We’ve all got our favourite bars, pubs, restaurants, landmarks and hang outs in and around the city. With a thriving independent scene and cultural calendar, our parks, waterfront and historic buildings are consistently awash with new things to see and do.
However, some places take it to the next level and achieve a kind of legendary status. To snap a selfie or order a pint and say you’ve been there isn’t enough. The experience stays with you and its so good, you recommend it too.
Likened to Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter films, Queens Avenue – located off Castle Street, boasts many different boutique stores, a gallery, wine merchant, recruitment and media businesses, a hair salon and will soon (October 2019) welcome brand new bar and eatery, Abditory. Instagram-worthy and bursting with character!
Situated off Woolton Road and Menlove Avenue, Allerton Gardens a is 35 acre park in the leafy L18 suburb and is home to the lodge, stables, former laundry and part of the orangery of Allerton Tower. A former park estate, this peaceful park lends itself to a quiet wander with the dog or exploring with the kids. Find out more here.
The Western Approaches is a jewel in Liverpool’s cultural crown. Situated deep beneath Exchange Flags, this preserved underground war bunker looks like it ceased operating yesterday! Walk through hidden rooms and discover the stories locked in the WW2 bunker that protected the tactics of the British Armed Forces plotting to bulwark the Western Approaches and aid the Allied victory. More here.
This gem really is hidden! The Great Hall at St George’s Hall is decorated with more than 30,000 handcrafted Minton Tiles, and right now (August 2019) they’re uncovered, a rare sight to behold. The immaculately preserved surface depicts the city’s coat of arms, sea nymphs, dolphins and tritons, in what was the largest Minton floor in the world when first constructed. Keep your eyes peeled here for future reveal dates and plan a trip to see this important local history spectacle.
Never has a city centre oasis been the scene of so many historical moments and celebrations. St Nick’s Churchyard is a beauty spot surrounded by some of the city’s finest architecture. The view of the Royal Liverpool Building is a must-see while you explore the various statues and tributes to maritime and civic leaders and communities. More here.
Did you know there’s a not-so-secret network of tunnels which run under the city? Williamson Tunnels Heritage Centre offers visitors the opportunity to marvel at the craftsmanship of Joseph Williamson with fascinating guided tours. Find out more here.
The Georgian Quarter is full of historical relics and monuments. Take a wander down to number 59 Rodney Street and step back into the 1950’s. This pefectly preserved National Trust property allows visitors to explore the home and photography studio or Edward and Margaret Hardman – like they just nipped out for a pint of milk! Fascinating stuff. More info here.
Another stunning Liverpool building that wouldn’t look out of place in a Harry Potter film is the Victoria Gallery and Museum. Owned and run by The University of Liverpool, the Ashton Street based venue is bursting with artefacts, exhibitions and curiosities from the 127 year history of the university. False teeth, fine art, ancient Egyptian crockery and comic book heroes galore! See what’s on here.
Our city is blessed with many beautiful parks and green spaces, but one that flies under the radar is Everton Brow. Officially Everton Park, this public park offers unrivalled views of the city, the river and beyond – on a clear day you can even see the welsh mountains. More here.
Former home of shipping-line owner, George Holt, Sudley House is now a museum and gallery, bursting with antiquities and paintings from the 1800’s. It’s free to enter Sudley House. Situated a short walk from Sefton Park in Mossley Hill, current (August 2019) exhibition Whistler and Pennell: Etching The City is a must see for all budding artists while free, drop-in craft sessions keep the kids entertained. More here.
You might stumble across Hobo Kiosk on your way to the Liver Bird Wings mural on Jamaica Street. The door to the basement bar in the Baltic is nothing out of the ordinary but what lies beneath is a treasure trove of curiosities and cold, cold beer. Mixing old and new, vintage shop oddities and fresh barrels, you’re guaranteed a warm welcome from owner Delia and a good old natter. More info here.
Through thought-provoking collections, public engagements and research, Liverpool’s International Slavery Museun increases the understanding of the city’s role in transatlantic enslavement. Actively engaging with human rights issues and challenging intolerance, a visit to this Royal Albert Dock venue will truly open your eyes. More info here.
This former quarry and cemetery is now known at St James’ Gardens. Talk a walk down the winding pathway, read the names on the gravestones and arrive at a tranquil oasis,k several stories below the bust city streets. Lush green and peaceful, its the perfect spot to read a book and unwind. More here.
