I have a soft spot for Europe. I love to travel and visit interesting places.
Ever Since I Was A Young Boy.
Ever since I was a young boy, I enjoyed trips with my parents, thumbing through atlases, and hearing stories about faraway countries. Those stories would tickle my imagination. I simply had to learn more.
While I attended high school, I used part of my school holidays and spare time to earn money that I would eventually spend on my summer vacation trips. I loved delving into travel guides and encyclopaedias to plan those journeys in detail. Places that had historical or cultural significance, held prominent positions in these plans as well as attractive, mainly meaning different from where I lived, countrysides or seashores. Fortunately, language barriers and unfamiliar customs never bothered me. The bonus of going on these trips meant I was going to meet people speaking different languages and meet strangers from diverse backgrounds. Using budget accommodation or camping improved the chance to meet like-minded individuals.
My first journeys abroad were by train, boat, and bicycle. Using the bike added an extra sporty flavor to these trips. Cycling is a great form of exercise and gives you access to plenty of fresh air. I also fondly remember visiting bookstores and record stores on my early trips abroad. Especially when I visited large cities like London or Paris. The selections they offered were so much bigger and often much cheaper, than our local dutch shops. I could literally spend an afternoon browsing through their offers.
By being abroad, I realized there was so much more to see and do than I ever imagined. Had I never crossed a border, I would certainly have missed out on that. There is such an abundance of possible experiences to gain by traveling. I could hear different sounds, smell exotic scents, taste new flavors, see exciting architecture, and explore beaches and mountains. Through traveling, I felt more alive. So speaking of travel, I would like to invite you to follow me on a trip through Liverpool.
Liverpool and the Beatles. The Beatles and Liverpool. Growing up in Malaysia and later on in the Netherlands, Liverpool always had a magic sound because the Fab Four came from Liverpool.
So a visit to Liverpool wouldn't feel complete without paying homage to these lads.
Nevertheless, Liverpool has much more to offer.
I'll try to give an impression of the city. Although I know I'll only be scratching the surface, it will take a Liverpudlian to sing its praise properly.
Liverpool is situated in the North West of England. Population: 460,000. If you add the urban area adjacent to Liverpool, then the number tops 800,000. Liverpool lies along the Mersey Estuary.
Immortalized in the song "Ferry Across The Mersey."
Ask a native of Liverpool to name his biggest annoyance. You always get the same answer, namely: the building projects and the problems posed with it. But at the same time, the people of Liverpool are very proud. Their city is no longer a humble port. No, it is a metropolis! The time that you just came for football and The Beatles is over. There is more to do — a lot more.
You may well go shopping in Liverpool. Especially in the city center, you will find several shopping areas. There's the Metquarter. In this mall, you will find all the designer shops. And when you're tired of shopping? Then you can relax and sit on one of the red benches.
Ever Been To Liverpool
You can easily spend an afternoon walking from the Anglican Liverpool Cathedral, past St Luke to the Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral.
When you look at the dominant physical place the two cathedrals claim, you may get the feeling that both are playing a game of tug and war to decide forever which of the religions is the most important.
That being said I do enjoy the architecture, history, and art that these buildings display, and I do respect the effort and devotion put into erecting these buildings.
And, let's face it, these buildings often provide people with a quiet spot to contemplate during the hustle and bustle of life.
From the three buildings described below, the one in the middle (St Luke) is a monument to illustrate how much impact a war can have on a city. Even if it lies hundreds of miles away from the battlefront.
How People Describe Liverpool
A great musical heritage
The second most bombed city outside of London
Sense of humour
Grit and Determination
This stunning Liverpool Cathedral was built in the early twentieth century.
It took a whopping 74 years of building to make it as it is now.
Mr. Giles Gilbert Scott (the man who is also responsible for the design of the typical British red telephone) and George Bodley were appointed as the architects who could give leadership in 1904 with the laying of the first stone, and further build this cathedral.
