Liverpool's Hidden Gems
Liverpool is famed the world over for The Beatles and football. However, we thought we’d highlight some of the hidden gems a short walk from Liverpool Lime Street.
And when we say walk, we mean walk. For a place with so much going on, Liverpool is extremely walkable. We’d recommend starting on Bold Street, the epicentre of independent culture in the city. Vintage shops are dotted up and down the street, and for those of you who are into rare trainers, Transalpino is something of a beacon. As well as fashion, Bold Street is home to boutiques selling artworks, alternative therapies and design items and a wealth of wonderful places to eat and drink. It’s difficult to pick a couple out, but vegetarian specialists The Egg, baristas of Bold Street Coffee, falafel kings at Maray and the bar-bistro-music venue Leaf give a good idea of the variety on offer.
Your next stop has to be FACT, just off Bold Street, a place to go to experience cutting-edge digital art, see one-off performances and screenings or see the latest blockbuster. It has two galleries and four cinema screens, not to mention an excellent bar and café.
From there, Seel Street and the area around it is a go-to for nightlife. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it here. Glamour and Latin dancers in a former Polish church: Alma de Cuba. Hawaii’an-themed cocktail bar: Aloha. An urban retreat for the year-round: Kazimier Garden. Hot dogs, steins and a bar with a secret code: Salt Dog Slims. Bar with the city’s coolest soundtrack: Motel. This is without even mentioning Santa Chupitos, Almost Famous or Empire. And of course, if you’re staying out until the bitter end, The Peacock and Heebie Jeebies are always good for a dance.
If you see some brightly coloured balls on antennae poking out over Seel Street, don’t worry; Liverpool is not under alien attack. Meet Penelope, an artwork created in 1999 for the very first Liverpool Biennial which has made the city its own. It’s one of many public artworks in the city centre, which bring art into everyday life. And if you’re visiting from July keep an eye out for new ones as the Biennial returns from 9th July at venues across the city.
An extremely visible example of public artwork is floating on the city’s beautiful Waterfront. The Ferry ‘cross the Mersey is one of the most famous symbols of Liverpool, and in April 2015 it was painted by Sir Peter Blake in a ‘Dazzle’ pattern, as part of the WWI commemorations programme from 14-18 NOW. It makes for a stunning sight in any weather, search #DazzleFerry on social media to see people’s photos.
If that has whet your appetite for art, visit Tate Liverpool in the Albert Dock, the UK’s largest collection of Grade I listed buildings. Their extensive and free collection sits alongside an impressive roster of exhibitions - recent names include Warhol, Matisse and Pollock.
And of course, you have to see something of the fab four while you are here. The Beatles Story, also in Albert Dock, is a perfect way to immerse yourself in the band’s history, from the early days in Hamburg through to their respective solo careers.
By the time you’ve done all that, you’ll be glad it’s still only a short walk back to Liverpool Lime Street for you to relax on your First TransPennine Express train journey home.
Credit: Thanks to Joe Keggin at Visit Liverpool.