Whenever we hear about Liverpool, we automatically switch thoughts to its world-famous soccer team but we might be missing out on a whole lot. “Why?” you might ask. Well, because the harbouring city of the team is one of the most beautiful ones in the United Kingdom (besides being the home city of the Beatles). With a metropolitan population of over 2.2 million, Liverpool has the 5th most populous metropolitan area in its home country. Located in north-western England, the city was founded in 1207 and it currently stretches on a land area of 112 square kilometres (and growing). With numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a generally breath-taking surrounding area, Liverpool is a must-see for all the tourists visiting the United Kingdom.
Liverpool is located within the bounds of the temperate oceanic climate zone and this means that it only succumbs to moderate temperature fluctuations depending on the time of the year. This means that summers there are warm to cool whilst winters are forgiving and mild. To bring this into perspective, let us tell you that the absolute minimum that has ever been recorded there was -12 degrees Celsius whilst the maximum was 34.5. As you can see, temperatures tend to stay close to the centre of the heat spectrum. If you are neither a fan of the extreme heat nor of the cold, Liverpool is perfect for you at all times. The local forecast often tells you that the skies will be covered with clouds, so don’t expect to go to Liverpool to sunbathe (wink). This is mostly the case in the UK but do not let this discourage you for there are plenty things to see there.
Liverpool is served by the Liverpool John Lennon Airport (paying its tribute to the leading Beatle), located 12 kilometres south of the city centre. Funnelling more than 4.3 million passengers each year, it is but the 14th busiest airport of its parent country. With more than 160 flights arriving daily, that says something about how busy the UK is in terms of air-based traffic. Besides Liverpool, the airport also serves Merseyside, Cheshire, Shropshire and North Wales (basically most areas of north-western England). There are three more things to be aware of here. Firstly, the airport is served by the Easyjet and Ryanair low-budget airlines – an easy choice for all you budget-savvy travellers. Secondly, if you happen to be landing at the Manchester Airport, fret not, because it is but an hour’s drive away from Liverpool. Lastly, there is a bus system connecting the airport to the city centre with tickets as cheap as 2-4 pounds.
There is one important thing to know about Liverpool before you go there: the city is not very large to cross. This means that you should only need public transport if you are in a hurry or if you are feeling lazy. The most commonly used means of getting around are cabs and intra-urban buses. Both of the aforementioned are cheap and efficient. Pirate cabs are close to non-existent so you should not fear getting conned (although we always encourage tourists to be vigilant). Buses are also cheap and if you happen to be housed in the suburbs, they are perfect.
SIGHTS AND ACTIVITIES:
The most prominent attraction of Liverpool for all you music lovers is probably The Beatles Story. A museum-like establishment dedicated entirely to the life and times of the renowned Fab Four, The Beatles Story has been visited by more than 4 million people since its opening in 1990. If you are fond of the 60s, you are sure to feel at home when basking in the brilliance of the life-like replicas of The Casbah Club, The Cavern Club, and the Abbey Road Studios. Oh, and if you happen to be travelling with your children, do consider taking them to the interactive Discovery Zone – they will love it.
Next up, we have the other world-famous attraction of Liverpool – the Albert Dock. Constructed between 1841 and 1846 by architects Jesse Hartley and Philip Hardwick, the shipyard is owned by the Albert Dock Company Ltd. What’s interesting about it is that it was the first structure in England to be built entirely of cast iron, stone and brick (without the use of wood). What this achieved was that it was not volatile in any way and its warehouses became the safest of their contemporary times. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Maritime Mercantile City, it boasts with the largest collection of Grade I listed buildings in the UK.
You cannot leave Liverpool without visiting its scintillating Walker Art Gallery on William Brown Street. Established in 1877, it houses one of the largest collections of art pieces in England outside of London. The impressive building in which the establishment is housed was built by architects Cornelius Sherlock and H. H. Vale and along with a grandiose artesian fountain, they decorate the city centre of Liverpool. Notable art pieces harboured there include: Lucas Cranach the Elder’s “The Nymph of the Fountain”, Peter Paul Rubens’ “Meleager and Atalanta” and even Nicholas Hilliard’s famous “Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I”. Be one of the 330,000 visitors that step through its doors every year.
Liverpool is a moody little city that is worth your attention because it reaches back into the past so vividly and gracefully that it creates an unparalleled timeless manifestation. Transportation is effortless and the sights are welcoming. Oh, and most importantly, Liverpool is much-much cheaper than London (wink).