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The ultimate Liverpool bucket list for being a tourist in your own city

4 years ago

The ultimate Liverpool bucket list for being a tourist in your own city

Millions of visitors come to Liverpool every year – and then come back time after time because they’ve fallen in love with our city.

But what is it that they love so much?

Being lucky enough to actually live here, we don’t always see Liverpool in the same way people coming into the city for the first time do. 

Now post-lockdown, lots of us have had to change our plans for the summer holidays and we’re looking at more days out instead of heading abroad, so how about adding Liverpool to your list?

Here are the attractions not to miss if you want to be a tourist in your own city …

If you fancy a Fab Four tour

To really be a Daytripper, you’ve got to see some of The Beatles sites. Even if you’re not a massive fan, or you don’t think you are, they’re such a huge part of Liverpool’s music heritage. The Beatles Story at the Royal Albert Dock is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year with new exhibits including one featuring a personal message to The Beatles Story from Ringo and articles from his personal collection to commemorate his 80th birthday. It’s been a big draw for A-listers over the years including Star Wars legend Mark Hamill, Neil Diamond and Jack Whitehall and now it’s reopened with new safety measures in place.

To see all The Beatles landmarks without having to put in the legwork, you could take a Fab 4 Taxi Tour. Just hop in one of the fleet of black cabs and the driver, who’s done the ‘Beatles knowledge’, will take you to all the main attractions across the city plus a few you might not be aware of and give you all the info along the way.

If you’d prefer to do it yourself and don’t mind the drive, or a walk, then you can plan your own visit to the Beatles childhood homes. They’re now owned by The National Trust and aren’t yet reopen for inside tours, but you can always go and see Mendips in Menlove Avenue, where John grew up, and Forthlin Road in Allerton which was Paul’s boyhood home. They’re both pretty close to Strawberry Fields on Beaconsfield Road which has now safely reopened.

Be a culture buff

Liverpool is packed with cultural highlights, it’s one of the main reasons we were Capital of Culture in 2008, and a lot of them have opened their doors again after the coronavirus shutdown.

The Walker Art Gallery and World Museum are now welcoming visitors again from 10am-5pm, although initially they’ll be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays so it’s worth checking for any updates if you’re planning to go; see here. Booking is essential, for up to a maximum of six tickets per visit and can be done via the website. Everyone is asked to keep 2m apart and use sanitation stations to help stay safe. The Walker has a major retrospective of Linda McCartney’s photography, featuring more than 200 images, opening on August 8.

If you’re near Liverpool ONE, then the beautiful Bluecoat on School Lane is back open from July 30, initially Thursday to Saturday, 11am-4pm. Numbers will be managed for Covid safety, so pre-booking is a good idea.

FACT Liverpool on Wood Street in the Ropewalks is also coming back, one step at a time – Picturehouse will be showing films again from July 31, and the art galleries will reopen from August 12.

Have a day at the Dock

Royal Albert Dock is one of the city’s best-loved and most-visited attractions, and if you’ve not been for a while you might not realise just how much it’s changed.

The dock is now full of fantastic indie restaurants and Maray, Madre, Lunyalita, Gusto, Miller & Carter, Pan Am and Peaberry Coffee Shop are all open again. There are lots of cool quirky shops too, like Lost Soles for graphic tees, Nature’s Treasure and The Leather Satchel Company, so you really can spend hours there just browsing in the most gorgeous waterfront setting.

Tate Liverpool reopens on July 27 and you can always grab a pic by the multi-coloured 10-metre high Liverpool Mountain sculpture nearby. It’s always there and it’s free! There’s new guidance to keep everyone safe when they’re at the dock, markers to help with social distancing, and visitors are asked to give way if they need to pass others.  

Get street arty

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The great thing about street art is that it’s absolutely free to see and it looks amazing on Instagram, so it’s a win-win. Liverpool has murals everywhere, but probably the most famous and most snapped is the Angel Wings by artist Paul Curtis which is in the Baltic Triangle.

No visitor to Liverpool should leave without getting a pic of themselves standing in front of the wings on Jamaica Street. Reds still celebrating the title win can get a photo with the boss thanks to artist Akse who’s painted a huge portrait of Jürgen Klopp on Jordan Street in the Baltic complete with the slogan ‘This Is Liverpool This Means More.’ And for Beatles fans there’s always Paul Curtis’s Abbey Road crossing on the side of Cain’s Brewery in the Baltic.

Take a Ferry cross the Mersey

Tourists from around the world love to follow Gerry Marsden’s advice and take the ferry. River Explorer Cruises are not currently operating, but Mersey Ferries is running its commuter service and an hourly cross-river service at weekends and weekdays. Face coverings must be worn on all journeys. It’s worth checking the website for updates on Explorer Cruises returning.

Go back in time

For lovers of history, or anyone who just wants to get away from the hectic city and escape to some peace and quiet, Speke Hall, garden and estate is a must-visit. Timed entry to the hall must be booked in advance, and you’ll need to book for the gardens and grounds too by 3pm the day before you’re planning to go. Tickets will be released every Friday, it’s free for members and non-members will need to pay with booking. 

Have a date with a Scouse icon

If there’s one symbol of Liverpool that’s know all around the world then it’s the Liver Building and specifically its two most famous residents – the Liver Birds. Discover the history of the building we all know and love with the fully-immersive RLB 360. You’ll get a tour of the building, go up to the 15th floor for unbelievable views over the city and the river, and enjoy a world-class audiovisual experience in the clock tower revealing the Liver Building’s role in Liverpool life. It’s back open for pre-booked tours only via the website.

Let the music play

For music fans, the British Music Experience is the ultimate must-see venue on Liverpool’s waterfront and it’s reopening on August 1. Charting the history of rock and pop through the decades, it has more than 600 artefacts on display including outfits worn by Freddie Mercury, instruments played by Noel Gallagher and the Sex Pistols, and lyrics handwritten by Adele. The Gibson Interactive Studio gives you the chance to learn and play and Dance The Decades can teach you all the most famous moves – perfect for a bit of a DIY music video!

If you want a cathedral we’ve got one to spare…

In my Liverpool Home wasn’t wrong – Liverpool’s two cathedrals are among the biggest attractions for tourists to the city. The stunning grade I listed Liverpool Cathedral is back open for worship and visiting, and for safety reasons numbers are currently limited so visitors and service-goers are asked to book in advance. There’s a one-way system in place to help with social distancing, and opening hours have been revised to 12-3pm on Sundays and 11am-3pm Monday to Saturday.

Along Hope Street, the Metropolitan Cathedral – the largest Catholic cathedral in England and another world-famous landmark on the Liverpool skyline – is also back open to visitors seven days a week, with temporary opening times 12pm-4pm. 

Get your ghoul on

For anyone who loves a good ghost story, Shiverpool – Liverpool’s award-winning historic ghost tour – will definitely give you the chills. It’s back after lockdown with the Hope Street Experience and plenty of spooky shenanigans and the good news is, because it’s all outdoors, it’s easier to keep safe. Tour capacity has been reduced from 40 to 15 to help with distancing and guides will be veiled (for Covid reasons and for added eeriness!). Advance booking is via the website.

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