Fancy a city break? Liverpool’s just fab and is great value for families, not least as hotels are desperate to sell rooms they normally fill with Beatles-loving American and Japanese guests
- Liverpool has attractions galore, including art, architecture and lovely gardens
- It also has links to the Titanic and, of course, the Beatles sightseeing tours
- Book a week in the boutique Hope Street Hotel from £1,400 per room
Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: Why Liverpool is perfect for a city break.
Liverpool may not be as sunny as Lisbon or Lanzarote, but with most of Europe off-limits for holidays, it packs quite a punch as a staycation location.
It’s great value for families, not least as hotels are desperate to sell rooms they normally fill with Beatles-loving American and Japanese guests.
Ferry stylish: The Snowdrop ferry on the Mersey
Stylish, apartment-style rooms with mini-kitchens start at £549 for seven nights in July at the waterfront Staycity Aparthotel. Or book a week in the boutique Hope Street Hotel from £1,400 per room.
The city has attractions galore, including art, architecture, ghosts, amazing gardens, links to the Titanic and, of course, Fab Four tours.
Art starts on the water. Sir Peter Blake, the pop art designer of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover, has decorated Snowdrop, one of the boats that Mersey Ferry uses for its 90-minute sightseeing tours.
Sir Peter also designed the colourful cafe at Tate Liverpool, where entry is free and you can experience work by Henry Moore, Roy Lichtenstein, Salvador Dali, Picasso, Matisse and more. A short stroll away, the Walker Gallery offers Rembrandt, Rubens, Gainsborough, Turner and Stubbs.
Alternatively, head to the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight for the world’s most precious collection of Wedgwood.
Liverpool’s awesome architecture starts with The Three Graces – the Cunard, Port of Liverpool and Royal Liver buildings, the latter topped with the Liver Birds, two 18ft-tall copper statues said to protect the city from harm.
Victorian Palm House in Sefton Park, which ‘rivals Kew Gardens’
Its two vast, very different cathedrals are a short walk from each other. The Metropolitan Cathedral, nicknamed ‘Paddy’s Wigwam’, has the world’s largest expanse of stained glass. The older Liverpool Cathedral is home to some of the world’s heaviest bells.
Between the cathedrals, ghosts are said to roam the Georgian Quarter. Guides tell their stories after dark on ‘Shiverpool’ tours. Get a stiff drink afterwards at the Philharmonic Dining Rooms. With chandeliers, wood panelling and moulded ceilings, it’s said to be Britain’s most ornate pub.
Street performers have to audition for prime pitches among the restored warehouses of the Royal Albert Dock. Enjoy free entertainment with cake from family-owned Peaberry Coffee House, or try Liverpool gin from Turncoat Distillery. Another place to relax is the Victorian Palm House in Sefton Park. It rivals Kew Gardens and contains plants from five continents across 230 acres.
Fab Four: Beatles fans will want to visit the band’s statue at Pier Head
Many Beatles tours start at the band’s statue at Pier Head. It’s one of the country’s most popular selfie spots, and Sir Paul McCartney recently returned for a photo.
A 15-minute walk leads to Mathew Street, site of the Cavern Club where The Beatles performed some 300 gigs and rival acts included The Who, The Rolling Stones and Queen. The club was demolished in the 1970s but a replica (on largely the same spot) offers drinks and live music. Outside there’s a statue of former coat-check girl Cilla Black.
For more details on each attraction, see visitliverpool.com.