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Monday, January 25, 2010

Liverpool "European Capital of Culture 2008 and the home of The Beatles"

Liverpool is a city with great cultural heritage and was awarded the title of European Capital of Culture 2008, with the famous Pier Head Waterfront being a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2004. Liverpool is home to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and is also renowned for being the birthplace of a wide range of popular musicians including The Beatles, Gerry & the Pacemakers, Frankie goes to Hollywood, Echo & the Bunnymen and many more. The city possesses the largest national museum collection outside of London and has a fascinating and turbulent history as a great world maritime centre. Liverpool is home to Europe's oldest Chinatown. The famous Grand National Horse Race takes place in the outskirts of the city (Aintree).

Albert Dock

The Albert Dock is Liverpool's number one visitor attraction, showcasing the best of Liverpool in a stunning World Heritage waterfront setting.
Opened by Prince Albert in 1846, the Dock includes the largest group of Grade 1 listed buildings in the UK.
With award winning visitor attractions such as Tate Liverpool, BugWorld Experience, Yellow Duck Tours, The Beatles Story, Shiverpool Ghost Tours and The Merseyside Maritime Museum, the Dock also offers a range of stylish bars and restaurants including What’s Cooking, Baby Cream, Ha Ha Bar & Grill, Circo, Raven, Vinea, The Pan American Club, Pump House pub, Spice Lounge, Blue and Gusto.
The Dock also offers a good range of speciality souvenir and gift shops, numerous cafes and two hotels, Express by Holiday Inn and Premier Inn.

The Beatles Story

The basement of the Britannia Pavilion in Albert Dock houses "The Beatles Story" museum with memorabilia, photographs and films of the four Liverpool lads.
Hobbies & Activities category: Historic site; Miscellaneous collectibles museums


Built in 1884, the stadium has been home to Liverpool F.C. since they were formed in 1892 as a result of the original tenants Everton F.C. leaving the ground.
The stadium currently comprises four stands: Spion Kop, Main Stand, Centenary Stand and Anfield Road, giving a total capacity of 45,276. The record attendance at the stadium is 61,905 which was set in a match between Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1952. This record was set prior to the ground's conversion to an all-seater stadium in 1994; the changes, which were a result of the Taylor Report, greatly reduced capacity. Notable features of the stadium include two gates named after former Liverpool managers: the Bob Paisley gate and the Bill Shankly gate. In addition, a statue of Shankly is situated outside the stadium. Anfield's public transport links include rail and bus services but it lacks dedicated parking facilities.
Anfield is a UEFA elite stadium, and has hosted many international matches at the senior level, including England matches. The ground was also used as a venue during Euro 96. Earlier in its history the stadium was also used as a venue for different events, such as boxing and tennis matches. The ground is due to host matches during the 2015 Rugby World Cup, with pool matches taking place at the stadium.


Tate Liverpool is the home of the National Collection of Modern Art in the north, and in 2008 celebrated its twentieth year as a major presence in the city.
Located on the Grade One listed Albert Dock within easy walking distance from the City centre, the Tate Liverpool has become a venue for major exhibitions of international modern art, as well as hosting large and changing displays from the national collection, making it the ideal place to either see your favourite artwork or discover something new.
Tate Liverpool has seen some fantastic exhibitions over the recent years including work by Gustav Klimt, Rodin, Duchamp, Peter Blake, Giacometti and with the stunning work of 'Brit Art' movement including works by Sarah Lucas, Damien Hurst, Antony Gormley, Tracey Emin and Rachel Whiteread.
Attend one of our special events, entertain the family with our children's programmes, or simply enjoy the magnificent views across the Albert Dock from our café. However you choose to experience our Gallery, Tate Liverpool is the perfect place to relax, be inspired and have fun.

Roman-Catholic cathedral

Building began on the Roman-Catholic cathedral in 1928 only 0.5mi/0.5km from the Anglican cathedral. The original design was for a neo-Classical building, but only the crypt of this was completed. After the Second World War an architectural competition was held for the completion of the cathedral, the successful design - much more modest than the original plan, which would have produced the second largest church in Christendom, - was by Sir Frederick W. Gibberd, who had worked on the design of Heathrow airport.