Following their submitted draft the cathedral has a nice gift shop, restaurant and observation tower.
The neo-Gothic cathedral of red stone has beautiful large stained glass windows. From the tower you have a wonderful view of the city.
Since 1962, it took five years to build this very uniquely shaped Roman Catholic Cathedral in Liverpool. It is the largest Catholic cathedral in England.
The architect Sir Frederick Gibberd is responsible for this beautiful piece of ecclesiastical design.
The interior is just as modern as the exterior suggests.
The Catholic cathedral is sometimes called 'Wigwam' by the locals.
And that's understandable.
The church is reminiscent of an enormous concrete teepee.
The inside of the Cathedral is stunningly beautiful.
Especially the stained-glass windows are worth a long look.
St Lukes Church
St Luke's Church was once an Anglican parish church, which is presently a ruin.
In addition to doing a job as a parish church, it was also meant to be used as a venue for ceremonial worship, and as a concert hall.
It was seriously damaged during German bombardments in 1941 (the Liverpool Blitz) and remains as a roofless shell.
Now it is a memorial to those who were lost in the war, and it is also a venue for events and exhibitions.
Albert Dock Area
National Museum Liverpool
The Albert Dock
The Albert Dock is the most popular place in town.
This old port area is located on the famous Mersey River.
Until the eighties, the Albert Dock was a run-down port area.
There used to put the ships, but now it's a place where you can find many great museums.
But the old warehouses were given a makeover and now it is the hotspot of Liverpool.
You will find nice restaurants , trendy bars and several top museums , including:
- Merseyside Maritime Museum (all about ports and shipping )
- International Slavery Museum
- Tate Museum ( modern art )
- The Beatles Story
- The Liverpool Museum
Throughout the year, the Albert Dock, the place that you must visit.
In the summer, everyone is on the waterfront terraces.
Albert Dock Museums
Merseyside Maritime Museum
In this museum you will get an idea of the ships that were built in the past through the huge propellor blades, steam engines and beacons on display. You get a feeling how important the great shipyards of Liverpool were and how global the city. The exposition over the demise of famous ships like the Titanic [from the 1997 blockbuster movie by the same name] Empress of Ireland and Lusitania, displaying massive replicas is worth while.
International Slavery Museum
A black page in the history of Liverpool. Ships bearing from Liverpool brought more than one million slaves to their destination in Central or South America. Paintings, torture tools, a model of a plantation, videos of descendants of slaves and explanations about slavery and an introduction to African cultures that nearly disappeared, make this an impressive museum.
This small annex of the London Tate displays a remarkable collection of modern art. The museum is nice and spacious and you will find work by among other Warhol, Mondrian and Pollock.
The Beatles Story
This museum is the perfect tribute. Much attention is of course paid to The Fab Four but also to the 60s and artists that influenced the Beatles like Little Richard and Elvis Presley are on revue. There's also a huge Yellow Submarine. I enjoyed watching fellow visitors hum or even sometimes sing along with the Music.
Museum Of Liverpool
Quite an exceptional museum, with something for everyone. This landmark building (and very new) Museum of Liverpool is the world’s first national gallery devoted to the story of a regional city, describing Liverpool’s unique offering to the world. This includes the stage where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met, a life-size Liverbird, Ben Johnson’s Liverpool Cityscape, from Ford’s Halewood production line the first Ford Anglia and Chris Boardman’s famous Lotus sport bike.
Don’t leave before watching the 360º immersive films about The Beatles and football! The Football film was astounding, and the combination of exhibits really captured Liverpool's life, energy and indomitable spirit.
Many people rarely make it past the 2nd floor because they spend so much time dreaming away at the aquarium and the bugs area, captured by big tanks and leaf cutter ants.
Another must do is to visit the other museums. Most are free and very worthwhile.
