I’d never been to Liverpool before. Never had a reason to go., but celebration of 50 years since the release of Sgt. Pepper seemed the perfect excuse to visit.
In less than 24 hours I fell in love with the city and vowed to return to spend more time in this amazing place. Read on for my story…
A combination of packed diaries and potential travel disruption meant I had a short window to explore the city. I packed a boatload of technology and a toothbrush and headed for Liverpool.
Just three hours on the train from London, Liverpool sits on the North West of England, slightly down from Manchester. I went up on the Friday afternoon, ready for a day of quickfire sightseeing.
I’d booked to stay in the Albert Dock. Once a port to rival London and Bristol, it has now been transformed into a wonderful, vast, area of hotels, shops, museums and entertainment. It was less than a 20 minute walk to from Lime Street Station so I ambled down towards the dock.
My planning meant I could meander down past some of the iconic sights (the Cavern Club) and some monuments I didn’t know before a Google map session.
Almost directly across from the station was a series of Museums including the Walker Gallery.
The Walker Art Gallery is an art museum located in Liverpool, England. It was founded in 1877 and is one of the largest art galleries in England outside of London.
The gallery is named after its founding benefactor, Andrew Barclay Walker, who donated the land and funds to build the museum.
The Walker Art Gallery has an extensive collection of art, with over 70,000 items ranging from 13th-century to contemporary works. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, and works on paper. The gallery’s collection of paintings includes works by many famous artists such as Rembrandt, Hockney, Rubens, and Stubbs.
Set across 8 or so ‘salons’, each room was dedicated to a different period, from modern to ancient, Pre Raphaelites and more. Historic furniture was intersped with classic paintings and some striking sculptures. Just before closing on a Friday afternoon, the place was quiet which meant I had some rooms to myself.
I could happily have spent more time here but my plan was always to recce the city and see if it is somewhere I would want to come back for longer. (spoiler: I do.)
Walking past the Hillsborough Memorial, I tacked towards the Eleanor Rigby statue then through Matthews Street, home of the Cavern Club ; multiple Beatles references and it seems quite a few hen parties.
Crossing The Strand took me into the docks area. Once a major port and the original source of Liverpool’s wealth & power, the docks have been transformed into a major entertainment area with shops, restaurants, museums and exhibitions.
I didn’t have plans to do much more than sleep at the hotel so I chose the Premier Inn for its location in Albert Dock and right next to The Beatles Story which was planned for the following day.
Since the late eighties the docks have undergone a major transformation to become this multifaceted place that attracts locals and tourists alike.
I dumped my stuff and went for a walk. Turns out the Liverpool Echo Arena (think Wembley Arena in Liverpool) was right next door. And there was a concert on. A Phil Collins concert. One of my favourite artists. Noooooooooooooooooooooo!
There were no shortage of touted tickets available, but I’ve never bought from them so had to swallow my sadness and enjoy the area.
It had been a grey afternoon when I arrived in Liverpool but I could see now, across the Mersey, a break in the clouds. As the sun set it broke from under the clouds to bathe the docks in evening sun. There was no wind and the river was still. As the sun set across Albert Dock and Pier Head the iconic buildings of Liverpool were bathed in light and Beatles Statue shone.
I stayed out just taking pictures as the sky went bright before going dark. The setting sun made the Liverpool Museum almost glow before darkness set in.
The ‘three graces’ of Liverpool;The Royal Liver Building, The Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building were lit up marking their position as the welcoming site to 1st time boat passengers arriving on the Mersey.
The following day was set for a trip to the Beatles Museum and Beatles Walk so I meandered back to my hotel, promising to come back again.
Despite it being a smallish city, compared to London, there is plenty to see and loads I didn’t get a chance to visit.