The Cathedral, consecrated in 1967, is a massive circular structure centered on a lantern of medieval type and can accommodate a congregation of 3,000. Round this cylindrical lantern tower is a huge "tent" 200ft/61m in diameter, rising sharply to a funnel-shaped drum 270ft/82m high. Since the Cathedral is built on a hill it has the appearance of a huge lantern rising above the city. The principal structural materials are steel and glass - more glass than in any other cathedral. Opinions differ widely as to whether it is beautiful or not, but it must be conceded that it is striking. It has many nicknames among the local people such as "wigwam", "spaceship" and "Mersey Funnel". The altar, a block of white marble 10ft/3m long and weighing 10 tons, is from Skopje, the capital of Macedonia in former Yugoslavia. The spaces between the 16 supporting piers are occupied by chapels, separated by blue and green glass walls.

Anglican Cathedral

The Anglican Cathedral, on St James's Mount, can accommodate a congregation of 2,500 and shows a sharp contrast in style to the Catholic Cathedral. It, too, was the result of an architectural competition in 1901, the successful architect was the then 22 year-old Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. When he died in 1960 the church was still not completed; it was finally consecrated in 1978, although services were already held in the building in the 1920s. It has only a single tower, 330ft/100m high, in place of the twin towers originally planned and is built of red sandstone from Woolton with a copper roof. The tower contains a carillon of some 2,500 bells, the largest of which weighs 4 tons. The Willis organ, with 9,704 pipes is one of the largest in the world. The Lady Chapel and stained glass are also very interesting.

Mr Hardman's Home Photographic Studio

Situated just below the Anglican Cathedral in the centre of Liverpool is this fascinating house, home between 1947 and 1988 to Edward Chambré Hardman and his wife Margaret. The house contains a selection of photographs, the studio where most were taken, the darkroom where they were developed and printed, the business records and the Hardman’s living quarters - complete with all the ephemera of post-war daily life. The subject matter of the photographs – portraits of the people in Liverpool, their city and the landscapes of the surrounding countryside – provide a record of a more prosperous time when Liverpool was the gateway to the British Empire and the world. Parallel to this is the quality of Hardman's work and his standing as a pictorial photographer.
For 40 years this elegant Georgian town house was both the workplace and home to E Chambre Hardman, Liverpool's best known portrait and landscape photographer. 59 Rodney St is the UK's only example of an intact mid-20th century photographic studio open to the public.
In 2010 there will be an exhibition at Rodney Street focusing on Margaret Hardman. The ‘unsung hero’ of the Hardman duo, it was Margaret who kept the business on track and took care of its day to day running and staff. In addition to her photographs, a selection of her day and evening wear, jewellery and other personal belongings will be on display.
Highlights of the visit include.
•See a selection of Hardman's evocative images celebrating Liverpool when it was the gateway to the world
•Watch our introductory film with reminiscences by those who knew and worked with Hardman
•Step back in time and experience life in post-war Liverpool, brought to life by the personal effects of Mr and Mrs Hardman
•Buy exclusive high quality Hardman prints

Liverpool Museum

Adjoining the Polytechnic building, the Liverpool Museum contains a variety of collections, covering almost every field of knowledge from archaeology to the sciences. Among them are an interesting collection of model ships and the department of space travel, the famous Ince Blundell Collection (ancient marble) and the Sassoon Collection of carved ivory, and Egyptian, Babylonian and Assyrian antiquities.

St George's Hall

The facade of the Classical St George's Hall (Brown Street) by Harvey Lonsdale Elmes, 1838-1854, is decorated with Corinthian columns. The Great Hall, with one of the world's largest organs, is used for concerts and congresses. To the rear are St John's Gardens, in which are statues of prominent Liverpool citizens.
Hobbies & Activities category: Architecture - Victorian; Architecture - Roman, Greek, classical; Garden or botanic display; Musical activity or concert hall; Standalone sculpture, statue or fountain

Speke Hall, Gardens & Estate

The atmospheric interior of this rambling house spans many periods. Originally built in 1530, its Great Hall and priest hole date from Tudor times, while the Oak Parlour and smaller rooms, some with William Morris wallpapers, show the Victorian desire for privacy and comfort. There is also fine Jacobean plasterwork and intricately carved furniture. A fully equipped Victorian kitchen and servants' hall enable visitors to see 'behind the scenes'. The restored garden has spring bulbs, a rose garden, summer border and stream garden, and there are woodland walks and magnificent views of the Mersey basin and North Wales hills from The Bund, a high bank.
Home Farm, a 5-minute walk from Speke Hall, is a model Victorian farm building, restored and part-adapted to provide a restaurant, shop and visitor facilities, and offers estate walks, children's play area and orchard.