Besides the museums at the Albert Dock (I discussed them earlier) you can also visit The Walker Gallery (From Rembrandt to Matisse) and the World Museum (about animals and civilizations ) for a fun visit.
They are - and this is useful - at walking distance from each other.
And a stone's throw from St Georges Hall.
This is perhaps the most beautiful building in the city.
Inside you will find include a beautiful theater with golden balconies.
Walker Art Gallery
The Walker Art Gallery displays a comprehensive art collection. In fact one of the largest in England, outside of London. Close to Lime Street Station.
This is what I could describe as your typical big city art museum. It is well run with a broad range of work, in a mixture styles and a wide range of artists
It is member of the National Museums Liverpool club and is touted as "the National Gallery of the North" since it is not merely a local or regional gallery but it is part of the national museums and galleries served directly from central government funds.
Walker Art Gallery is a wonderful building housing a marvelous collection of art.
The galleries hold a large cross section of contemporary and classic art including paintings from the thirteenth century up to the present day: you can admire work by Hockney, Rembrandt, Holbein, Turner, Rossetti, Lowry, Freud and Millais to name but a few.
It is built in the grand fashion and well suited to present the paintings.
This gallery has a big variety and mixture of art which will appeal to all tastes.
They also have a craft and design gallery, a sculpture gallery,and a gallery specially designed for children (Big Art for Little Artists)
World Museum Liverpool. A fabulous family day out!
Over five free floors, beautifully and spaciously set, to explore. A varied and engaging place to while away an hour or two, depending on how much of its multiple floors you take in. It has something for everyone.
Liverpool's World Museum is probably one of the best attractions of its kind in the country. Its various levels incorporate displays and exhibits covering natural and human history (aquarium, bug house, ancient Egypt, dinosaurs and space) and there are many interesting items which can be viewed, even held, up close. Displays vary from the traditional to the interactive. The top floor, which covers the subjects of space and time, houses the museum's planetarium which provides concise and accessible talks on matters cosmic. What a great museum. And all of this comes with free entry...a thoroughly recommended museum experience.
There are also two cafés to treat yourself to a beverage if the whole experience has worn you out.
Walker Art Gallery
Liverpool is the ideal destination for a weekend getaway. There are great museums, you can go shopping and in the evening it is very cozy. Liverpool is not called the City of Music for nothing.
You do not usually visit England for its weather. Liverpool may sometimes look bleak from the rain. But when the sun shines, it's delicious. Liverpool is nice in the spring, then you have the most chance of good weather .
Are you a Football fan ? Then a weekend Liverpool is certainly recommended . Because you often get a match of FC Liverpool in the weekends. If there isn't a game on you always visit the stadium and the club shop.
Liverpool Football would not be complete without Everton FC, the other club from Liverpool who plays in the Barclays Premier League. The Merseyside derby is the name given to matches between these two rival clubs, Liverpool FC being 'the Reds' and Everton FC being 'the Blues'. Getting tickets to a Merseyside Derby will not be easy.
In this center regular exhibitions are held and you can briefly escape the bustle of the city by wandering through its the leafy garden .
Liverpool is near the sea, so on a nice day you can go out of town and walk along the beach or through the dunes Formby Point!
Let Me Take You Down Cause I'M Going To
The Beatles Penny Lane
The Beatles Strawberry Fields Forever
And then. Ladies & Gentlemen. The Beatles.
The prize winning Beatles Story is a unique attraction that will take you down to an exciting and atmospheric trip into the life, culture, times, and music of the famous Beatles.
Observe how four adolescents from Liverpool were launched to the dizzy heights of global fame and fortune to become the most celebrated band of all time.
Halfway through the tour I was unconsciously murmuring the tunes and just before the end I had to be pulled out as we had to go. There's something here for the young and the old. The music, the films, the culture, the posters, the personalities, the history and yes, the scandals too.The Beatles Story isn't just about songs, it's a glow and a warm fuzzy sensation.
