A Guide to Liverpool
Liverpool’s famous waterfront is considered one of the most iconic waterfronts in the world, and if you’ve had the pleasure of seeing it already, you’ll understand why.
The blend of classic and modern architecture, coupled with its rich maritime heritage, attracts thousands of visitors from around the world each year, making it one of the busiest tourist spots in the city.
This area covers just some of the many attractions Liverpool’s waterfront has to offer and will help you understand why it is one of the most popular areas to live and to visit in the city.
The Pier Head
The Pier Head is widely regarded as the jewel in the crown of Liverpool City. It is one of the main tourist spots along the waterfront, made up of three of the oldest, yet most beautiful buildings in the city known as the Three Graces;
- The Royal Liver Building
- The Cunard Building
- The Port of Liverpool Building
Construction of the Three Graces began in 1901 and ran through to 1917. The tallest of the buildings, the Royal Liver Building, stands at 322 feet tall and has two clock towers, one on the water side and one on the city side.
On top of each clock tower stands a Liver Bird—the symbol of Liverpool’s maritime heritage. One bird overlooks the city, which represents Liverpool sailors looking back at the city from their ships, and the other looks out to sea, representing the sailor’s wives waiting for their husbands to come home.
The Royal Liver Building was one of the first buildings in the world to be made using reinforced concrete and was widely considered impossible to build. A visit to the Three Graces will reveal more historical details about these beautiful buildings.
The British Music Experience
The British Music Experience is one of a number of museums located near the waterfront. Dedicated to British music history, the museum is located in the beautiful Cunard Building and features costumes worn by famous musicians, music shows and musical instruments for both kids and adults to try their hand. It’s a great spot for music lovers of all ages.
The Beatles Story
Another popular attraction for music fans at the Pier head is The Beatles Story— the world’s largest permanent exhibition purely devoted to the greatest band the world has ever seen.
Take a tour through the life and times of The Beatles. See where it all started at The Cavern Club replica, then take a journey through their history with audio guides available in 12 different languages. Purchase gifts and souvenirs at the Fab4 gift shop before stopping off at the Fab4 Café for a bite to eat.
There’s even a discovery zone where children of all ages can learn about The Beatles through interactive screens, a giant piano, Yellow Submarine and workshops during half-term and school holidays.
Museum of Liverpool
If ‘The Beatles’ aren’t your cup of tea, then take a stroll around the corner and visit the Museum of Liverpool.
This immaculate building adds a flash of modernism to the area. With its sloping slate walls and roofs and tinted glass windows forming dynamic shapes like no other building in the city, you really can’t miss it.
It’s free to enter and has lots to do and see for the whole family, including community trails, free film screenings, models and sculptures, galleries and cafes, and more.
They host an array of exhibitions throughout the year. One of the most recent being the award-winning Terracotta Warriors exhibition. Unfortunately, this has now finished but you can find out what’s on right now by visiting their website.
For the photographer in you
The whole Pier Head area is a photographer’s dream, adorned with both modern and classic architecture, street performers and merchants. But there’s also a museum dedicated entirely to photography called The Open Eye Museum.
They work with photographers from around the world express themselves through their pictures with exhibits and shows all year round. You’ll find photos from the downright weird to the majestically beautiful. It’s definitely worth popping in for a look.
The Liverpool Ferry ride
Immortalised by Gerry & The Pacemakers in 1965 with the song ‘Ferry across the Mersey’, the Liverpool Ferry ride is considered a must-do activity for local residents in the city.
The ride starts off with a 20-minute river cruise up to the Seacombe Ferry Terminal, where you can stop off and enjoy the Spaceport Exhibition and have a snack at the Café while the kids tire themselves out at the soft play area.
Then it’s back on the boat for a 10-minute ride to the Woodside terminal, where you can discover what life was like on board a German WWII submarine before boarding the ferry once more for a final 20-minute trip back towards the Pier Head.
During this last trip, you’ll experience the most amazing view of Liverpool’s Waterfront from the deck, particularly at night when the whole city is lit up.
The whole ride is accompanied by an audio guide and you can pick up a family ticket for just £25 online or £28 from the terminal itself.