Mendips & 20 Forthlin Road [Beatles]
A combined escorted tour of Mendips and 20 Forthlin Road, the childhood homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, is your only opportunity to see where the Beatles met, composed and rehearsed many of their earliest songs. Imagine walking through the back door into the kitchen where John’s Aunt Mimi would have cooked him his tea, or standing in the spot where Lennon and McCartney composed ‘I Saw Her Standing There’. Join our custodians on a fascinating trip down memory lane, and take a moment to reflect on these incredible individuals. Note: no WC at Mendips. Visits by NT minibus only (charge including NT members).
Open Bank Holiday Mondays. Admission by guided tour only; 27 February to 14 March and 3 November to 28 November all tours depart from Liverpool City Centre. 17 March to 31 October morning tours depart from Liverpool City Centre, afternoon tours depart from Speke Hall. Telephone infoline or visit Any photography or duplication of audio tour material is strictly prohibited. You will be asked to deposit all handbags, cameras and recording equipment at the entrance to both houses.

Walker Art Gallery

Did you know the Walker Art Gallery holds the best collection of fine and decorative art in the North of England and an ever-growing collection of contemporary art?
The collection includes painting, sculpture and decorative arts from over six hundred years. Medieval, Renaissance and Pre-Raphaelite classics by Rembrandt, Rubens, Millais, Rossetti, Turner and Holman Hunt hang alongside another star of the collection, the Liverpool Cityscape by Ben Johnson, commissioned by the gallery in 2008 providing a unique panorama of the changing city.
Don’t miss the Gallery’s exciting variety of modern and contemporary art including David Hockney, Bridget Riley and Henry Moore and a fantastic temporary exhibitions programme featuring Toulouse Lautrec in spring/ summer and the John Moores 2010 Contemporary Painting Prize in the autumn coinciding with the Liverpool Biennial.
For families there is Big Art for Little Artists– a specially designed children’s gallery created for children under 8 years old. Add to this our stunning craft and design gallery, a welcoming café and gift shop in magnificent surroundings and we reckon it's a perfect day out for any art lover - all within yards of Lime Street Station and free to visit every day!


Situated in the heart of the city, the Bluecoat is one of Liverpool's most distinctive buildings. The widely revered Grade 1 listed arts centre is over 290 years old and uses its unique spaces to showcase talent across visual art, music, dance, live art and literature. It also houses a creative community of artists and businesses and runs a participation programme with local communities.

George Pier Head

To the north of the George Pier Head the traditional trio of harbor buildings can be seen: the Port of Liverpool Building (administration) in Portland stone designed by Arnold Thornley in 1907, the Cunard Building named after the Canadian Samuel Cunard (Cunard opened the first shipping line Liverpool-Halifax-Boston) and the granite Royal Liver Building by W.A. Thomas (administration).


FACT is the UK's leading organisation for commissioning, exhibiting, promoting and supporting artists’ work and innovation in the fields of film, video, and new media. FACT believes in the ability of individuals and communities to express themselves creatively, and work with international artists to develop exhibitions, increase knowledge about new technologies and their social impact.
Housed in the iconic FACT building in the historic Ropewalks area of Liverpool city centre, FACT offers visitors the world class art exhibitions, new media training and an exciting programme of events.
FACT has two galleries - plus an interactive space, three state-of-the-art cinemas, The Box, a shop - voted 14th hottest in Liverpool! - a cool bar and a friendly café. Entry to exhibitions is FREE, and the building also has FREE Wi-Fi access throughout.

Sudley House

Experience the magnificent art collection of Victorian merchant ship owner George Holt in the heart of suburban Liverpool at Sudley House. A treasure trove of masterpieces await you by artists including Millais, Rossetti, Burne-Jones, Turner, Romney, Gainsborough and Landseer forming the only merchant art collection in the UK still in its original setting. A series of temporary exhibitions are hosted by Sudley House each year featuring costume and contemporary works.
Audio-visual displays on the ground floor recreate Victorian family life and younger visitors are welcome to enjoy the activities and resources in the Childhood Room. Visitors of all ages will enjoy the recently refurbished and extended Tea Rooms and the beautiful ground in which Sudley House is set.

Mersey Ferry Tour

With a spectacular view of the Liverpool skyline as well as a tour of the city's waterway, the Mersey Ferry Tour is a great way to learn about the area's seafaring history. The tours, which depart from the Pier Head, last about 50 minutes and include a stop at the Seacombe Terminal, where the Aquarium is located.

