Largest Liverpool Library housed in a listed (Grade 2) building which opened in 1860 as the William Brown Library and Museum Building. The building was extended with the Picton Reading Room (1879), Oak Room and the Hornby Library (1906).
It was decided in 2008 that the library's interior will be refurbished with modern/IT facilities. The library closed, had a temporary service at the Liverpool World Museum, from July 2010 and reopened in May 2013.
My friend and I visited the library's cafe and sat in their terrace enjoying the sunshine and views of its World Heritage Buildings around us. We admired inside the library's atrium and looking up to the skylight and it's interior architecture. On a future visit I would like to visit the rooftop terrace and explore more of the library.
The Playhouse began its life in 1866 when it was the Star Music Hall. The building converted to a theatre in 1911 and Liverpool Repertory Company was formed.
Today the 760 seat theatre hosts a variety of plays and also has a 70 seat studio. A sister theatre, Everyman, is currently being built and scheduled to open next year. Please check out the website for its progress.
I had an enjoyable visit at the Walker Art Gallery. The gallery offers a variety of works ranging from medieval art to contemporary works. I chose some exhibitions to check out which were of personal interest to me and enjoyed seeing the works of the Pre-Raphaelites, Impressionist Painters and so forth.
The art gallery opened in 1877 and it gained national status in 1986. The building was used in World War II for distributing ration books and venue held the inaugural John Moore contemporary painting prize in 1957. Today it is part of the National Museums Liverpool.
I enjoyed visiting the gallery that hosted works of Sir John Moor (1896-1993) prize winners from 1957 to today. Some works included David Hockney Peter Getting Out of Nick's Pool and Peter Davies's Andy Warhol Text Painting.
Other pieces of work that stood out for me was Martin Greenland Before Vermeer's Cloud. It represented the changing seasons and I loved how the seasons blended in with each other. and a Lowry painting of the Waterloo Dock in Liverpool.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. The gallery is free of charge although donations are encouraged. There is also a cafe and gift shop.
The Echo Arena is Liverpool's main concert venue opening in 2008 the venue is modern and located in a stunning area on the King's dock.
The arena holds a capacity of 12,000 people which is relatively small for a city as large as Liverpool (Manchester Arena holds roughly 23,000) but I was impressed with the seating arrangement inside the venue which means that whatever ticket you buy, you will have a pretty good view of the stage.
The arena is easy to get to by public transport and is reasonably well sign posted by car. The car park of the arena is multi-storey. I would advice if you are arriving by car to get to the venue an hour before the show is due to start otherwise you will not be able to find a car parking space on a lower floor and you will have to wait a long time getting out of the car park. I was on the 3rd floor and it took me about half an hour to get out of the car park after the show due to the rush of traffic. The car park is reasonably priced at £5 per car for watching an event (Manchester Arena charges £15)
Outside of the arena is the docklands where you will find a giant ferris wheel and lots of cafe's, restaurants and bars.
Tickets for the Echo Area can be purchased through the website www.echoarena.com , www.ticketmaster.co.uk , www.livenation.co.uk or they can be purchased at the box office.
Liverpool ONE is the main shopping and leisure complex in the city centre.
The construction for Liverpool One began in 2008 during Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture following a need to regenerate and re-develop Liverpool via its existing building and spaces in order to increase the city centre's profile.
The 42 acre site houses independent, high street shops and department stores, restaurants, bars, a cinema, an indoor adventure golf centre and landscaped gardens and space, Chavesse Park. The complex also houses offices, hotels and residential apartments.
I paid a couple visits to Liverpool ONE during my recent visit in March 2013 including a trip to the cinema.
The Maritime museum features Liverpool's nautical history on three floors and all the following exhibitions offers a fascinating insight: 'Emigrants to a New World', 'Titanic, Lusitania and the forgotten Empress' and 'Seized! The Border and Customs Uncovered'.
I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the museum and it must be one of my favourite museums I've ever visited! I highly recommend a visit and the museum is free of charge although donations are strongly encouraged.
I made a return visit in March 2013 where I visited the special exhibition, 'Titanic & Liverpool - The untold story' Please see my traveloge for details of my visit. My friend wanted to see some permanent collections so I revisited some of them again which I enjoyed especially about the Empress of Ireland (as known as Forgotten Empress), Lusitania, RMS Berengania and RMS Olympic (as known as 'Old Reliable').
Each year there is a ride for cyclists between Liverpool and Chester (and back again if you so choose). The route goes underneath the river through one of the Mersey tunnels. There's a number of routes in the day for cyclists of different levels.
I attended the Mathew St festival this year primarily to see the Ramones tribute band who were billed. I also had a friend visit from out of town for this. It was a very disappointing experience indeed.
The M C billed them as the 'best Ramones tribute band you'll ever see'. They were advertised as being on from 4 - 4.45 so this sounded all set for 45 mns of top drawer music. They didn't look much like them, drummer, bass player, keyboard player, acoustic guitar player, electric guitar player and a singing guitarist. Also apart from 1 guy with a hole in his jeans and one guy with a CBCGBs t shirt, there was no other visual resemblance. No issue though as it is the music that matter.