You can’t do a list of “hidden gems” and not include Berry & Rye! Billed as a kind of ‘speakyeasy’ style bar, Berry & Rye – the ramshackle, unremarkable shop front nestled in the heart of Berry Street does one thing no other Liverpool bar does -it plays by its own rules. The interior is comfortable, stylish in a worn kind of way and the whiskey collection and cocktails are ridiculously good. What’s outstanding, is there’s never anyone standing outside. No queues, you’re either lucky and your in sipping or you’re coming back to try again later. Try your hand, find out more here.
The ‘top end’ of town offers revellers a different type of night out to the rest of the city. Seel Street’s Some Place is a perfect example of the ‘dive bar’ scene we can’t get enough of. For a high maintenance town, Some Place and its neighbours to place more emphasis on the ale and the good times than what you’re wearing! Head upstairs, sit back and get busy with the absinthe cocktails. More here.
Wolstenholme Square was once the epicentre of nights out in our amazing city and now the wanderer is rewarded with drinks and bites at funky restaurant and bar, Clockworks. Exposed brick work, comfy leather booths, an outdoor terrace (total sun trap in the summer) and classic British dishes make for a great hang out. Cocktails and rock and roll as standard. More info here.
The Art School restaurant, owned by renowned Chef Paul Askew, is nationally known and revered. Did you know there is also a neighbouring bar which offers no less than 300 hand-picked premium wines and champagne? The Art School Cellars takes its inspiration from the Basque Country and delis of Italy to offer cheese, charcuterie, fresh bread and a selection of cocktails – all prepared by the team at The Art School restaurant. Find out more here.
Have you experienced the Disco Den yet? Situated beneath the former Jenny’s Seafood restaurant, this cocktail bar oozes cool. The bar tenders are friendly (and like a bit of a dance too) the booths are old school and comfy and the mirrored ceiling makes for great selfies. Oh look, it’s cocktails’o’clock. More here.
The open fire in the winter, sea shanties and BBQ’s in the summer, quiz nights all year round and an umistakable connection to the river just a stones throw away. Soak up the maritime history and fab atmosphere at The Baltic Fleet pub on Wapping. The ale is first class. Info here.
Liverpool’s CAMRA pub of the year 2019, Peter Kavanagh’s has stood its ground as a great local boozer (where you’re guaranteed to make a new acquaintance) for over 100 and more years. Stop in at this Egerton Street pub and have a natter with Rita, she’s been at the helm 27 years now and doesn’t miss trick. There’s incredible art work, artefacts and conversation to be had, alongside a perfectly pulled pint of course. More here.
Liverpool’s China Town continues to be popular with tourists but any local will tell you there’s a hidden gem just behind that incredible arch. The Bagelry, Nelson Street is a feast for the senses. Freshly baked bagels adorn handmade rack and (yet you’re imagining the divine smell aren’t you?) they look and smell as good as they taste. Get up early, grab one of countless vegan/veggie friendly flavours and a coffee and tell us about it @TheGuideLpool. More info here.
Lovelocks on Old Haymarket is everything you want in an independent coffee shop and eatery. Eclectic, unique, atmospheric and most importantly of all, it serves up top quality coffee, cakes, breakfast and light bite dishes, with lots of vegan and gluten free options too. More here.
Hidden in plain sight, Rococo Coffee House sits high above the busting Lord Street and offers a myriad of rooms with comfy seats in which to relax. A great pit stop mid shop at nearby Liverpool ONE, there’s freshly baked cake, rich coffee and light bites too. More here.
Calderstones Park is a much-loved recreation space, enjoyed by families, dogs and ducks alike – however its those who love to lose themselves in a good book that hold this place so dear. The Reader has just undergone a £5 million refurb and is now the home of The International Shared Reading Centre. Discover a new favourite fairy tale, indulge in an ice cream, take a wander and get to grips with relaxing again. All ages welcome. More info here.
Cafe Tabac at the top of Bold Street is a hugely popular eatery that has built up its reputation for top class food and service for more than 40 years. Breakfast is served here 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, and it’s so good! Everything on the menu is homemade, fresh every day and everyone loves the laid back atmosphere and vibe. Find this little gem jus opposite the Bombed Out Church. Find out more here.
Back to the Georgian Quarter to a restaurant and bar that oozes simplistic style. The Pen Factory – next door to the Everyman Theatre, serves seasonal small plates, wines by the class and a fine selection of cask ales and cocktails. The basement eatery opens out in to a beautiful garden area, perfect for a pre theatre bite to eat, after work drinks and soaking up the rays. Find out more here.
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