“In Penny Lane there is a barber showing photographs of every head he’s had the pleasure to know” – Lennon/McCartney
You might have read some of my recent posts on my time backpacking through England, a country I know quite a bit about having studied and worked there some moons ago. I kind of love going back and rediscovering it each time, as my recent jaunts to Christchurch, Camden Town and Sunderland show. This has also been inspired by my two recent visits to the city of Liverpool. Once European city of culture, home of the best rock band of all time and currently the city where my youngest brother Danny lives.
After arriving into John Lennon Airport, or by train, bus or ferry from Belfast, first up you’ll need a decent place to stay. Until the option of staying in an actual Yellow Submarine or a “Barber’s Hostel” on Penny Lane comes up, I’ll be either staying with my brother Danny or in the swanky 30 James Street’s Carpathia Restaurant and Bar. They do a good Liverpool afternoon tea in there. Liverpool is a city with lots of hotels and hostels, but just don’t fall into the mundane commercial ones. Once you’ve sorted your base, get out and explore the dynamics of this cool city with a thirsty tongue.
1. The Beatles Story
Even if you are not a Beatles fan, this place is still a marvellous place to visit. The Beatles Story is down by the Albert Docks, itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can read a full review of the Beatles Story here.
2. Anfield (Liverpool FC)
Football is huge in Liverpool and a massive part of the culture of the city. My first ever trip to Liverpool back in 1996 was actually to watch a football match at Anfield Road. I watched Liverpool v. Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League. Liverpool are the reds.
3. Goodison Park (Everton FC)
More recently I visited the other impressive stadium in Liverpool – which is the home of the Blues, the Toffees – Everton FC. When I was growing up in the 1980s, these two clubs were England’d top 2 year after year. It seems odd now that neither of them have ever won the English Premier League.
4. Cavern Club
This is the second Beatles related sight in my top 5 and it’s the world famous Cavern Club. My bro and I headed down to watch a few decent bands in here. Apparently there is a Beatles tribute band that makes you feel you are back in the 60s again. This place is down a staircase and is a basement club which only fits a few hundred people.
This makes it loud, dark and with atmosphere. Plus you can brag to everyone that you have watched a band and had a drink in the place where the Beatles became famous.
5. Albert Dock
Liverpool’s Albert Dock quarter is one of six parts of the city that is listed as a combined UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is a lot of history to take in here as well and you will also find a strangely large Irish population in the city.
I’ll be back in Liverpool later in the year aiming to go for a few beers with my brother again and tick off a few more sights as this is just a quick top 5 of an introduction to the city and there is lots and lots more to explore.
Some videos from my time backpacking in Liverpool: