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The Ultimate Guide to River of Light 2019

5 years ago

The Ultimate Guide to River of Light 2019

It’s less than a week to go until River of Light returns with 10 new light installations and a bigger and better (and brighter) fireworks display. Watch above as we take you on a tour of the dazzling artworks on our waterfront

River of Light 2019 is a spectacle for all to enjoy. Alongside the jaw-dropping annual fireworks, there will be 10 light installations forming a trail across the city centre. Launching on 1st November and running for 9 consecutive nights, these brand new installations will bring visitors from far and wide to explore the city after dark. All the info with Robin Kemp of Culture Liverpool below in our preview video

With so much to see, do and snap, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to River of Light 2019 so you can start planning your visit. From how to get there safely and where to dine with the family to the all important fireworks times and what else to see if you’re spending the whole day on our amazing waterfront. Scroll down and start planning your River of Light 2019 experience.

Where is River of Light?

River of Light

The River of Light fireworks show takes place on the River Mersey itself. People can line both sides of the Mersey, Liverpool and Wirral to enjoy the Titanium display. The 10, brand new light installations will form a trail through the city centre. Scroll down for more info on locations.

When Is It On?

River of Light spectacle runs from 1st – 9th November 2019. There are 10 brand new, free to visit light installations, which are located throughout the city centre. They will be illuminated from 5pm – 9:30/10pm each evening. More details below.

River of Light fireworks take place at 6:30pm on Sunday 3rd November 2019. We suggest getting into town nice and early to check out the light installations before the show.

River of Light, Wirral

There’s so much to see and do on the Wirral waterfront, before the fireworks even start! The finale of Wirral’s Borough of Culture programme, River of Light brings fun after dark for all the family. From 5pm you can catch the Spark Out Drummers performing live at New Brighton, swiftly followed by stilt walking marine creatures and sparkly jelly fish. There’s food and drink vendors selling yummy treats to keep you warm ahead of the big show.

From 6:30pm it’s all eyes on Fort Perch Rock as the firework display begins. You’ll also be treated to the best views of the Liverpool sky line if you wander around towards New Brighton Floral Pavilion too! You can find out more about what’s on in Wirral at

How To Get There

River of Light

The best way to travel to River of Light fireworks and light installation shows is by publish transport. Merseyrail runs regular services to James Street station – which is the closest stop to the Liverpool waterfront. If you’re viewing the fireworks from Wirral, New Brighton is the best station to get to an enjoy the 10 minutes (downhill) walk to the waterfront. Family tickets (for up to 5 passengers, 2 adults an 3 kids) are as little as £11. Plan your journey with Merseyrail here. 

River of Light

Arriva North West also operates many services to and from the city centre. Liverpool ONE bus station is just a few minutes walk away from the Royal Albert Dock and Pier Head for the fireworks. Alternatively Queen Square is 10 minutes walk and takes you through a number of the art work light installations. Plan your trip with Arriva here. 

More: Travelling in a group? Check out ArrivaClick and save when you travel together. 

What’s On – The Art Works


The waterfront side of the Cunard Building will be getting an arachnid makeover as spider-shaped light sculptures appear on the façade, courtesy of French artists Groupe Laps. Runs 5-10pm each night.


Located in the courtyard at Liverpool Parish Church, this immersive sound and light journey is made up of more than 200 luminous spheres. It has been designed by critically acclaimed French arts company ‘Collectif Coin’. Runs 5-10pm each night.


Australian artist Amanda Parer will bring her crowd-pleasing, large-scale glowing, inflatable rabbits who will make Exchange Flags (behind Liverpool Town Hall) their new home. Runs 5-10pm each night.

Run Beyond

A single figure will dominate the skyline of the Royal Albert Dock Liverpool as viewers can track their leap to freedom in a consecutive sequence. Created by Italian artist Angelo Bonello, he wants the artwork to represent the leaps we make at points in our lives. Runs 5-10pm each night.


Taking over Mann Island Atrium, this large, immersive and responsive walk-through experience uses thousands of individual points of suspended light to transform its environment. It’s the brainchild of Squidsoup which is one of the UK’s leading digital augmentation companies. Runs 5-10pm each night.


A brand new commission; three large-scale kaleidoscopic images will transform the inner quayside of the Merseyside Maritime Museum, responding to human movement and dance. Local artist Sam Wiehl is responsible for the hypnotic artwork. Runs 5-10pm each night.

Liverpool Jackpot

The Plaza Building on Old Hall Street will become the canvas for a set of neon lights which playfully comment on the city’s history and resilience. Originally commissioned in 2007, the piece has been brought back by Liverpool Biennial and Liverpool BID Company as a signal of Liverpool’s future ambitions. Runs from 5-10pm each night.


River of Light will kick-start a brand new, illuminated chapter for the Royal Liver Building as they unveil Flight – a six-minute light show which will be a permanent installation once the festival has finished. The show will take place every 30 minutes from 5-9.30pm.

Whole Hole

A light portal to another dimension will appear on the wall of Wapping Dock (near the M&S Arena and Convention Centre) created by Dutch artists Vendel & de Wolf. Runs 5-10pm each night.


Taking inspiration from the Cetus constellation, an underwater display in the Mann Island basin will see the area come alive with this multi-sensory artwork created by The Kazimier. As the sun sets, the water will shimmer and pulsate mimicking the ancient Greek myth of the sea monster Cetus. Runs 5-10pm each night.

