than the Museum of Liverpool but is well worth seeing as with most museums it is free!
Make sure you check out the International Slavery Museum too, it’s linked to the Maritime Museum and even though incredibly sad it’s also a fascinating look into our past and how slaves helped drive the fortunes of not only Liverpool but the UK as a whole.
After the docks finally closed in 1972 most of the area fell into disrepair and was in urgent need of some TLC, thankfully in the early 1980’s the area was given a regeneration makeover and is now the most visited multi-attraction site in the UK, outside London.
I found the Albert Dock to be the perfect blend of old vs new with its well-maintained heritage but also striving forward with new buildings like the Museum of Liverpool. I only remember the Albert Dock from when I was little and the TV show This Morning used to be broadcast from here, well it has certainly changed since then.
Make sure you check out the cute historical vehicles that are now used by food vendors.
Visit the homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Sadly I didn’t get the chance to visit either of them, but I thought I’d add it here for any Beatles fans amongst my readers.
Often described as England’s finest Victorian city, Liverpool is home to more than 2,500 listed buildings and more Georgian houses than the city of Bath, isn’t it time you checked it out?
For me, Liverpool is home to a buzzing cafe culture and thankfully due to its history and multi-cultured society I was able to experience everything from Jamaican to Thai cuisines.
I really enjoyed trying the tasty sweet delights at East Avenue Bakehouse in the RopeWalks district and also trying out the amazing poached eggs at Cheese & Co. opposite the Queen Victoria Monument.
Although not necessarily hidden, they are a gem. I love seeing all of the old vehicles that are now being used to serve street food and ice creams. A really nice touch.
Liverpool has to be one of, if not the most-friendly city I’ve visited in the UK. Ignore the pre-conceptions you hear, it is safe and very much welcoming to tourists.
Top tip: If you’re looking to buy property for investment in the UK, I’d strongly suggest Liverpool as this place is definitely on the up!
Liverpool LGBT scene
Don’t expect the gay scene hubs of London or Manchester, however you can encounter an intimate affair in the designated LGBT quarter. Stanley Street is where you’ll find bars including the Lisbon and the Curzon to name only a few places to visit.
With many other gay scenes in the UK slowly dying of death, Liverpool prides itself on being the first city in the UK to identify its LGBT quarter by installing rainbow street signs to highlight the area as gay-friendly.
How to get here?
Liverpool is one of the easiest cities to visit in the UK, situated on the west coast of England it is ideally situated to arrive by air, rail, ferry or road.
Air: Liverpool John Lennon Airport is one of the fastest growing in the UK in terms of passenger numbers, thankfully there’s plenty of domestic and international connections, mostly from Eastern Europe.
Rail: Liverpool Lime Street is the main hub with regular trains from London, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and North Wales.
Road: At the most Western point of the M62 (a.k.a the biggest parking lot after the M25) it’s really simple to drive to the ‘Pool.
Sea: The Port of Liverpool offers regular ferries to the Isle of Man and Dublin, you’ll also have access to a wide variety of exotic cruise destinations.
If you’d like to discover more photographs and information from this trip or any others please feel free to ask me any questions. You can visit my Facebook page and please don’t forget to ‘Like’ Travel Geek UK.