You may be in Liverpool for the footie or a festival but, if you can find the time, you should definitely take in some of the city’s top attractions. From historic buildings to world-class parks, there are just so many to choose from, and most are within easy walking distance of the centre, too. No sightseeing trip to Liverpool would be complete without a stroll around Albert Dock, a World Heritage site crammed with museums. Or go and see what the fuss is all about with a stadium tour around Anfield or Goodison Park. Sightseeing’s even easier if you’re staying at a Premier Inn hotel in Liverpool – there’s one close to all the must-sees so you can pack even more into your busy city break.
Although battered by the Blitz, the Liverpool skyline remains incredibly beautiful. So if architecture’s your thing, you’ll be in heaven – the city has over 2,500 listed structures and more Georgian buildings than Bath. But which ones should you point your wide-angle lens at? We’ve picked some examples that stand out above the rest.
About eight miles south of the city centre, close to our Liverpool John Lennon Airport hotel, is the National Trust-owned Speke Hall. Distinctly Tudor in appearance with its black and white exterior and timber frame, it was restored in the 19th Century, giving it many Victorian arts and crafts features, too. It was built by the Catholic Norris family in Elizabethan times, when the religion was outlawed. The building retains several fascinating Tudor security features, such as priest holes and an eavesdropper – used by servants to listen in on people.
No matter what brings you to Liverpool, a visit to Britain’s largest cathedral really is a must. Liverpool Cathedral boasts the world’s highest and widest gothic arches and the UK’s biggest church organ. It’s free to enter, but it’s worth paying the extra for the Tower Experience tour. The tour includes a trip to the bell chamber and a film about how the cathedral was built, but the highlight has to be the view from the top. It’s breathtaking, and definitely the best place to catch the sunset in the city.
Buy a Liverpool postcard to send home and it’ll undoubtedly feature the Royal Liver Building. With its twin Liver bird statues perched on the top, it’s one Liverpool’s most iconic landmarks – and one that the locals are very proud of. Beautiful by day, it’s even more stunning when lit up by night. Marvelling from the outside is free, but it’s not generally open to the public, except on Heritage Open Days. Should your visit coincide with one, it’s worth going to get a rarely-seen view of the Mersey.
Get your camera ready if you’re going to Liverpool Town Hall – and you won’t need any fancy filters because this Grade I-listed masterpiece is seriously photogenic. The 18th century building is imposing from the outside, but the interior’s even better, with the grandest suite of civic rooms in the country and a jaw-dropping domed hall, featuring a statue of Minerva, Goddess of Wisdom. It's very popular as a wedding venue so you’ll need to check the website before you visit to find out exactly when tours are running.
A city break to Liverpool doesn’t have to be all about the urban hustle and bustle. The city’s covered with green spaces, so you don’t have to travel too far from your Liverpool hotel to get out in the fresh air.
At 235 acres, Sefton is Liverpool’s biggest park by far – and it’s a real beauty. Grade-I listed, it’s full of Victorian charm, from the steamy, wrought-iron Palm House to the beautiful bandstand; there’s even a Victorian grotto called Old Nick’s Caves. If that’s not enough to keep the kids amused, there’s a boating lake, two play areas and plenty of lush grass to run around on. And it’s only a stone’s throw from boho Lark Lane, too, with its mix of independent shops, bars and cafes.
Stanley Park may be most famous for dividing Liverpool and Everton football grounds, but this Green Heritage Award-winning park is a lot more than just a match-day thoroughfare. Close to our Liverpool (West Derby) hotel, the park boasts well-kept lawns, a play-park and a fishing lake, plus there’s the Isla Gladstone Conservatory. This Grade II- listed building has been lovingly refurbished and is now a very popular wedding venue. If you can tear yourself away from doing a bit of bride-spotting, the park also has some of the best-kept flower beds in Liverpool.
Croxteth Country Park may only be a 30-minute bus ride from the city centre, but it feels a world away. The wooden adventure play area, jungle park and miniature railway make it a huge hit with the kids, but there’s also a working Victorian farm, orienteering trails to test your navigational skills and a walled garden (open between April and October). If the weather turns nasty, you can always head into Croxteth Hall itself and find out how the Earls of Sefton and their servants lived in Edwardian times.
No visit to Liverpool would be complete without a trip to these fun-filled attractions. You just need to work out where to go first.
It’s a World Heritage site with the largest collection of Grade I-listed buildings in the country, but that’s not all. Albert Dock has more attractions than you can shake a tourist map at – and they’re all so close together, too. All the biggies are here - take your pick from Tate Liverpool, Merseyside Maritime Museum, the International Museum of Slavery and the Beatles Story. Even if you don’t fancy a museum, you could just have a riverside stroll, or grab a bite to eat from one of the areas many restaurants and bars. Our hotel near Albert Dock puts you at the centre of all the waterside action.
If the Albert Dock’s Beatles Story museum hasn’t scratched your John, Paul, George and Ringo itch, hop on board the Magical Mystery Tour. This colourful coach will take you and your fellow Beatlemaniacs all over Liverpool, showing you where the Fab Four grew up and the locations that inspired their most famous songs – and all to a Beatles soundtrack, courtesy of the in-coach stereo. The tour ends at the Cavern Club on Mathew Street where you’ll get free entry when you produce your bus ticket. Warning: there will be sing-alongs.
Having its own arena turned Liverpool into an entertainment powerhouse and brought some of the world’s biggest and best acts to the city’s doorstep.
Echo Arena has a magnificent Waterfront location, plus it’s the only arena and convention centre under one roof in Europe. It was built in 2008 to coincide with Liverpool’s year as the European Capital of Culture and it looks truly spectacular at night, all lit up. Whether you’re there to rock out or to enjoy one of the world’s best comedians doing what they do best, there’s a Premier Inn hotel near the Echo Arena that’s just a riverside stroll away.
Football’s almost a religion here, and you can’t leave town without paying a visit to one of its temples - Anfield or Goodison Park. Both stadiums are steeped in history but, if you can’t get matchday tickets, the tours are the next best thing.
A tour of Anfield is an entertaining experience even if you’re not a die-hard footie fan. Take a look at the newly expanded Main Stand and then sit in the Kop – the sheer scale of the place never fails to impress. See how the other half live (and get some of the best views of the pitch) from the director’s box and then explore the manager’s dug-out for the perfect photo opportunity.
It may be slightly less well-known than its neighbour Anfield, but what Goodison Park lacks in international prestige, it more than makes up for in history. The home of Everton (and the Blue half of Liverpool’s footballing divide) ‘The Grand Old Lady’ is one of the world’s oldest purpose-built football stadiums and has hosted more top-flight games than anywhere else in England. Take a tour to find out all about its 120-year history and get to have a good nose behind the scenes.
Liverpool is one of England’s most cosmopolitan cities; it was even the 2008 European capital of culture. Whether you’re passing through, looking for heritage, culture and live 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 really so much to see and do in the surrounding area of Merseyside.
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