Liverpool City Guide
The history of Liverpool can be traced back to 1190 when the place was known as 'Liuerpul', possibly meaning a pool or creek with muddy water, though other origins of the name have been suggested. The borough was founded by royal charter in 1207, but Liverpool remained a small settlement until its trade with Ireland and coastal parts of England and Wales was overtaken by trade with Africa and the West Indies, which included the slave trade. The town's first wet dock was opened in 1715 and Liverpool's expansion to become a major city continued over the next two centuries.
By the start of the nineteenth century, a large volume of trade was passing through Liverpool. In 1830, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway was opened. The population grew rapidly, especially with Irish migrants and by 1851, one quarter of the city's population was Irish-born. As growth continued, the city became known as "the second city of the Empire", and was also called "the New York of Europe". During the Second World War, the city was the centre for planning the crucial Battle of the Atlantic, and suffered a blitz second only to London's.
From the mid-twentieth century, Liverpool's docks and traditional manufacturing industries went into sharp decline, with the advent of containerisation making the city's docks obsolete. The unemployment rate in Liverpool rose to one of the highest in the UK. Over the same period, starting in the early 1960s, the city became internationally renowned for its culture, particularly as the centre of the "Merseybeat" sound which became synonymous with The Beatles.
Today tourism forms a significant part of the city's economy. The city celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2007, and it held the European Capital of Culture title in 2008. Labelled the "World Capital City of Pop" by Guinness World Records, the popularity of The Beatles, and other groups from the Merseybeat era and later, contributes to Liverpool's status as a tourist destination.
Several areas of Liverpool city centre were granted World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 2004. The Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City includes the Pier Head, Albert Dock, and William Brown Street. Liverpool is also the home of two Premier League football clubs, Liverpool and Everton. Matches between the two are known as The Merseyside Derby. The world-famous Grand National also takes places annually at Aintree Racecourse on the outskirts of the city.
Nightlife, bars and restaurants abound in this city of conviviality so why not stay at the serviced apartments at Staybridge Suites Liverpool which will give you great access to a host of these central Liverpool venues.
The Cavern Club in Mathew Street is the world famous music venue where it all began and so is a great place to start yourself! The Beatles first played here in the early 1960's and you can get to Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields via a serviced apartment provided by Premier Apartments Liverpool.
There's no better way to experience the Liverpool area than from the deck of the iconic Mersey Ferry. Learn about the city's fascinating history, see its spectacular sights and discover its unique character simply by taking a "ferry cross the Mersey". Once you've explored Liverpool's better known attractions why not head further afield. Named after the ancient megaliths situated in the park, which are said to be older than Stonehenge, Calderstones Park is a true hidden gem and also incorporates the Harthill Botanical Gardens, founded in 1802 with almost 4,000 species of plants on display.
England's Golf Coast is home to three Royal Links courses and numerous other naturally beautiful golf courses all of which can be easily accessed from Liverpool. There is Royal Birkdale in the stunning coastal resort of Southport, set amid spectacular sand dunes, which has been voted the No 1 golf course in Britain. Royal Birkdale has staged no fewer than eight Open Championships and two Ryder Cups, and is deservedly among the very best golf courses in the world. The three Royals also includes Royal Lytham & St Annes in Lancashire, the acclaimed golf course which staged the 2012 Open Championship. This, too, is one of the premier links courses in the world and Royal Lytham has played host to ten Open Championships and two Ryder Cups. England's Golf Coast also, of course, includes the fabulous Royal Liverpool.
If you wish to continue investigating Liverpool's great sporting traditions, Aintree and Anfield are respectively home to the worlds most famous steeplechase, the Grand National and multi-title winning football club Liverpool FC. Another of Liverpool's genuinely hidden gems and one we recommend you visit, is the Williamson Tunnels, a strange underground world of tunnels and caverns that has laid beneath the city since the early 1800s. They were built by Joseph Williamson, a retired tobacco merchant, and their purpose is not known, but a trip to visit them may prove illuminating.
Liverpool Top 5 Eats
Puschka opened its doors in 2001 and since then, they've been building up quite a reputation for good food and good service. Nestling in Rodney Street in Liverpool’s old Georgian Quarter close to Liverpool Philharmonic, the produce comes fresh to their door each morning and is on your plate that very same evening with a seasonally changing menu.
Salt House Tapas
Salt House Tapas was created be an English team who can’t speak Spanish but love everything about the lifestyle and food of Spain. Paddy and Martin have created a modern, urban tapas bar in the old Bishop of Liverpool’s residence where the focus is on the little things that make the big things work, and work it does, with Salt House Tapas having earned a coveted spot in the Good Food Guide. Wines from the best Spanish vineyards, stunning Cava’s, modern Sherries and a selection of handpicked South American wines are served with warmth in the heart of the 'Pool'.
The Sapporo Teppanyaki restaurant is on Duke Street in the heart of the city centre and offers authentic Japanese cuisine. Chefs here will juggle eggs, set fire to their Teppanyaki hot plate, slice food in midair, show off their knife and throwing skills, plus much more! Your table will have its own chef so you'll be able to see them preparing your food. Japanese food is famed for its healthiness and they use the finest chicken, beef, duck, fish, pork and vegetables to ensure that you have the best dining experience possible.
