In 2008, Liverpool celebrates its eight hundredth anniversary as a city and will represent all of Europe as the Capital of Culture. Special events through 2008 will include a one time performance of "Liverpool the Musical," on January 12, with Ringo Star, Echo and the Bunnymen, Dave Stewart, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Sir Paul McCartney will lead the "Liverpool Sound" concert on June 1. Visit the official celebration website Liverpool08.com to download a thirty-six page guide, "Sound City," which includes a map.
This park is adjacent to city museums and the main train station at Lime Street
During the 1800s and early 1900s, when Britain was still an imperial power, Liverpool was a busy commercial port. The city's grand docks, office buildings, banks, trade buildings, warehouses, theaters, and museums demonstrated England's global status and mercantile might.
The Three Graces of the Liverpool Waterfront: the Royal Liver Building (foreground), built by Walter Aubrey Thomas, 1908 - 1911; the Cunard Building (former offices of the Mersey Docks, center), built by Willinck & Thicknesse with Arthur J. Davis, 1914 - 1916; and Harbour Board (with dome roof), built by Briggs & Wolstenholme with Hobbs & Thornely, 1903 - 1907.
In this photo and the skyline photo above, you can see hundred year old buildings mingling with modern glass and steel structures.
Liverpool is a World Heritage City with hundreds of registered buildings, including the world's largest Anglican Cathedral (not pictured), that has the world's highest Gothic arches, the heaviest peal of bells, a seventy-eight foot high bridge within the structure, and a tower that offers views of the city.
The cathedral (not pictured here, but worth visiting) was started in 1904, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. His most famous design was the red telephone box [booth]. Sir Paul McCartney famously premiered his Liverpool Oratorio in the cathedral. For more information, visit the Cathedral website LiverpoolCathedral.org.uk.
These fountains are in front of the Walker Art Museum. The lion is in front of the Post Office.
In the center of Liverpool is Mathew Street, where the Beatles got their start in an underground pub called The Cavern. The street has become a Mecca for Beatles fans. Visit the Cavern and buy Beatles souvenirs at the small shops that line the one hundred yard long street. Link to one of the shops - click here.
The Cavern is literally about four stories underground. It is dark, with brick arches, forming caverns.
Just up the way from Mathew Street is this revolving restaurant, which offers views of the city and waterfront.
Take a two hour bus tour to see the Beatles' birthplaces, schools, and former homes, as well as Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields. The bus leaves from Queen Square and ends at Mathew Street. Advance booking is recommended Cavern City Tours. Liverpool Beatles Tours offers custom tours, check BeatlesTours.co.uk.
The city is easy to walk or get around by bus or train on your own, but allow at least three days to see everything.
Buy passage on the spot to ride the historic ferry across the Mersey River. You will be bombarded by Gerry & The Pacemakers ("So ferry 'cross the Mersey / 'Cause this land's the place I love / And here I'll stay.")
See the city from the water.
Plenty of indoor seating for shelter from cold weather.
When you disembark, head south to Albert Dock, to see the Beatles Story museum (website - theBeatlesStory.co.uk or BeatlesStory.com). The museum includes a room for each of the four Beatles, celebrating their solo careers after the band broke up in 1970.
Also now open, the Hard Days' Night Hotel. Each of the 110 guestrooms tell a different part of the Beatles' story through original art. The four-star hotel is six stories, with two penthouse suites that offer city views; the hotel has three rooms available for private parties.
Church Street and its cross streets are broad shopping boulevards, shut off from vehicles, but perfect for pedestrians. At 16-18 Newington, 2nd floor, you will find The Egg, Liverpool's longtime vegetarian and vegan gathering place. Hours are Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 10:30 p.m., Saturday - Sunday 10 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Stop off for some lunch after you explore the shops that line the boulevards.
Another great shop (not pictured here) is News from Nowhere bookshop, 96 Bold Street (website: NewsFromNowhere.org.uk). Motto: "Radically Different!"
Here are the museums near the Lime Street train station: the World Museum, Walker Art Gallery, and Central Library.
School children visit the museums with their teachers on a regular, required basis, to learn the history of art and of their city.
Visit Liverpool soon. You can fly into Liverpool's John Lennon Airport, or take the Brit Rail from anywhere in the United Kingdom. The largest nearby city is Manchester, about thirty miles to the east.