They played what I recall as eight songs, (Rock n roll radio, KKK took my baby, do you wanna dance, california sun, sedated, Sheena, blitzkrieg bop). They had none of the distinctive buzz saw guitar sound and and generally the sound was much poppier than what the Ramones sounded like. The singer was misquoting some of the lyrics and they were taking breaks in between songs and there was no quick fire '1 2 3 4' as the only break between songs. Blitzkrieg bop was played extended so there could be 3 rounds of 'hey ho lets go' and their own guitar solo chucked in. Then, they went off. 23 mins I made it at this point. The MC then came back asking about, 'do you want some more, we cant let these guys go now, how about some rolling stones?' What? Rolling Stones? Its advertised at 45 mins of Ramones music and that stops after 23 mins and then the rest of the set is padded with Rolling Stones songs (complete with big lips impersonations). I'd had enough the by the start of the 2nd Stones song. My friend stuck it out and afterwards told that sure enough the Stones music had finished.
I am stunned by all this and what a sham this was. Why were this band billed as a Ramones tribute band when they could only fill 23 mins (with pauses of Ramones music)? It could be argued it was free so no harm done but that isn't how I see it. My friend visited from out of town and if I had known that this was what the gig would have been like, I would have done something more enjoyable with my day, not to much money wasted on transport, refreshemts etc.
I can't help wonder if there was some nepotism at work here. From the way the MC was speaking he was obviously very friendly with the band and this was reciprocated. I can only wonder if there was an idea to come up with a Ramones band on the bill and the guy who organised used this as an excuse to get his friends, The Tearaways over from the states again to enjoy a nice boozy trip to Liverpool.
Verdict? Abyssmally sub abject. Hey ho, lets not go.
For a quieter, alternative Liverpool experience take a short trip south of the city centre to Otterspool promenade - great for a fine weather walk along the River Mersey.There is a cafe and an aerial adventure/assault course, kite flying when weather permits - and the Festival Gardens can be accessed fro the promenade path too: oriental gardens, bridges and wooded walks.
You can walk all the way along the river from the city centre outside of the echo Arana - to the end of the promenade path at Grassendale/Cressington. this is about 4.5 miles - but a lovely walk when the sun is shining. You can catch a train back into the city centre from either Aigburth or Cressington station.
The Three Graces is the collective name for the magnificent buildings located at the Pier Head. Formerly known as the Pier Head buildings, The Royal Liver Buildings, The Cunard Buildings and the Port of Liverpool buildings command a vantage point overlooking the Mersey River. By far the best vantage point and great photo opportunities can be taken from the ferry across the Mersey. We were lucky to take a trip on the ferry just before sunset so were able to get some great shots as the sun was going down.
The Pier Head is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site forming Liverpool's Martime Mercantile City. The Pier Head is well known for its landmark listed buildings which occupy the former George Dock and recently become known as 'The Three Graces'.
The Three Graces are:
The famous building with the clock towers and mythical Liver birds is the Royal Liver Building built at the beginning of the 20th Century and is the headquarters of the Royal Liver Friendly Society.
Cunard Building is a grade II building and also built in 1916 and was formerly Cunard Line shipping company.
The Port of Liverpool Building was built at the beginning of the 20th Century and was once Mersey Docks and Harbour Board's home.
The latest addition and formerly known as the 'Fourth Grace' is the Museum of Liverpool Building which has been recently opened.
I paid a visit to the International Slavery Museum which is housed on the 3rd floor of the Merseyside Maritime Museum. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about this emotive and dark chapter in human history and Liverpool's involvement of the slave trade such as being once the capital of the transatlanitc slave trade.
The musuem is split up the following galleries: Life in West Africa, Enslavement and the Middle Passage and Legacies of Slavery and the Campaign Zone. These galleries explore the reasons, address the issues that rose from the slave trade and slavery and what one can learn from it today.
This towering monument, standing at over 40 metres in height, is a memorial to one of England's leading military figures of the 19th century. Following the Duke of Wellington's death in 1852, the column was commissioned in 1861 and designed by the Lawson brothers of Edinburgh.
The statue points in the direction of the Duke's most notorious military victory, Waterloo. Listed around the base of the monument are the name of other notable battles where Wellington was victorious, primarily in Spain and France.
OK you’d be forgiven for thinking a spaceship has landed on the Kings Dock but at least this one has 10.000 seats making it an impressive concert venue. Acts so far have been a little ‘underwhelming’ but the attraction of the MTV awards later this year provides grounds for optimism. Check out the website before your visit to see what’s coming
Known as The Dock Office until it was renamed in 1972, the Port of Liverpool Building was constructed to be the head office of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board. Constructed out of Portland Stone, the building was designed in the style of Edwardian Baroque and has strong echoes of London’s St Paul’s Cathedral.
In 1941, during the Blitz, a heavy bomb exploded in the basement, causing extensive damage to the eastern wing of the building. It was restored shortly after the war with the cost of reconstruction far exceeding the original construction costs.
In 1993 the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company relocated from the building, its home for 87 years, to new headquarters at Royal Seaforth Dock. They remained owners until 2001 when it was acquired by Liverpool-based property group Downing. The building is currently home to some of the most prestigious companies in Merseyside, including Rathbones.
In October 2005 Liverpool City Council approved Downing’s plans to refurbish the landmark building. The scheme includes major internal and external works to restore the Grade 2* listed building to its original glory. The plans include opening the building to the public by creating a new viewing floor inside the dome, a publicly accessible sunken piazza on the riverside frontage -providing a small parade of restaurants, cafes and shops - and a series of luxury apartments on the rooftop.
This wonderful hotel at Albert Dock is housed in a wonderful 19th Century Grade 1 listed building....more
I decided to stay in the Hope Street Hotel for my weekend in Liverpool as it was centrally located...more
I accidently reserved a room here when I was supposed to be somewhere else. Have been a Hilton...more