If you don’t have the opportunity for a long stay in Liverpool, you can enjoy it as a day trip from a nearby (or not so nearby) city, like Manchester, Leeds, or even London. From Manchester or Leeds, you can get to Liverpool and back in under an hour. If you take a direct train from London, you can be in Liverpool, in just under 2.5 hours. You’ll find that these trains run almost every hour, giving you a lot of flexibility for your return trip in the evening, assuming you don’t decide to spend the night. So what can you do in one day in Liverpool?
If you’re coming in by train, chances are you’ll arrive at the Liverpool Lime Street Station, which is already in the thick of the action. You’ll be less than 5 minutes walk from your first stop.
Church Street and Clayton Square
If you like shopping, you’ll enjoy Church Street, which is one of the main shopping streets in Liverpool. There you’ll find major department stores, and on the off-chance that you’re there on the right day, you may come across a street festival, outdoor market or performers. During the holidays, this area will be decked out in lights. Adjacent to Church Street is Clayton Square, a large indoor mall, with a domed glass ceiling that makes you feel like you’re outdoors, even if you’re warm and cozy inside. Even if you’re not in a shopping mood, it’s a lively area to take a walk through.
Bold Street is one of Liverpool’s quaint pedestrian avenues filled with stores, cafes, restaurants, and bars. You’ll know you’re at the right place when you see the Church of St. Luke dead center at the end of the street. This is a great area to have breakfast or brunch, as well as to peruse the small boutique shops and independent bookstores. With enough time, you can easily spend half a day between here and the shopping district. But if you want to make the most of a day in Liverpool, you’ll want to move on.
Church of St. Luke, the Bombed Out Church
Since the path down Bold Street will naturally take you there anyway, it’s worth making a quick stop at the Church of St. Luke, or the bombed out church as it’s lovingly called. Though you wouldn’t know it from afar, the church is actually more like a ruin. The roof is missing, leaving only the walls. Unless it’s closed for special events, you can usually stop in to check out what is left of the church. It’s quite a sight to see, especially with the light streaming in through what used to be stained glass windows. There are often artistic displays and concerts or movie screenings in the space. If you’re lucky enough, you just may catch one.
From the church, you can take a bus, cab, or Uber to Albert Dock. This waterfront complex houses museums, galleries, restaurants, and bars. The waterfront views aren’t half bad either. Two of the key museums in the area are the Tate Liverpool and the Beatles Story. Tate Liverpool, as its counterparts in London, is four floors and would take a long time to see, but if art is what you’re after, it’s certainly worthwhile. However, if you’re a Beatles fan with only one day in Liverpool, The Beatles Story is the way to go. The lines can get long so make sure you don’t leave it for the last minute. You can also buy your tickets online. The museum takes you through the history of the band, including a wide array of replicated items and some original memorabilia.
Though there’s a lot more to Liverpool than the Beatles, if you want to see more Beatles spots, check out Matthew Street where you can find the rebuilt Cavern Club. Along with some of the other pubs in the area, like the Grapes, you’ll find live music and good beer. If you want something a little less grungy, make your way over to the Philharmonic Dining Rooms, rumored to be one of John Lennon’s favorites in Liverpool. The pub is gorgeous and lavish like the inside of a Victorian era castle. The walls are ornate with marble and wood and the chairs are made of plush leather. You’ve never been in a bar this fancy. The Phil also has great food if you’re looking for food with your happy hour.
After you unwind with a drink, you’re ready to head back to your train, unless Liverpool won you over and you’ve decided to extend your stay.
Check out the GPS-guided version of this article on GPSmyCity here.