The Beatles Story is split across two sites. And it can be rather busy. So be sure to make your reservation in advance.
Paul McCartney's House
The childhood home of Beatles' Paul McCartney is maintained by The National Trust. It has been returned to its 1950s look for public viewing and tours.
Visiting this modest house is like taking a real step back in time. Reminiscent, evocative and it gives you a better perception of the groups background.
The National Trust has done a great job faithfully restoring the building and its rooms to reflect the character and surroundings that Paul McCartney grew up in. It is like entering a time capsule and quite charming. Not to be missed
John Lennon's House
The home where John Lennon lived during his youth, from 1945 to 1963, is also run by the National Trust.
We booked a trip through the National Trust; you meet at Jurys Inn Liverpool and they take you in a mini-bus to both Paul McCarneys and John Lennon's boyhood homes.
When I stepped into Mendips, I nearly choked up. I am grateful his wife Yoko ensured it was not sold & modernised,
Just like entering Paul's house stepping over the threshold to John's house was like stepping back in (music) history.
Anyone interested in the 50´s and 60´s might want to add this to their trip.
It´s only available with the National Trust tours, so you must book in advance.
The Cavern Club is often thought of as the cradle of British pop music.The place where the Beatles were discovered by their manager Brian Epstein and where they worked on honing their craft.The original Cavern club has been dismantled but on the same street a replica was built, open for visitors.In the basement you have got this fantastic atmosphere when they regularly have someone up on stage performing the Beatles classics.
Pilgrimage to the Cavern Club
Things to do in Liverpool: Final Thoughts
I have been to Liverpool thrice. But I must say I am certainly going back on my next trip to the UK.
If you want to get a good impression of Liverpool, I suggest spending at least four full days there.
You could use them for:
- Exploring The Albert Dock Area
- Visiting the museums in the city center
- Walking past the Three Churches I mentioned here
- Exploring the Beatles heritage
Well, maybe we'll meet one day in Liverpool.
Raymond Philippe (author) from The Netherlands on November 08, 2014:
Thanks Mel for your thumbs up. I bet California has a mighty lot to offer too ;-)
Mel Carriere from San Diego California on November 08, 2014:
I would love to make the pilgrimage to the home of the Beatles and so many other fine artists some day. You are fortunate to live on the European continent. Great hub!
Raymond Philippe (author) from The Netherlands on May 10, 2014:
I hope you are able to visit in on your next trip. Thanks for commenting and stopping by.
travmaj from australia on May 10, 2014:
I enjoyed this tour of Liverpool. Also feel a little ashamed. I grew up in North West Lancashire and visit whenever I can. Liverpool is always on my list but somehow has evaded me. I will definitely visit next time. Thank you.
Raymond Philippe (author) from The Netherlands on March 28, 2014:
Yes DDE I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The first time I visited Liverpool was on a cycling trip through England with my son. Have visited it 3 times after that first visit. Love it.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 28, 2014:
Liverpool has more than I had expected and this sounds such a great travel.
Neil on March 19, 2014:
Very good blog! from neil @beatleswalk
Raymond Philippe (author) from The Netherlands on March 19, 2014:
Thanks Eiddwen . Your visit and kind words mean a lot.
Eiddwen from Wales on March 19, 2014:
A wonderful hub ; so interesting and well presented. Great work and looking forward to many more.
Raymond Philippe (author) from The Netherlands on March 17, 2014:
Thanks guys. "srsddn" What a pitty you missed Liverpool on your stay in Manchester. Maybe next time around.
"Ericdierker " glad I could bring back some nice memories.
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on March 17, 2014:
Great job. I enjoyed Liverpool when there. this was a nice memory lane.
srsddn from Dehra Dun, India on March 17, 2014:
raymondphilippe, while I was a student at Manchester I heard a lot about Liverpool. I could never get a chance to visit it. Thank you very much for introducing this great place. It seems there is much to visit there. Voted up and useful.