Two big football teams, one Grand National steeplechase and three Royal Links golf courses all add up to one sports-mad city. In fact, the people here are so passionate about their sport that it even dictated the colour of their wheelie bins (purple, because it’s a mix of red and blue). That passion is all part of Liverpool’s unmistakable personality – and if you can’t beat them, why not join them? If you do decide to catch a match, a day at the races or a round of golf, rest assured there’s a Premier Inn not far from all the major venues. It’s the perfect place for getting any sporty city break off to a running start.
Home of Liverpool Football Club, Anfield is practically a place of worship in the city (unless you’re an Everton fan). Tickets for an actual game are like gold dust, but ardent Reds can still get their footie fix. There are stadium tours where you can sit in the dugout, an interactive museum that lets you take a penalty at a European Cup Final and even exclusive packages that include a three-course meal in an Executive Box overlooking the hallowed turf.
For ten minutes each April the eyes of the world are on Aintree when it hosts the most famous steeplechase in horse racing – the Grand National. But you can actually visit this historic racecourse all-year round. Soak up the history at the visitor centre, have a flutter at one of the four other annual race days or come for an evening of food, racing and music at one of the many events held here. It’s worth it just to sample some of Aintree’s hospitality.
Everton fans are a vocal bunch and the match day atmosphere at Goodison Park is electrifying. If you aren’t lucky enough to get tickets, a stadium tour is well worth it. Lasting just over an hour, you’ll learn about the club’s fascinating 120-year history on this behind-the-scenes amble. Knowledgeable guides take you down the tunnel, into the dressing rooms and even where the players relax after the game – interesting even if you’re not a die-hard supporter yourself.
Liverpool is one of England’s most cosmopolitan cities and was the 2008 European capital of culture. Whether you’re passing through, looking for heritage, pop culture and entertainment, checking out the universities, or planning a weekend break, there are plenty of reasons to book a hotel room in Liverpool. And with quaint fishing villages and market towns on its doorstep, there's so much to see and do in the surrounding area of Merseyside.