Liverpool: Home of The Beatles and so much more
The English city of Liverpool is synonymous with rock greats The Beatles. Utter the city’s name to nearly anyone around the world, and they will probably mention Paul, George, Ringo or John. However, Liverpool is far more than just about The Beatles.
The city is famous for its maritime history and it is on display to anyone who visits Liverpool today. There are numerous museums dedicated to shipping in the city. Liverpool is also well-known around the world for its soccer. Liverpool FC, founded in 1892, has been one of Europe’s top teams since the mid-1960s. In addition, Liverpool is a great place for a night out in the northwest of England.
A brief history of Liverpool
Liverpool can trace its beginnings back to 1207 thanks to King John’s desire to found a new borough. However, it took nearly 30 years for Liverpool Castle’s final bricks to be laid. The city’s seven original streets – Bank Street, Castle Street, Chapel Street, Dale Street, Juggler Street, Moor Street and Whiteacre Street, still exist today. Although a few of them have seen name changes over the years.
In 1750, Liverpool’s first dock was completed on the Mersey River and began the city’s love affair with maritime trade. By the end of the 19th century, Liverpool was one of the world’s major shipping hubs. Forty percent of the world’s trade during that time moved through Liverpool’s Albert Dock.
Thanks to the shipping trade that was going through the city, Liverpool became quite wealthy, which led to the construction of many brilliant buildings that still exist today. The shipping that went through Liverpool also made it an entry point for cultures, foods and peoples from around the world.
As World War II dawned, Liverpool was identified as a major target for Hitler’s Nazi army to bomb. Due to this, Liverpool suffered 80 air raids that killed nearly 3,000 people. Following the war, Liverpool declined in the maritime business. Thanks to its diminishing industrial status, Liverpool saw civil unrest over the years. Despite the city’s stereotype of being poverty stricken, Liverpool does have a reputation of Liverpudlians being warm and welcoming to outsiders.
Today, Liverpool is England’s sixth largest city in terms of population. The city proper has just under 500,000 residents. However, the metro area is home to over 2.2 million people.
Where to go in Liverpool
A trip to Liverpool wouldn’t be complete without seeing some of its most famous sites and learning a bit more about its most famous export: The Beatles. The 2008 European Capital of Culture, Liverpool is a destination for United Kingdom and European mainland residents alike.
The Beatles Story
Thought you knew everything about The Beatles? Guess again. Located at the Albert Dock, The Beatles Story is the ultimate museum dedicated to the band. Visitors can stroll through the museum, viewing display after display of Beatles memorabilia and more. An audio guide takes guests on the band’s journey from Liverpool to Hamburg to the top of the billboard charts in the USA.
The Cavern Club
Opened in 1957, the Cavern Club’s stage was graced by many of rock’s great bands during the 1960s. Later closed, the Cavern Club was re-opened in April 1984. Today, visitors can venture down into the Cavern Club where they can see rock bands playing, just like concert-goers did decades ago. Visitors may even see a Beatles tribute act rocking out the band’s classic tunes from time to time.
Just as famous as The Beatles, Liverpool Football Club is one of the biggest teams in the world today. Over 120-years old, Liverpool has won 18 English league championships and five UEFA Champions League trophies. The club’s heyday of the 1970s and 1980s has been difficult to repeat in recent decades. However, the team is still considered one of the premier teams in all of European soccer.
Merseyside Maritime Museum
Visitors can discover Liverpool’s long history of shipping and trade. The museum is full of exhibits that highlight a variety of topics. Entrance to the museum is free, as is the entrance to most of the city’s best museums, and it is definitely worth checking out while visiting the Albert Dock.
Other places to see
Walker Art Gallery
The Walker Art Gallery has been home to Liverpool’s best artwork for over 130 years. The gallery’s earliest artworks date back to the 13th century. It also features more modern pieces as well. The museum has a variety of exhibitions throughout the year for visitors to view.
Church of St. Luke
Although Liverpool has more visually appealing churches, the Church of St. Luke is quite unique. Bombed heavily during the Liverpool Blitz of 1941, the church remains a ruin today. The church is mostly just a shell without a roof covering it. Various events are now held at the church, including beer festivals, outdoor cinema screenings and music concerts. There are often benefits to help preserve the church and keep it as one of the city’s landmarks from WWII.
Did you know…?
The famous accent and dialect that Liverpudlians’ speak with is known as Scouse. The people are also known as Scouse or Scousers due to it.
What to eat in Liverpool
Liverpool’s status as an entry point to England helped shape the various foods that people eat in the city. Today’s Liverpool features international flavors that have combined with traditional English offerings to make a cuisine all its own. However, what were regional delicacies, have migrated across the country thanks to workers and families moving around the UK. Therefore, many of the traditional foods can be found in Liverpool and elsewhere across the country.
Made from mutton or beef with generous cuts of vegetables, Scouse is a hearty stew famous on Merseyside. Originally from Norway, the recipe for Scouse found its way to the city through sailors docking in the city’s port. Visitors can get a fresh bowl of Scouse at a variety of pubs around the city everyday.
Fish and Chips
Although fish and chips is a staple in British takeaways around the UK, it is something special on the docks of Liverpool. Visitors can get mushy peas alongside their fish and chips like your typical Liverpudlian.
Traditional English Breakfast
A traditional English breakfast – also known as a full English – is filling and then some. A full English consists of back bacon, eggs, grilled tomato, fried mushrooms, toast, sausages, baked beans, black (blood) pudding and hash browns. Visitors to the UK and Ireland can find variations of the full English breakfast in different regions. Regardless of where it’s ordered, a traditional English breakfast is full of flavors. It may, however, not be the right thing to start the day, as it may induce sleepiness.
Liverpool Craft Beer Company
Liverpool Craft Beer Company (LCB) has been brewing beer since 2010. Similar to the craft beer revolution that has swept across the United States, LCB has brought a variety of beers to the city’s taste buds. Featuring pale ales, stouts and wheat beers, LCB can be found in pubs and online.