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Holiday Guides for United Kingdom - England

Liverpool

The Beatles, the Liver Building, iconic docks and two of the world's most famous football clubs - Liverpool is a city that has it all.

The city of Liverpool has a great deal to offer visitors, with a rich history as a commercial port, the Beatles, a lively arts scene and excellent bars and clubs.

History And Culture

Liverpool, the European Capital of Culture for 2008, rose to prominence in the 18th and 19th centuries as an international port - at one stage approximately 40 per cent of the world's trade passed through the city's docks. However, it is now arguably more famous for being home to the Beatles and football clubs Liverpool and Everton.

Given its history as a port, Liverpool has a diverse population and caters for a wide range of religions - it houses one of the oldest mosques in Britain, several synagogues, a mandir and two cathedrals.

Its most recognisable features are the three graces of Liverpool's waterfront - the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building - although there are several other neo-classical buildings to be admired, not least in the 'cultural quarter'. This part of the city, which encompasses the area around William Brown Street, includes the William Brown Library, Walker Art Gallery and World Museum Liverpool - all of which are notable for their imposing architecture.

Locals are called Liverpudlians, but are more likely to be known as Scousers - a name which derives from a local dish called scouse, a type of stew.

When slavery was abolished in 1807, Liverpool became a centre for immigration, with people arriving from abroad and setting sail from the port for new lives in Australia and America. The city boomed during the industrial revolution and played a key role during World War II, during which it was heavily bombed.

Because of its history Liverpool has its own distinct culture that has been created by the many people that have both arrived in and moved through the city. Situated on the River Mersey, Liverpool has a total population of around half a million, but has a vibrancy and energy that belie its size.

The city witnessed a period of decline during the latter half of the twentieth century, with the closure of many of its docks, but it was named as the European Capital of Culture for 2008 and is seeing its economy strengthen again.

Things To See And Do

Liverpool is synonymous with the Beatles and the Merseybest sound of the 1960s. The famous Cavern where the Fab Four started their careers is still a live music venue, there are a number of companies running bus tours along a Beatles theme and The Beatles Story museum, which charts the history of the group.

Key tourist sites in the city include the imposing neo-Gothic Anglican Cathedral and the 1960s Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral, known affectionately as 'Paddy's WigWam' because of its distinctive design.

The aforementioned waterfront and docks were declared a world heritage site by Unesco in 2004 and are definitely worth a visit.

Other places of cultural interest near to Liverpool hotels include the Tate Liverpool, the modern art centre of the Tate in the north of England, and Liverpool University's Victoria Building, notable for its Audubon display, which is the second-largest outside of the US.

Liverpool has a number of excellent theatres, producing a varied programme of old favourites and new writing, while its two football clubs Liverpool FC and Everton FC are two of the UK's top teams.

The revamped Albert Dock is now a fashionable part of town, with designer shops, trendy bars, the interesting Merseyside Maritime Museum and the Tate Liverpool.

Scousers tend to be warm, friendly and witty, and the city is home to a large collection of pubs and bars, from traditional drinking holes to exclusive upscale venues. The city is also renowned for its club scene and is home to legendary nightclub Cream.

Accommodation is varied and relatively inexpensive, with hotels dotted around the city and surrounding area, and taxi fares are among the cheapest in the UK. As you'd expect from a major urban centre, restaurants in the city cover everything from traditional British cooking to excellent Chinese and Indian restaurants and most things in between.

Weather In Liverpool

The weather in Liverpool is, unfortunately, rather akin to that which you would expect in the UK - which means summers are mostly warm with average temperatures of 20C and winters are cold and wet with average temperatures of 4C.

Destination Checklist For Liverpool

  • Liverpool has a population of 466,400 (2011 Census data).
  • The city is on GMT/UTC time.
  • The official currency is the pound.
  • English is the official language although Welsh can also be heard because of the city's proximity to the border.
  • The city's international dialling code is +44.