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Call Jon Fletcher on: (0161) 408-2161, or e-mail: jfletcher@cruiseholidaysuk.co.uk

 

WHAT TO DO AND SEE ON A VISIT TO LIVERPOOL

BY JON FLETCHER OF CRUISE HOLIDAYS UK

 

Liverpool is a popular city with cruise guests and tourists alike.  Whether you are starting your cruise there or just visiting for the day on a cruise this is one city that you will not want to miss out on and is so easy to explore independently that you do not need to spend lots of money on expensive excursions that will whisk you away from the city. 

 

One of the beauties of Liverpool Cruise Terminal is that it is within easy walking distance of many of the attractions that you might want to visit.  Indeed some of the attractions are right under your nose.  For example the moment you step off the ship and clear The Cruise Terminal Buildings you will be in a district of the city called the Pier head and looking at a group of 3 buildings collectively known as The Three Graces.  The closest building to the Terminal is probably the most iconic building of the three.  It is the Liver Building, the home of the symbols of the city, the Liver Birds.  You will notice that the Liver Birds face in opposite directions.  One looks towards the Mersey and the other looks towards the city.  The Story is that the Liver Bird looking towards the river represents the sailor’s wives looking for their husbands, and the one looking towards the city represents the mariners looking towards their home. Legend also has it that if the birds ever fly away the city will fall.  The building was designed by Walter Aubrey Thomas and was completed in 1911.  Next door to the Liver Building is the Cunard Building. This was the Head Office of the Cunard Line between 1917 and the 1960s.  Just outside the building on the Western side is a war memorial to Cunard employees killed in the 2 World Wars.  The third of the Grace buildings is the Port Authority and was the home of the docks board right up until 1994.  Some of the other attractions to see on the Pier Head is the new statue of the Beatles and the Museum of Liverpool that was opened in 2008 to showcase the history of the Liverpool City Region.  If you want to take an open top bus tour of the city then you can join it on the Pier Head.  If however you are a Beatles fan after taking a look at the statue of the Beatles head back to the Cruise Terminal and you might be lucky enough to catch the Taxi driver who doubles up as a private taxi tour of all the Beatles sites.  Alternatively why not book him ahead of time his website is www.fab4taxitours.com and cost from £85 per taxi for a 2 hour tour (cab takes 6 guests) up to £145 per taxi for a 7 hour tour including the Casbah.

 

A 10 – 15 minute walk from the cruise terminal you will come to Matthew Street where you will find the epicentre of the Beatles Quarter.  Here you will find both the Cavern Club and the Cavern Pub.  The Cavern Club is the famous club where the Beatles first made their name along with other famous Mersey Beat Groups like Gerry and the Pacemakers and the Mersey Beats and where Cilla who started life as the cloakroom girl began her career to.  Also in the street you will find the statue of John Lennon and The Grapes which was a favourite haunt of the Fab Four.  However around the corner in Rainford Gardens is The White Star, a Victorian pub named after the ill-fated White star line that had the Titanic.  It is also reputed that it was in the back room that the Beatles Auditioned for the Cavern Club. The pub is well worth a visit especially for its choice of real ales.

St Georges Quarter is rightly considered the cultural and heritage heart of the City.  At its heart is St George’s Hall.  This magnificent Neo-Classical building has served a variety of purposes from a renowned concert venue and performance space, assizes court and even a jail.  When the city wants to come together it often does this by meeting at the steps of the hall.  Behind St George’s Hall is the Walker Art Gallery which houses one of the largest and most eclectic collections outside London.  Next Door to the Walker Art gallery is the World Museum a fabulous museum that covers different world cultures from Africa to Tibet and has one of the finest Egyptology galleries.  The museum also has Natural history galleries and a section that specialises in Space travel and even a Planetarium. 

 

Liverpool has 2 cathedrals, the Anglican Cathedral designed by Giles Gilbert Scott, who also designed the old style Red Phone Box.  It is a very impressive church and one of the tallest non spire churches in the world. The cathedral is home to the largest church organ in the United Kingdom and the bell tower houses the World’s heaviest bells.  The Anglican cathedral and the more modern Metropolitan Cathedral (Roman Catholic) are linked by Hope Street and jointly they have shared a common mission of ecumenical solidarity.  The Metropolitan Cathedral was designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd and completed in 1967.  The shape of the building has led to the local nickname Paddy’s Wigwam.  Inside the the cathedral is some of the colourful stained glass windows designed by John Piper. 

 

Liverpool has a long Maritime history and the Royal Albert Dock was once a busy dockland and warehouse complex.  Today it is a vibrant cosmopolitan leisure area, with hotels, restaurants, shops, a branch of the Tate Modern housing some the Country’s best modern Art, the Mersey maritime Museum following the history of Liverpool Maritime Heritage, The Slavery Museum documenting the connection between the city and the Slave trade. But die hard Beatles fan will not want to miss a visit to The Beatles story.  A museum dedicated to the story of the Fab Four from their early days at the Casbah through to Abbey Road.  There are themed exhibition areas that recreate the various stages in their career.

 

If you are a shopaholic there are plenty of shops in the city to indulge you from small chic boutiques, designer shops and even the major chain stores.  But for the best shopping area in the city you need to head for Liverpool One.  There is something there for every taste and budget.

 

So as you can see Liverpool has so much to offer the cruise visitor and it would be a shame not to explore the city for yourself independently. 

 

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