Cruise Ships Terminal
The Cruise Ships Terminal often hosts some of the world largest cruise ships, including the recent visit of the Queen Victoria. The arrival of famous ships like this bring thousands of visitors flocking to see them coming in, bringing an energetic buzz to the Pier Head area with street shows and merchants for your further entertainment.
The Albert Dock
With its iconic red brick warehouse buildings and authentic features, the famous Albert Dock is arguably the most historic site in the whole of Liverpool.
Dating back almost 200 years, The Albert Dock has had its fair share of up’s and down’s over the decades—from major maritime success in the 19th Century, to being victim to German bombers during the blitz in 1941, it’s lived through it all!
These days, it’s a massive tourist spot for locals and visitors to the city. Whether you like to visit museums, sip a glass of wine at an outdoor spot, or enjoy a stroll along its cobbled pathways, you’ll definitely enjoy a trip to the Albert Dock.
Waterfront Christmas Market
If you’re lucky enough to be in Liverpool for Christmas, you’ve got to head over to the Albert Dock for the Christmas Market.
You’ll find wooden stalls serving Christmas gifts, pastries, a variety of international foods, hot chocolate, mulled wine, and more, all accompanied by the cheerful sound of festive music. It’ll definitely get you in the Christmas spirit.
Merseyside Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum will teach you everything you could every want to know about Liverpool’s rich maritime heritage. It holds a variety of exhibitions throughout the year, including the ‘Seized!’ exhibition where you can learn how smugglers used to use the docks to import contraband.
There’s a café and a large gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs to take home.
Tate Liverpool Gallery
The Tate Liverpool gallery is an art-lovers dream and holds art pieces from some of the worlds most famous painters and sculptors. Admission is free but for special exhibitions such Picasso: Peace and Freedom, an exhibition that brought together over 150 Picasso art pieces from all over the world.
They are always hosting new exhibitions so if you love art and live in Liverpool, head over once in a while and see what’s new.
International Slavery Museum
This museum covers the history of slavery not just in Liverpool, but right across the world, and is considered an international hub for resources on human rights issues—it’s very popular and very educational!
Inside you’ll find three permanent galleries which cover life in West Africa, the trauma of slavery and its legacy, and as with other museums in the area, they hold special exhibitions all year round.
You’ll find art pieces, models and storyboards and, one of my favourites, The Freedom Sculpture which is made from recycled objects from the slums of Haiti. It represents the Haitians continuing struggle for freedom and human rights.
The Pump House
The Pump House was built in the 1870’s as part of a hydraulic upgrade to the docks haulage system. These days, it has been renovated into a public house and is now one of the most popular pubs in Liverpool. Visitors can enjoy good food, beer, rum and music all within the confines of it’s Grade II listed walls. There’s also an outdoor seating area for those hot summer days where you can sip a beer while watching the world go by.
Something for the little ones
Mattel Play has three fully themed interactive play zones where children can explore the Island of Sodor from Thomas & Friends, dig and build in Bob the Builder’s construction yard, and visit Ponty Pandy in Fireman Sam’s fire engine, Jupiter.
They also have special party rooms where you can book a birthday for your child and their friends to enjoy.
Adventure Dock Co.
The Aqua Park by Adventure Dock is a giant inflatable obstacle course on the sparkling waters of the Albert Dock. It’s a fantastic summer attraction for families and groups of all sizes and is made up of trampolines, slides, rafts and barriers where you can slip, slide and bounce along the water.
Take a stroll along Liverpool’s Marina and look at the vast array of boats belonging to local residents. Watch the Liverpool Yacht Club racing or hop on board a canal boat for a quick trip around the docks before stopping off at the yacht Club bar & restaurant for food and maybe a little drink.
Nearby, the Wake Park will teach you and your friends how to wake board whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned pro.
The Echo Arena has attracted lots of concerts and shows since its opening in January 2008. Artists and groups such as Beyond and The Script. It also hosts regular sporting events and exhibitions that attract thousands of visitors from both inside and outside of the city. A quick visit to their website will show you what’s on for the coming year.
Right outside the Echo Arena is the Wheel of Liverpool, a massive wheel ride where you and your family or friends can see the Liverpool skyline from 60m high.
There are always new things happening in Liverpool and we’ll keep you updated through our social pages. If you’d like to see which opportunities are available to invest in Liverpool property, click the link below for more information.