While some might have memories of Liverpool being centered around ‘Beatlemania’ and jamming to ‘old school’ 70’s music, for me, my love affair with Liverpool started in my second year of university. My friend had invited me to spend Christmas with her and for the most part it was a magical experience, although we are no longer friends now. We spent the festive season exploring the cities many museums , gastronomic specialties, as well Liverpool One and the beautiful vistas of the nearby ‘Wirral’ where my friend lived. There were presents underneath the Christmas Tree lined with electric blue tinsel, while the tempestuous wind would knock my hat flying and I would run after it in my towering heels, in what must have been a comical sight. But most of all Liverpool was a journey of discovery, delving into Ancient Egyptian History at ‘The Museum Of Liverpool’, finding the perfect New Years Eve dress in Liverpool One and eating the most divine Moroccan food in an exquisitely intimate restaurant, where the lighting was dim but the seats were plush, plump flaky cheese pastries and harissa soup, a paradise even for vegetarians like myself. Can you believe that this magical trip into Liverpool took place four years ago, where I ate ice cream on Christmas Day and walked along the beach, while gazing at the nearby boats that would line the docks neatly in a row?
I remember the sequin dress from Rare London that I found while out in Liverpool, an iridescent green sequin maxi dress that sparkled under the glowering Christmas Lights, a small reminder of the razzle dazzle of the Liverpudlian spirit, where the people are merry and the morale is high, despite the chill that permeates the air. And where better to celebrate our united love of ‘The Beatles’ than the heart of Liverpool, where you can step inside the lives of a young Lennon and McCartney at their childhood homes in Mendips & 20 Forthlin Road or experience the ‘sights and sounds’ of an authentic Beatles experience on the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour, complete with entertaining commentary. However if the ‘Beatles’ are not your thing and you would like to explore beyond the ‘urban jungle’ archetype of Liverpudlian culture, then why not visit Merseyside for a beautiful walk along the beach or delve into the jewel of Liverpool that is Sefton Park and it’s gorgeous ‘Palm House’ that puts Liverpool firmly on the ‘Instagrammable Locations’ Map. So without further ado, here is why Liverpool should be on your bucket list this year…
There Is More To Liverpool Than Meets The Eye: Enjoy Nature And Artchecture At Sefton Park & Walks At Merseyside
It goes without saying that despite its heavy promotion of all things ‘Beatlemania’, there is more to Liverpool than just a long, rich cultural history ingrained in ‘popular music’. While the city centre remains an integral part of Liverpudlian heritage and is beneficial for boosting tourism, beyond the docks lies aesthetically beautiful gems like Sefton Park , just after ‘ST Micheal’s Station’ , which is well worth a visit for the ‘Palm House’ alone. Classified as a Grade One listed park by English Heritage, Sefton Park boasts over 200 acres of magnificence which looks like a natural landscape rather than a man-made park. In spring the sight of millions of golden daffodils around the lake draws residents from across the city and carpets of bluebells give an impression of rural permanence.
The park features many distinctive curved paths and driveways and beech and other indigenous British trees abound. Among the park’s many features are a boating lake, replica statues of Eros and Peter Pan and a café. The park is also home to the famous Palm House, a fabulous glass-panelled building that has been restored to its former glory. Some visitors might come for the ‘palm house’ alone with it drawing parallels to the glass buildings found in Kew Gardens such as ‘Temperate House’. But for those who choose to indulge in both architectural and nature led fantasies, a visit to Sefton Park is equally a must. Like its London equivalent, Palm House is often host to fun and wacky events like Jazz Afternoons, Salsa Under The Palms (a dance class with a difference), as well as Storytelling sessions with drag queens, guided meditation and seasonal film showings during Halloween and Christmas, the perfect antidote to the winter blues.
And don’t worry if dancing under the palms or watching ‘Dracula’ is not your idea of fun (although who doesn’t love dancing in random places?), perhaps a tranquil walk along Liverpool’s beautiful coastal beaches might be more up your street. From the quaint Grosby Beach, home to Gormley’s 100 cast-iron, life-size figures to watching the majestic sunset over Fomrby Beach, each Liverpudlian coastal gem offers something different to suit anyone’s tastes.
Liverpool Is ‘Manna’ For Music Lovers: Meet Beatlemania, Cavern Club And Visit The Royal Albert Dock
It might seem obvious to suggest to visit Liverpool because of its music heritage, but it is true that Liverpool has hosted some of the most famous bands and musicians in the world, not surprising considering the creativity of the city and it’s willingness to stand apart from the crowd. As I mentioned earlier, Liverpool has a wide a wide variety of Beatles inspired tours, including a tour of childhood homes, a look at memorabilia and an insight into what made The Beatles the band that transcended time and space to remain just as popular now in 2018 as they were in their heyday. And lets not forget their impact on fashion history too, with the roguish hair and the ‘John Lennon’ specs, intermixed with voluminous flared trousers. Ah those were the days. But why was Liverpool the home where Beatlemania began? Well, The Beatles were formed in 1960 in Liverpool, where they became one of the world’s biggest selling bands, who performed to sold out venues, before venturing out into equally successful ‘solo careers’ some more premature than others, with John Lennon gone before his time as an example.
There is a rich tapestry of music in Liverpool, even in the modern age with hotspots like the Cavern Club which is host to amazing live music 7 days a week and only the BEST Fab Four Tributes. An icon in the ‘clubbing world’ Cavern Club is a plethora of live lounges, a legendary cellar that has seen seven decades of music and a tagline that professes itself as being ‘the best club in the world’. Now if that isn’t a great form of ‘self-endorsement’, then I don’t know what is! With artists such as The Beatles whose first ever performance was on the 9th February 1961 at the Cavern Club, to being The Arctic Monkey’s pre-breakthrough gig in October 2005, the Cavern Club remains the beating heart of Liverpool’s iconic music scene. With a live lounge that celebrates ‘new’ and ‘established talent’ in the ‘rock music scene’ as well as a pub that serves grub and even a souvenir shop, beyond the main postcard image of the Cavern Club, is an intimate selection of music and gastronomic specialties interlinked in one spectacular venue. If live music is something that you enjoy, then another cool music hotspot to visit (especially in the summer) is The Royal Albert Docks, which as well as being privy to football, races and pirates, also becomes a popular ‘folk music’ pop up, although be aware that the crowds can get a bit much at times.
While I could list a bucket list of exciting activities to do in Liverpool until the cows would come home, the moral of the story is that there is more to Liverpool than just the boats and ‘The Beatles’ even if in my eyes they are both equally exciting discovery points in the heart of Liverpool. Other fascinating Liverpudlian activities include travelling back in time at The Museum Of Liverpool, heading to the roof of the Central Library which has magnificent views of William Brown Street at St George’s Hall and Liverpool’s very own Speakeasy at ‘Berry and Rye’. The question is what will you do in Liverpool this year?
Have You Ever Been To Liverpool Before?