Discovering the beauties of Liverpool
Are you planning a short city break with a partner or your family? While many can enjoy the hustle of a capital city, there are times when it can be overwhelming. The common consensus is that you have to go to a capital city to enjoy a truly engaging and authentic experience. However, some cities stand by themselves. Liverpool is surely one of them. In 2008, the European Commission awarded Liverpool with the title of ‘European Capital of Culture.’ This provided Liverpool with the opportunity to flex their cultural muscles. Since the accolade there has been an influx of development in Liverpool. The center is dense with intriguing restaurants, social plazas, entrancing nightlife and cultural artifices. The city is still riding the momentum of the cultural wave and it shows no sign of reaching a premature crescendo.
Liverpool is situated in the northwest corner of England on the banks of the River Mersey. This geographical location has influenced the social genetics of the city because the port of Liverpool was one of the British colonies’ most active trading posts. Due to this, Liverpool had an influx of people coming to the city. It became a melting pot of culture and you can still experience the effects of its history to this very day. However, I don’t want to spoil the small nuances of Liverpool you will come to treasure. Instead, I want to point you in the right direction in the hope that you enjoy a truly enjoyable experience.
Don’t just be a day tripper, make sure you see Liverpool up close and personal! No trip to Liverpool would be complete without a visit to one of its most enduring landmarks: The Cavern Club. This well-known hot spot is synonymous with the music of The Beatles. The four sons of the Mersey were able to conquer the world of music in the early 1960’s and their legend still endures throughout the city. You won’t fail to notice subtle and not so subtle homages to the Fab Four as you walk around the city. However, to have a truly authentic experience you should go to where it all started. The Cavern Club resides at the very top of Matthew Street. Liverpool is renowned for it’s music scene and many of the cities greatest bands have run the circuit. The Cavern (as the locals call it) is the apex of this circuit. Go to the bar and order and drink, enjoy the unique memorabilia and feed your ears with who could be the next great musical export.
If you want to experience something more visceral, I recommend that you get to the waterfront. The area is full of little splendors including docking ships and a quaint shopping district located around the key of the docks. The Albert Dock is particularly visually appealing, especially at twilight when the surrounding areas are ablaze with phosphorescent light. Take some time out of your trip to walk around the perimeter and breathe in the fresh sea air, or visit after a meal and go to one of the swanky bars for a cocktail. You could even go to Liverpool’s equivalent of a ferris wheel to get an elevated view of the city. There is no shortage of options on the waterfront.
I believe that the best way to immerse your self in a city is by sampling a dish that is specific to the area. Liverpool’s most famous dish is called Scouse and any restaurant within Liverpool that has sense serves hot Scouse. Scouse consists of carved lamb’s shoulder with onion, carrots, potato and thyme in a stew. It is most often served with beetroot on the side. Though the stew is synonymous with Liverpool, it was first brought over by Norwegian shippers who had docked on the ports. If you were to go anywhere in the city for a plate of hot Scouse, we would recommend a traditional pub called the Baltic Fleet, which is located in Wapping inside the Baltic Triangle. This establishment has been standing since the mid 1800’s. It is so old that the grounds have two secret tunnels which lead from the cellar towards either the docklands or to the old red light district in Cornhill.
Liverpool is a sporting city. No sport has captured the heart and imaginations of the city quite like football. Both of Liverpool’s teams have experienced success across both domestic and European competitions. If you are a sporting fan you should take the opportunity to visit Anfield Stadium. You can book on a tour of the grounds and experience the momentous history of the club firsthand. From small beginnings come great things, and the sporting culture of Liverpool has certainly achieved great things. Who knows, you may be lucky to catch a full 90 minute game during your visit! The stadium is the best place to experience the passion of the sport, but a bar is also a great place to have a true sporting experience. These are the best ways to see the historical context of the city, but you may want to experience something different. There is plenty on offer throughout the city, so it is up to you to you to approach the city with an open mind. If you give it a fair chance, Liverpool will unfurl and show you both the riveting and quirky sides of its culture.