The Lady Lever Art Gallery holds one of the most beautiful collections of fine and decorative arts in the country. The gallery displays works collected by Leverhulme throughout his life. British 18th and 19th century painting, 18th century furniture and outstanding collections of Wedgwood and Chinese porcelain are among the treasures on show.

South Port

For art lovers, the Atkinson Art Gallery housed within the Southport Arts Centre is well worth a visit.
The collection includes nineteenth and twentieth century watercolours, and Victorian and twentieth century oil paintings.
Themed exhibitions from the permanent collection are regularly shown. Every month the Gallery 'spotlights' a "Painting (or Sculpture) of the Month", and a talk is given about the artist and the subject.

The Citadel Arts Centre provides a wide spectrum of performing and visual arts activities suc as live theatre, comedy, film, dance, fine art and family-friendly events in addition to its renowned music programme.


Don’t forget to take a visit to one of the two contemporary art galleries in Knowsley. The galleries provide a diverse and exciting programme of exhibitions exploring contemporary visual arts with education and outreach programmes. Located in Huyton and Kirkby (both within the main libraries) each host six to eight exhibitions per year. The two galleries present a high quality programme of exhibitions that are of international, national, regional and local importance.

Night Life In Liverpool

Baa Bar
This lively local pub is a favorite for good beer and conversations. Regulars flock here for the inexpensive brands of beer and entertaining banter. It's a superb place for a relaxing drink or pre-dinner pint.

On the last Friday of every month this club draws crowds from across the country and is considered the hottest club in Liverpool. Regularly open only on Saturday, there's great music and dancing in a huge warehouse. Be ready to get down until the early morning when you come here.

The Cavern Club

This place was hot in the 1960s and people still flock here for all-night dancing and music. It is considered by many to be one of the most famous clubs in the world. Music history and modern sounds collide at this great Liverpool nightspot.

Zanzibar Club
This is a great local dance club that features DJ's spinning the hottest sounds. It's also a great spot for a good beer and a night of dancing and socializing. The Zanzibar Club usually draws a younger crowd for nights out on the town.


By plane

Liverpool John Lennon Airport (IATA: LPL) (ICAO: EGGP). Around 160 flights arrive daily from within the UK and Europe. The airport is well-served by low-cost airlines including Easyjet and Ryanair. For a complete listing of airlines and destinations, see the Summer and Winter timetables.

The airport offers a Fast Track service, which for a charge, means you can bypass the queue at security, but this tends to be worthwhile only for first flights of the day or if you risk missing your flight.

Liverpool John Lennon Airport is about 12km to the south of the city centre. Immediately outside the arrivals area you will find a taxi rank and bus stops. Taxis to the city centre cost around £12 (Approx. €16, US$24) for the 20 minute journey.

Several bus routes go directly to the city centre from the airport:

  • The No. 500 Airport Express runs every 30 minutes and takes about 45 minutes to reach the city centre. Cost is £2.60/€4 Adults, £1/€2 Children and £5/€10 Families. Student discount: £1.40. It should be said that it is as quick to use the service buses (listed below) and it is significantly cheaper.

The following local buses cost £1.60 to get into the city centre (£1.40 for students). As discussed above, they're as quick and cheaper to use:

  • The No. 80A, run by Arriva, runs every 15 minutes and takes 45 minutes to the city centre.
  • The No. 82A, also run by Arriva, runs every 30 minutes and takes around 40 minutes to the city centre. This runs direct to Paradise Street interchange without stopping elsewhere in the city centre.
  • The No. 86A (Arriva) runs every 15 minutes during the day and now runs through the night, every half hour. This takes a little less time than the 80A as it is a more direct route down Smithdown Road. Journey time is 40 minutes but may be longer at peak traffic times.
  • The No. 81A also serves the airport, but does not go into the city centre. It may prove useful if you want to visit Woolton or the north of the city, as the route goes round the city ring road, Queens Drive, and terminates in Bootle.

The 80A and 86A also stop at Liverpool South Parkway station. It's a 10 minutes journey from where a frequent train service runs to the city centre in about 15 minutes. This may be a better option at times of peak road traffic (8AM-9AM, 5PM-6PM).

Manchester Airport (IATA: MAN) (ICAO: EGCC) can also be used and may be a better option. It is about a 45-60 minute drive away from Liverpool. Direct train services also run between Liverpool Lime Street Station and Manchester Airport operated by Northern Rail. Manchester Airport serves a variety of long haul destinations in North America and Asia, as well as short haul services throughout Europe.