What’s On – The Fireworks

As part of the longer, new-look festival, the hugely successful River of Light fireworks will return for one night only on Sunday 3 November as once again the River Mersey becomes a stage for Titanium Fireworks – one of the world’s leading pyrotechnic companies.

Two simultaneous displays, from the Waterfront in Liverpool and as part of Wirral’s Borough of Culture year in New Brighton, will start at 6.30pm with a soundtrack featuring artists and songs which have been big in the city this year.#

Where to Dine

Why not make a night of it and plan a family meal or date night dinner before or after the River of Light fireworks on Sunday 3rd November? Here’s our top recommendations for a delicious and warming dinner on or near the waterfront.

Brasco Lounge

River of Light

Brasco Lounge at Mann Island is the perfect location for a family dinner. Less than a minute walk from the waterfront, you can tuck into winter warmers like mac and cheese, hearty burgers, tapas and hot dogs. Menus and more here. 


River of Light

Gusto, Royal Albert Dock is a real family favourite. Let the kids create their own pizzas while you toast the weekend with a glass of bubbles and dish from the brand new menu. The rainbow veggie parcel is divine! Menus and more here.

Smoke & Dough

River of Light

Smoke & Dough is the new kid on the block at The Terrace, Liverpool ONE. Just a short walk across Chavasse Park for the fireworks, this new restaurant offers diners a little bit of everything. Grill your own meats, sample all the best antipasti and sip fab new cocktails! More info here. 

The Club House

River of Light

Based at Chavasse Park, Liverpool ONE, The Club House loaded deli boards, hanging kebabs and house pies are guaranteed to warm you up for an evening on the waterfront. Book a table early and get a sticky toffee pudding down you in preparation. Menus and more here.


River of Light

If anything is likely to warm your cockles on a chilly winter night, it’s a big old bowl of paella. Lunyalita, Royal Albert Dock is taking bookings for River of Light night. You can dine on amazing tapas and main dishes plus the very best Spanish wines, prosecco and gins. More info here. 

Santa Maluco Pizza

Santa Maluco, Castle Street offers a whole host of freshly baked by the slice or if you’re feeding your whole brood, go for a big old 18″ bad boy loaded with your favourite toppings. Return of the Mac, What the Duck and Lo Pan Loco are our current favourites. Menus and more here. 

Mowgli Castle St

Lets face it, when you need a good, filling meal, Indian is always a good idea. Mowgli, Water Street is just a short walk from the waterfront and offers a feast for the senses. Indian street food done proper. Curries, all your favourite starters including those amazing chaat bombs and a guaranteed warm welcome. Menus and more here. 

Marine Point New Brighton

If you’re going to watch River of Light from New Brighton, there’s a whole host of dining options to kick start or warm up your night. Marine St Social, Prezzo and Marino Lounge are all located at Marine Point, New Brighton offering a whole host of Italian, Spanish and classic British dishes.

Woodside Ferry Village

Overlooking the River Mersey from the Wirral and with stunning views of the famous city skyline, Woodside Ferry Village offers diners a selection of international cuisine from the best local vendors including Bacaro Pizza, Cowfish Smokehouse, Caffe Cream, Sukhothai and The Refreshment Rooms. More info here. 

The Ferry, Egremont

The Ferry, Egremont will no doubt be standing room only on 3rd November. Just look at that view over to Liverpool. Plus the pubs Sunday roast menu gets high praise indeed from locals and visitors alike. British classics including fish and chips, by the river and sensational fireworks, what more could you ask for? Menus and more here. 

Culture Vultures

If you’re visiting the city for the day and want to make the most of our cultural offering, here’s our top 5 culture-packed activities to enjoy ahead of the River of Light fireworks.

RLB 360

ave you gotten up close and personal with the liver birds yet? RLB 360 invites you to see the city and our iconic, mythical birds in all their glory – from the roof! The clock tower audio-visual experience is truly magical. More info here. 

Double Fantasy, Museum of Liverpool

It’s literally your very last chance to see tis groundbreaking exhibition about John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Closing on 3rd November, Double Fantasy is the awe-inspiring story of John & Yoko’s creative and passionate relationship – in their own words.

Keith Haring, Tate Liverpool

Another UK first exhibition rapidly approaching its close date is Keith Haring at Tate Liverpool. From early works to legacy programmes, chalk on paper, video, audio, paint on vinyl, artist Keith Haring created iconic images, symbols and themes to document the ever changing world around him. Pick up a pin badge, postcard or tote bag before River of Light. More info here. 

British Music Experience, Cunard Building

We’re known as a city of music and what better way to while away a Sunday than with a trip to the BME. The British Music Experience at Cunard is home to an incredible collection of historical British music artefacts and exhibits plus loads of hands on activities suitable for all ages. Drums or karaoke booth anyone?

The Free From Show, Winter Edition, Exhibition Centre Liverpool

Exhibition Centre Liverpool is hosting the Free From Show Winter Edition on 2nd and 3rd November. Just a 5 minute walk from the Pier Head, you can discover stalls packed full of food, drink, solutions, help, advice and support for those with allergies and conditions made worse by the changing weather. It’s free to attend too. More info here.

More: Here’s how to have the perfect Sunday in Liverpool

Stay Connected

For the latest information, head to and use #RiverofLight #WinterLights on social media to share you pictures and reviews.

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