Sprawling its way along the mouth of the River Mersey and out onto England’s Irish Sea coast, Liverpool is a historic English city with a suitably dramatic setting.
From Victorian-era gardens through to regenerated docks and adventures over the water, there’s more than enough going on in Liverpool to fill a long weekend. And while the North West might not be known for having glorious weather, some of the al fresco must-see attractions you’ll find scattered around the city of Liverpool are well worth wrapping up for.
Suitable for: all ages, particularly those who love to learn local history
How to get there: right on the waterfront off Strand Street, eight minutes’ walk from James Street Station and 16 minutes from Lime Street Station
This UNESCO World Heritage Site might be Liverpool’s most famous landmark, and no trip to the city is complete without a stroll around Albert Dock. Completed in 1846, this complex of Victorian-era warehouses are an icon of industrial Britain, with a rich and colourful history that’s intertwined with the story of this formidable city.
The structures that line the dock are the first buildings in Britain to be built only with cast iron, brick and stone, also making this the world’s first fire-resistant warehouse system. In its industrial heyday, cotton, brandy, sugar, tobacco and tea would arrive at the port here to be distributed across the country, but rapid changes to shipping technology meant that the dock had been outgrown within half a century of its completion.
The dock was brought to use again for the British Atlantic Fleet during the Second World War but fell into a deep decline afterwards. Thankfully for us, recent regeneration has restored the dock to its full glory, and today it hosts an exciting and eclectic selection of museums, bars, cafes and cultural institutions.
Suitable for: fantastic family days out
How to get there: most services depart from Pier Head by the Liver Building, a few minutes’ walk from James Street Station
Price: start at £11.00 for adults, £7.00 children (under 5s go free) for the River Explorer Cruise
Take to the water and look back over the Liverpool skyline on this open-air adventure. The fantastic Mersey Ferries operate a range of services from the city’s waterfront, all of which allow you to make the most of Liverpool’s charming coastal setting.
Journey options include the River Explorer Cruise, which runs up and down the coast and offers the chance to enjoy Liverpool’s landmarks from a different perspective. Meanwhile, you can head inland with a soothing sail up the Manchester Ship Canal, or see what’s on offer over the water in Birkenhead with a return trip on a Liverpool Bay Cruise. There are even extra special adventures like romantic sunset cruises and bird watching expeditions. Whichever you choose, you’ll love seeing a whole new side to the city.
Suitable for: great fun for kids
How to get there: in the Calderstones area of the city, just off the A562 Menlove Avenue - the 76 route bus runs between the city centre and here
This wonderful green space sprawls across more than 94 acres of Liverpool’s southern suburbs, and boasts a whole host of attractions to keep young minds busy. Explore a combination of woodlands, fields and lakes as you search for the Allerton Oak, a tree thought to have been around for more than a thousand years. Then unwind in a series of landscaped gardens while the kids burn off some energy in the neighbouring playgrounds, or enjoy an exciting ride on the park’s miniature railway, which opens each Sunday from 2:00 pm. There’s even an on-site café and ice cream parlour, so you can keep everyone suitably warm or cool, depending on the season!
Suitable for: history lovers
How to get there: you’ll find it in the Ropewalks area of the city on Leece Street, an eight-minute walk from Lime Street Station
St Luke’s – or the Bombed Out Church as it’s known by locals – is a Grade II* listed, former Anglican Church at the heart of the city. Completed in 1832, it was severely damaged during the Liverpool Blitz of World War Two, and has remained in a semi-derelict, roofless state ever since.
That’s not to say the Church isn’t loved by Liverpudlians though, and what remains of this beautiful structure is very much treasured today. The surrounding gardens are a popular place for city dwellers to gather, and the shell of St Luke’s is often the site of special events and celebrations. There’s even an outdoor bar in the Church grounds, that lets you take in the architecture while toasting your trip with a craft beer or two.
Suitable for: couples’ weekend breaks and parties
How to get there: head for the south end of the city, at Jordan Street close to the Baltic Triangle
Price: £17.00 for the City Centre Sightseeing Tour, £37.00 for The Beatles Tour
Take over the city on two wheels when you book a Liverpool Cycle Tour. Whatever you’ve come to town for, you can tick off so many of your must-see sights when you head out on an exhilarating ride, all while enjoying the fresh Irish Sea air that Liverpool is famous for.
Fans of the Fab Four will love the Beatles Tour, which gets you around the city and its suburbs on electric bikes, taking in everything from Penny Lane to Strawberry Field and the grave of Eleanor Rigby. Meanwhile, the City Centre Sightseeing Tour ticks all the boxes on more conventional pedal power, while the Walking & Drinking Tour is perfect for real ale and craft beer fans.
Suitable for: thrill seekers and activity weekends
How to get there: make tracks for Queens Dock on the southern side of the city – the centre is just off Mariners Wharf
Price: from £5.00 for open water swimming and up to £12.00 for kayak hire – with an additional £5.00 to hire a wetsuit
See what takes your fancy from the range of exciting activities on offer at the Liverpool Watersports Centre. With a packed-out schedule that offers visitors everything from kayaking and swan pedalo rides, through to powerboating and windsurfing in the city’s world-famous docks, it’s sure to be a truly memorable experience.
In the shadow of some of the city’s most memorable landmarks, guests of all ages can take to the water for a dip, while the on-site Aqua Park with inflatables and assault courses certainly ramps up the fun. With equipment hire provided including those all-important wetsuits, you’ll still be able to pack light on your Liverpool city break.
For somewhere comfy and cosy to call base while you explore the sights and sounds of Liverpool, Jurys Inn Liverpool ticks all the boxes. Our stylish hotel has 310 bedrooms and offers a stylish on-site bar, seasonal restaurant and room service.
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