Liverpool is served by Liverpool Lime Street station which is in the heart of the city centre. Trains arrive frequently from all parts of the U.K.

Liverpool is only about two hours from London by train. There's a train about every hour, with extra weekday evening peak services from London, and it's not too expensive to get there. You can get a saver ticket for £60 on the day of travel, or for as little as £12.50 if you book a couple of weeks in advance.

There is a direct train from Manchester Airport to Liverpool every hour at peak times (around 6:30AM-7:30PM). In addition, it is possible to reach Liverpool by changing at Manchester Piccadilly or Manchester Oxford Road.

Other main services

Birmingham, 1 hr 30 - 1h 45 minutes, half hourly Manchester, 50 minutes - 1h 10 minutes, 5 trains an hour (3 fast to Piccadilly and Oxford Road, of which 1 via Earlestown and 2 via Warrington, 1 slow to Oxford Road (extra services in peak times) and 1 slow to Victoria) Leeds, 2 hours, hourly Sheffield and Nottingham, 1h 30 mins and 3 hours respectively, hourly

By bus

  • National Express, the U.K.'s largest scheduled coach company has a bus station a short walk from Liverpool City Centre. London is four to five hours away by coach and is served by a half a dozen services per day. Manchester is served by an hourly service taking a similar time to the train (except at rush hour). Manchester Airport can be reached by coach in under one hour, six coaches run per day.
  • Megabus operates a fleet of ex-Hong Kong buses on its network across the U.K. There is one bus daily from London to Liverpool. Journey time 4-5 hours. Prices range from £1 (€1.46) to £11 (€16) depending on how far in advance you book.

Over the next 10 years a Park and Ride scheme will be developed, with easy access to the city centre, for more information see National Park and Ride Directory.

  • Liverpool One Executive Travel Provides an executive 16 seat minibus service from all airports, seaports and other locations. Prices vary depending on distances. Call 07761042952 or visit the website for further information.

Get around

Liverpool City Centre is small enough to walk around, but black cabs are plentiful if you are feeling lazy. Buses run out from the centre regularly from Paradise Street Interchange (mainly to the south) and Queen Square (mainly north/east). Both bus stations have travel centres with sometimes helpful staff who will assist with which bus to get and from which stand. At these, Saveaway, Solo and Trio travel passes can be purchased. The Saveaway presents a good value for the visitor, at £3.30 for unlimited travel for one day in 'Area C' (includes city centre, west out to Huyton, north to Crosby and south to Speke), including trains. All-zones saveaways can be obtained for about a pound more and will take you through the whole of the Merseytravel area. Perfect for visiting the Wirral ,and as far as Chester, or Southport, these include train and ferry services as well as buses. Trio (train, bus and ferry) and Solo (bus only) tickets require a photo, but have no peak-time limitations and can be bought for a week, month or year. This is ideal for visitors staying longer or working and therefore requiring more flexible travel. A Trio for one week costs about £14.70 for one zone, a Solo about the same for one area.

The train service in Liverpool is quite reliable and efficient these days (having once been nicknamed 'Miseryrail' and 'MerseyFail' by commuters). The main stations in the city centre are Central, Lime Street, Moorfields and James Street. Lime Street is the terminus for many national lines and the local city line to Manchester. Moorfields is just off Dale Street, ideal for the business centre of Liverpool and Central is usually used by shoppers and visitors. Local trains run very frequently between Hunts Cross, Kirkby, Ormskirk and Southport on the Northern line. They run every 15 minutes from Monday to Saturday and 30 minutes on Sunday. Central station is the main station for the Northern line, although the 'loop' links the three main city centre stations. The Wirral line forms the link between the Lime Street, Moorfields and Central, so all of these stations act as an interchange between the City, Northern and Wirral lines.

A new station in the south of Liverpool replaced the old Garston and Allerton stations in June 2006. This links the Northern and City lines and is ideal for the airport. It also acts as an interchange for a number of local buses. Adult bus fares on the main operator Arriva are a flat £1.60, or £1.40 for students, throughout the Merseyside area. Similar flat fares are available from the other operators as well. There are also limited night bus services on a Saturday night costing £3.00. Some buses are subsidised by Merseytravel, such as early morning and hospital services, and there is a maximum fare of around 80p. If you plan to travel a lot, a pre-paid pass presents much better value. Generally speaking, you save money with two or more train trips or three or more bus journeys.


  1. A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour..............................................

  2. What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee,
    The image can be seen at who can supply you with a canvas print of it.