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Scouser skyline

12 September 2014

by Sue Dobson


Liverpool sits on the eastern side of the Mersey estuary, on the north-west coast of England. 


A lively city with a heart, and striking architecture, Liverpool has the largest collection of museums and galleries outside of London (and entry is free). 

What to see

The magnificent old warehouses of Albert Dock on the revitalised waterfront, buzzing with bars and restaurants, are home to the excellent Merseyside Maritime and International Slavery museums, plus must-see contemporary art at Tate Liverpool. On the Pier Head, the new Museum of Liverpool is the world's first national museum devoted to the history of a regional city, and what stories it has to tell.

Close by, the iconic Three Graces - the Royal Liver, Cunard, and the Port of Liverpool Buildings - form one of the world's most recognisable skylines. They are best appreciated from the deck of yet another symbol of the city, a ferry across the Mersey.

Zigzag your way through the Beatles Quarter (the city is celebrating 50 years of the Fab Four this year, and the Cavern Club is still a popular live-music venue) to Hope Street. There, you will be mesmerised by the design of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, and awed by the soaring Gothic masterpiece that is Liverpool Cathedral, where the biggest surprise could be that it was completed only in 1978. Its restaurant and café are famously good, too.

Liverpool displays its rich and diverse heritage well, and much of the city centre and its waterfront is a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site. Opposite Lime Street Station, the magnificent neo-classical St George's Hall heads a cultural quarter that incorporates outstanding collections at the Walker Art Gallery, and the fascinating, family-friendly World Museum. For more "bohemian" cultural tastes, the trendy RopeWalks quarter has brought new life to 19th-century industrial warehouses. Finally, if you have any time left, the shopping is particularly good. 

Where to eat

Take afternoon tea at Panoramic 34, the tallest restaurant in Britain, on the 34th floor of the West Tower, with views across the city to the Welsh hills. Head to Chinatown for authentic Chinese and pan-Asian fare. The first Chinatown in Europe, it has the largest Imperial Arch outside China, shipped piece by piece from Shanghai. 

Near by

Croxteth Hall and Country Park, the ancestral home of the Molyneux family, the Earls of Sefton, has a historic hall, Victorian walled garden, and a 500-acre country park with woodlands, ponds, pastures and a local nature reserve. Southport has a pier, amusements, championship golf, and an £18-million arts venue. Knowsley Safari Park, in Prescot, is billed as "Liverpool's wildest day out".

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