One of England’s largest cities, Liverpool grew in wealth and influence over the 18th and 19th centuries to become a powerhouse of trade and industry. The city’s historical significance is reflected in its status as the first city outside London to be awarded blue plaques by English Heritage, which recognises the “significant contribution made by its sons and daughters in all walks of life."
Among these famous Liverpudlians (or “Scousers”) are Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Beatles tourism has blossomed in the proud city, where tours of significant sites such as former residences are available in abundance. Modern Liverpool is not content to rest on its laurels, however, and its buzzing music scene draws acclaimed groups and artists from around the globe to perform at its many music venues. The Echo Arena, which seats about 11,000, plays host to concerts by renowned musicians and other high-profile music and sporting events.
In 2008, Liverpool was granted the title of European Capital of Culture, an accolade that raised the city’s profile in England and internationally. Visitors will enjoy its nightlife and restaurant scene as well as the museums, theatres and galleries that call Liverpool home.
Typical of England’s climate, July and August are usually the warmest months, while January and February are typically the coolest. Rainfall occurs throughout the year, but the most rain usually comes from December through February.
When to fly to Liverpool
June through September constitutes Liverpool’s peak season, as the weather is often warm and dry during this time period.
The city sees the fewest visitors from December through February when weather is cold and there is a high chance of rain. May through June, and October through November, are good off-peak times to visit, as they come just before and after peak season, but crowds are few and the weather is relatively favourable.
Getting around Liverpool
Central Liverpool is small enough that most major sites are easily reachable on foot. There are also many picturesque and easy cycling routes through the city.
Buses are available, running from the city centre’s two main bus terminals – Queen Square and Liverpool ONE – outward. Train service operates from three main central stations: Moorfields, Lime Street and Central Station.
Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LPL) (www.liverpoolairport.com) is located in the Speke region of Liverpool, 12 km (7.5 miles) southeast of the city centre. Manchester Airport (MAN) (www.manchesterairport.co.uk) is also accessible, located around 47.4 km (29 miles) east of Liverpool. Blackpool Airport (BLK) (www.blackpoolinternational.com) is relatively nearby too, located 41.4 km (26 miles) north of Liverpool.
Liverpool insider information
- Albert Dock, a UNESCO World Heritage site containing the largest single collection of Grade I listed buildings in the U.K., is one of Liverpool’s most popular tourist attractions. The dock is of paramount importance to the city’s maritime history and now houses the Merseyside Maritime Museum, as well as other institutions such as the Tate Liverpool, the Beatles Story exhibition and a range of bars, cafes and restaurants.
- The Beatles Story exhibition is dedicated to Liverpool’s famous sons. Beatles fans flock to the site to learn about the history of the Fab Four from attractions including the Fab4D Experience and replicas of famous Beatles-related sites.
- Liverpool Cathedral was founded in 1904 but building wasn’t completed until 1978, due to wartime difficulties and cost issues. The cathedral is the largest in the U.K. in square metres, and its Grand Organ is the largest organ in the U.K.
- World Museum offers free entry and contains collections that focus on natural and physical sciences as well as archaeology and ethnology. The museum originally opened in a different building in 1853 as the Derby Museum of the Borough of Liverpool.
- The Williamson Tunnels of the Edge Hill area are an intriguing piece of Liverpool’s history. They were built under the direction of businessman Joseph Williamson in the 19th century and their purpose is largely unknown. One theory is that he commissioned the labyrinth simply to provide employment for local labourers, an act of charity that allowed beneficiaries to save face. The Williamson Tunnels Heritage Centre, which opened in 2002, hosts guided tours through parts of the underground network.