This sophisticated bar and restaurant overlooking the waterfront and Tate Liverpool couples classic Italian food with a contemporary setting. Expect only the most fresh ingredients and the best service. Their ingredients are sourced responsibly, working with suppliers who use sustainable and natural methods of husbandry. If you have time, try to get there a bit ahead of your reservation as the bar has a lovely lounge area overlooking the dock and their cocktails are divine!
Like the Manchester original, this branch of Almost Famous is a big, brash joint with a funky attitude and some wacky ideas on the food front. Burgers are still the top shout, all slathered in some rather ironically named, chilli-spiked sauces (‘suicide’, ‘red neck’ etc). Check out ‘baddaboom’ (a double cheese whopper with garlic butter brioche, bacon, chorizo, onions, famous sauce, fries, parmesan and chilli) or the triple-peppered ’animal’ version with fried onions in magic mustard mayo, ‘beef monster munch’, chipotle ketchup and jalapeños. Otherwise, go for ‘awesome frickin’ chicken’, ‘hog-hammer’ pulled pork rolls or ‘triple dip money flip’ flat-iron steak sandwiches washed down with craft beers and ‘bitch juice’ cocktails! I'm in!
The nearest Airport is Liverpool John Lennon Airport which is a half hour drive away from Liverool city centre and it's a great connection point for other Europe destinations such as Madrid, Berlin and Oslo too.
Liverpool and Liverpool Lime Street station is just over a 2 hour train ride from London and well connected with Manchester, Chester and Preston.
For parking in Liverpool we recommend that you look at Parkopedia in order to find on-street parking as well as car parks. because parking in the city centre may prove expensive by the hour and as the city centre is easily reached from other areas of town it may be a good idea to park a bit further out!
With everything being very close in Liverpool, getting around by bike is a good option and Liverpool City Council have some good information about Cycle routes, good maps and cycle parking!
Buses and ferries in and around Liverpool are operated by MerseyTravel and for tickets, travel updates and a Journey Planner we recommend that you check their homepage.
WHAT TO DO IN LIVERPOOL
- Tate Liverpool
Tate Liverpool has established itself as the home of the National Collection of Modern Art in the north of England.
Tate Liverpool presents displays of work from the Tate collection alongside special exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. The special exhibition programme, presented on the Gallery's fourth floor, brings together works from national and international collections, both public and private.
For more information visit: www.tate.org.uk/liverpool
- The Cavern Club
The Cavern Club opened its doors to the public in January 1957, and now stands as 'the most famous club in the world'. This title is undoubtedly largely due to the role played by the club in the Beatles' rise to fame although the story does not end there.
Of course, The Beatles aren't the only famous band to have graced the stage at the Cavern Club over the years, the list of past performers reads like a who's who of popular music; The Kinks, Queen, Elton John, The Rolling Stones, Hendrix, The Who, Oasis, Travis and the Arctic Monkeys to name but a few.
Today, the Cavern Club is one of Liverpool's major tourist attractions and equally importantly, a thriving live music venue with three stages showcasing not only this incredible legacy but new up and coming bands and established artists. Indeed, in January 2011 Grammy award winning artist Adele showcased her hugely successful second album '21' in the Cavern Live Lounge to 200 people, such is the continued appeal of this legendary venue.
The Cavern Club is open daily from 10.30am with live music from 3.30pm Monday to Thursday and from 2.30pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
For more information visit: www.cavernclub.org
- Magical Mystery Tour Bus
Step aboard the colourful Magical Mystery Tour bus for a fascinating 2 hour tour taking you to places associated with John, Paul, George and Ringo as they grew up, met and formed the band that would take the pop world by storm.
The tour takes you to see the childhood homes of John, Paul, George and Ringo as well as places that inspired some of their most memorable songs like Penny Lane and Strawberry Field, as well as other places of interest along the way.
You'll be kept entertained by one of our fully qualified Beatles Guides as you travel around the city and its suburbs to discover the truly remarkable story of the boys who were to become the world's best known musicians. The tour finishes at the legendary Cavern Club where you can present your ticket for an exclusive souvenir of your trip and enjoy live music most afternoons and evenings.
And if you want to find out more about the fab four buy tickets to the Beatles Story here!
- The Williamson Tunnels
The Williamson Tunnels Heritage Centre is the only tourist attraction in Liverpool dedicated to 19th Century philanthropist Joseph Williamson.
Opened in 2002 the Williamson Tunnels Heritage Centre has welcomed over 100,000 visitors into the fascinating underground world created beneath the streets of the Edge Hill district of Liverpool by Joseph Williamson, a wealthy tobacco merchant who employed many hundreds of men in the construction of a huge and elaborate underground labyrinth of tunnels, chambers and passageways.
Visitors to the Williamson Tunnels Heritage Centre can take a guided tour through a section of the network of tunnels and view exhibits and displays which depict the life and times of one of Liverpool's most eccentric characters.
For more information visit: www.williamsontunnels.co.uk