With a population of around 500,000 people, Liverpool is the fifth biggest city in the UK. Although Liverpool is over 800 years old, the last 200 years have seen its population grow exponentially. Ironically, Liverpool’s dark history as one of the most important slave trading ports have resulted in it now being one of the country’s most diverse cities, with the oldest African community in Britain and the oldest Chinese community in Europe. Modern-day Liverpool now embraces cultural diversity in all its forms, making it one of the best spots to visit in Britain.
The Beatles Story
Located on Liverpool’s historic Albert Dock, The Beatles Story is a museum dedicated to the history and legacy of what is undoubtedly the city’s most famous export. In addition to being the best-selling and most-successful band in history, the Beatles also had an enormous cultural influence, redefining music and playing a major role in the growth of 1960’s counterculture.
The museum contains lots of iconic Beatles-related memorabilia, such as George Harrison’s first guitar, John Lennon’s glasses, as well as detailed recreations of important locations in Beatles history, such as Abbey Road Studio, and The Casbah Coffee Club, which helped launch their career. The museum is usually open from 9 AM to 7 PM, and costs £16.95 for an adult ticket.
Free State Kitchen
The Free State Kitchen is a quaint, low-key diner that serves American classics with a contemporary gastronomical twist. Examples include the self-explanatory Mac ‘n’ Cheese burger, as well as the Goober Burger, which is served with a fried egg, caramelized onions, and peanut butter. While the interior of the restaurant has limited seating, they also have a large garden in the back where customers can dine al-fresco. They even encourage dog owners to come here with their pets, making this the perfect place to take advantage of a sunny day. A meal here will generally set you back somewhere in the region of £10.
Knowsley Safari Park
Knowsley Safari Park is a 550 acre area of land that is home to over 700 individual animals, mostly from Africa. The park includes animals such as monkeys, zebras, camels, rhinos, giraffes, elephants, lions, and much more. Knowsley works in conjunction with universities and other zoological parks across the UK and Ireland to breed and conserve as many of these endangered species as possible.
There are large areas of the park that can be accessed on foot, but the real attraction is the safari drive, which is the longest in the UK and takes about an hour to complete. A standard adult ticket costs £17.50 at the door, but for those with a little extra cash to burn, you can also get extended private tours that allow you to get up close and personal with some of your favorite animals.
The Art School
If you’re the kind of person who enjoys fine dining and has a daring palate, then the Art School is just the place for you. Located in an 1888 Victorian Home for Destitute Children, the interior of the restaurant has undergone extreme renovations, with brightly colored minimalistic furniture set against a backdrop of modern, multi-textured walls, all under a large glass roof. The Art School is definitely located in the fancier part of town, with its doors facing directly onto the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.
There are 3 main menu types and prices here: The Prix Fixe (£32), the Menu Excellence (£69), and the Tasting Menu (£89). Dishes include twice-baked soufflé, corn-fed Guinea fowl, and a breast of Northop wood pigeon served with foie gras. The Art School is the perfect place to spend an elegant evening in Liverpool, as long as you’re willing to risk trying new things.
While every city has its own top-quality attractions, the number of spots in Liverpool that had to be left off this list is staggering. The museum scene in particular highlights just how much culture Liverpool has managed to squeeze between its boundaries, with the Tate Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, World Museum, Museum of Liverpool, and the International Slavery Museum representing just a handful of what the city has to offer. And with so many choices of things to do, the only thing you can be sure of is that you’ll want to come back.