Day Trips from Manchester Sightseeing: Liverpool and ‘The Beatles Story’
This year, we will feature reports on each of our Day Trips from when we attended them. First up is Liverpool, the city of the Beatles, the River Mersey and Scousers, which we visited in the summer of 2018.
Our Day Trip to Liverpool
The train from Manchester Piccadilly to Liverpool Lime Street is a little over an hour. The welcome you receive when you walk out of Lime Street into Liverpool – with St George’s Hall to the right and St John’s Beacon and the rest of the city to the left – is surely one of the best views from the steps of a train station in the UK.
The first stop on the Day Trip was the hop-on the City Explorer sightseeing bus, which departed from Queen Square, just a short walk away. The bus comes frequently so we weren’t waiting long. It was a beautiful sunny day (as it always is in Liverpool) so we went straight to the top deck to sit in the sunshine. On board was a live local guide, who made sure we didn’t miss any of the sights as we left the city centre and headed up towards the Universities. She was friendly and approachable, encouraging questions from passengers.
The bus turned onto Hope Street, at either end of which sit Liverpool’s two beautiful cathedrals, both are free to enter (although donations are welcome). You can hop-off at either one to take a look around. We chose not to visit the Metropolitan Cathedral and stayed on until the Anglican Cathedral, which is the UK’s largest Cathedral (and the 5th largest in the world).
Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral dominates the city’s skyline; there are not many places from where it cannot be seen. The building is one of the most spectacular in the UK. On the day we visited there was a temporary exhibition showcasing the surface of the moon, with a scale ‘moon’ hanging from the ceiling in one of the wings, adding a surreal element to the grand interior. It takes about half an hour to explore the cathedral, although there is also an option to go up the tower (for an additional charge), where the views are phenomenal on a clear day, if you wish to extend your visit.
We hopped back on the bus from the same stop we hopped off at and returned to the city centre, passing China Town, the bohemian Baltic Triangle and the recently-developed Cain’s Brewery Village, featuring bars, restaurants and vintage boutiques. The bus then travels alongside the Mersey towards Liverpool’s historic waterfront. The views of the cathedral from here give a true sense of its colossal size.
The next stop on the tour was the Beatles Story at the Royal Albert Dock. The Beatles Story tells the entire history of the Beatles, from their origins in skiffle bands, through Beatles Mania to the breakup of the band and their solo careers. It is the largest exhibition in the world solely dedicated to the Fab Four. For any Beatles fan it is a haven of trivia and memorabilia.
After the Beatles Story we wandered around the Royal Albert Dock, a symbol of Liverpool and the heart of its waterfront, with its iconic red pillars. The final stop on the tour was a river cruise on the Mersey Ferry, the bus does stop there but we decided to walk the short distance to the ferry terminal along the waterfront.
If you’re not familiar with the Gerry and the Pacemakers hit Ferry ‘Cross the Mersey, you definitely will be after the 50-minute River Explorer Cruise. The cruise departs Pier Head on the hour, every hour for a relaxing journey up the Mersey, stopping at Seacombe and Woodside before returning to Pier Head. The views over both the Wirral peninsula and Liverpool are spectacular. However, the Liverpool side of the river steals the show. It is clear to see why Liverpool’s waterfront is a world heritage sight as it is unparalleled, certainly in the UK. There are plenty of unique photo opportunities from the top deck of the ferry.
Once we returned to Pier Head we had some free time to explore Liverpool before we returned to Manchester. There are several museums and art galleries across the city centre to choose from but we chose to visit the Cavern Club on Matthew Street. There is always live music on, usually in tribute to the Beatles, and it is one of the most atmospheric venues in the city. It is a must for any Beatles fan visiting Liverpool.
After singing along to some Beatles hits we had to tear ourselves away and head back to the train station for the journey back to Manchester. We had a fantastic day out in Liverpool and would highly recommend a visit!
Written by: Dan Bridges
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