“Don’t miss The Beatles museum“, my friend commented when I checked in on Facebook to Liverpool Limestreet Station. Ah…too bad I am not The Beatles’s fan. Though, I eventually visited The Beatles story shop – for the shake of “been there”.
Arriving from Birmingham at Liverpool Lime Street Station, after finishing my course, I hurriedly walked to Lord Nelson Hotel, on Lord Nelson St, a small street on the right side of the station. A non-refundable rate for a single room costs me 33 GBP (including breakfast!). I only have 22 hours in Liverpool so I better start hitting Liverpool.
First stop is Albert Dock. This is where old warehouses converted into shops, apartments, restaurants, museums, pubs and galleries. Good thing is it’s less than a km away from the station. Walking is the most preferred option. From the hotel, I am back to Lime Street, take a short stop at St. George’s Hall in front of the station and walk down to Ranelagh St continuing to Hanover St, passing through Clayton Shopping Center and Liverpool Central Station.
At the end of Hanover St is Liverpool One bus station and a major highway that separates Liverpool One from Albert Dock. Liverpool One is a landmark development opened in 2008 (celebrating European Capital of Culture 2008), comprised of three levels of pedestrian-friendly shopping and entertainment complex.
Major attractions in Albert Dock are Maritime Museum, Slavery Museum, The Beatles Story, Echo Wheel of Liverpool and a range of coffee shops, gallery and restaurant. Museum of Liverpool is also a walking distance from Albert Dock. You can also find souvenir shops at the inner circle of Albert Dock, about behind The Beatles Story.
It’s almost 6pm when I reached Albert Dock and it’s raining. Museum were closed already, so I continued walking down to Museum of Liverpool and Dock Office. Later tomorrow I am back to this excellent museum.
Passing through tidy, modern Liverpool One, I head to Cavern Walk/Quarter where nightlife seeker will find heaven. I continue my walk to go back to my hotel through Municipal Office, St. John’s Garden, World Museum, Liverpool Library and Walker Art Gallery.
That was it for today. I conclude my first night and only in Liverpool with having dinner in a halal restaurant, one block away from Lord Nelson Hotel.
It’s Saturday and I have a busy plan this morning and afternoon before heading to London. I wake up early and start my walking tour around Liverpool. Traffic has not woke up yet while sun rays is not hot enough to warm this cold June morning. From the hotel I take an opposite direction to circle Lime Street Station from the backside. A striking architecture invite me to take a closer look. Known by locals as Paddy’s Wigwam, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral is a unique architecture. I continue my walk to enjoy nice stretch of street (Hope Street) packed with restaurant, bars, hotel and notable buildings like Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.
My walk end up at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, one of the finest examples in the world of Gothic revival architecture. Continued down Duke Street, I pass this global cultural phenomenon: Chinatown, with its trademark of gigantic Chinese gate.
From here, I walk few minutes further to Lime Street Station then to my hotel. Fiuuhh what a morning walk.
Grabbing cereal, banana, croissant, orange juice and hot tea from complimentary breakfast from hotel, I am so impatient with my next plan: Anfied! Home to one of the most successful British football club: Liverpool FC.
Hotel has posted on its lobby clear information poster on how to using public transport (bus or tram) to go to Anfield but I choose to go by taxi to save time. Taxi is readily available 2-3 minutes walking from hotel back to station. There is one exit from station to Lord Nelson Street where this hotel is located at. Taxi to Anfield costs 8 pounds and takes no more than 10 minutes for less than 5km trip.
This is Anfield.
Instead of saying a standard “Welcome to Anfield” that sounds friendly & welcoming, former manager Bill Shankly installed this red sign posted on a wall on the tunnel to the pitch: “This is Anfield”. This was only to instill fear to the opposition hence giving more chance of winning a game.
I take a 15 GBP Stadium Tour and Museum package by purchasing the ticket directly at the stadium. Package can also be bought online though. This 45-50 min tour gives a glimpse of this sacred Anfield stadium and get insight behind the scenes. Guided by a lady staff, I tour to dressing room, board room, visitor dressing room, and press conference room. I also go down the tunnel to the sound of the crowd and touch the famous This is Anfield sign before taking a seat in the dug-out. It is so apparent that this old stadium (established in 1884) has its charm, preserved heritage, and speechless atmosphere. What an experience for me.
Finished with Anfield Stadium, I head to Goodison Park, home to Everton FC. Goodison Park is around a km from Anfield. I decide to walk this distance although drizzle is happy enough to wet me. The walk to Goodison Park is passing Stanley Park, a proposed site for, if built, future home for Liverpool FC.
Though Everton FC offers a stadium tour, I did not take the chance. Just couple of photo shots and walk around the stadium is satisfying enough.
Back to Liverpool city center using a taxi, I ask taxi driver to drop me to Museum of Liverpool located adjacent to Albert Dock. The museum, opened in 2011, tell the story of Liverpool and its people, and reflect the city’s global significance.
The Museum displays are divided into four main themes: The Great Port, Global City, People’s Republic, and Wondrous Place, located in four large gallery spaces. On the ground floor, displays look at the city’s urban and technological evolution, both local and national, including the Industrial Revolution and the changes in the British Empire, and how these changes have impacted the city’s economic development. The upper floor looks at Liverpool’s particular and strong identity through examining the social history of the city, from settlement in the area from Neolithic times to the present day, migration, and the various communities and cultures which contribute to the city’s diversity.
The Museum also features: Little Liverpool, a gallery for children under six; History Detectives, an interactive archaeology and history resource centre; a 180-seat theatre for community and audio-visual performances; meeting facilities; and a brasserie. [Wikipedia].
One of my favorite spots in the museum is viewing gallery facing Mann Island area and River Mersey.
Time is about past noon when I finished my visit to the museum. I continue to Maritime Museum and Slavery Museum, both located on the same old warehouse building. The museum, easily marked by huge anchor on its foreyard, displays collections that reflect the international importance of Liverpool as a gateway to the world, including its role in Transatlantic slavery, emigration, merchant navy and RMS Titanic. At the time of my visit, there is an exhibition of RMS Titanic (commemorating its century), with large-size replica of her on display.
One of the most unique exhibitions is probably displays on the life as g*y of the sailors. Others include Battle of the Atlantic (vital role that Liverpool played during Second World War), and Lfie at Sea ( the role of merchant ships and seafarers in providing a vital lifeline for the country by carrying goods and passengers in both peace and warover the last three centuries).
On the third floor is International Slavery Museum that is concerned specifically on Atlantic Slave Trade (and Africa) rather than the history of slavery in other regions or eras.
The visit to last two museums conclude my day in Liverpool. I go back to hotel to pick up my stored luggage and head to Lime Street Station to catch up my Virgin train to London.
A less-than-a-day visit to Liverpool gives me a glance of the life of Liverpudlians or Scousers. If I can summarize, You’ll never walk alone in Liverpool. The city is surrounded and immersed with maritime heritage, football madness, cultural heritage, and modern transformation. Oh…and that Liverpudlians accent of British English 🙂