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Things to do in Liverpool

Carlton Boyce / 29 April 2016

The Beatles. Liverpool FC. The Titanic. Liverpool Cathedral. All are iconic symbols of the one of the greatest cities in the world. You’ll have heard of them all, but here are five must-see places in Liverpool that might have slipped under your radar so far.

Three Graces, Liverpool
Mersey Tunnel Tour guide

The secret attraction

The Mersey Tunnel tour is something that will even have escaped the attention of most Liverpudlians. Don’t be put off by the title, though; this is no dry geek-fest; you’ll discover unique Art Deco architecture and decoration, and a web of tunnels that have remained hidden from view for decades.

The machinery itself is a bewitching combination of high-tech and industrial iron, all beautifully explained by the tour guides who display the quick wit that makes Scouse humour the keystone of the city.

The tour takes place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings as well as Saturday mornings, and it lasts for approximately two hours.

Mersey Ferry Terminal

Where to eat lunch

No visit to Liverpool would be complete without taking the Mersey Ferry and you should take the time to step off the boat for a bite to eat. An old booking office might be an unlikely setting for a restaurant but the Home café at the Woodside ferry terminal at Birkenhead is the perfect place for lunch.

The interior is unpretentious and elegant and the food is sublime: I recommend the halloumi sandwich served with a homemade salsa verde, which was one of the best things I ate in the whole of 2015.

The Botanical Garden

Where to drink

If it’s sunny you might like to spend the afternoon sipping a gin-based cocktail in Liverpool’s latest pop-up bar, The Botanical Garden. An unprepossessing industrial estate in the Baltic triangle might not be the most obvious place to find one of the best gin bars in the UK – and I have to admit that it does take some finding – but it’s well worth the effort.

If the sun is shining you can sit back and bask in the walled courtyard while sipping something wonderful, and if it’s cold you can huddle under a blanket while clutching a hot water bottle. Yes, that’s right; you can enjoy your gin in the open air no matter how cold it gets – and if you get peckish, why not try some of the wonderful Cuban street food they serve there, too?

Aloft Liverpool

Where to stay

Located in the iconic Royal Insurance building in the heart of the city, Aloft Liverpool offers 116 rooms, many of which offer panoramic views across the city. The stained glass window in the lobby offers a spectacular introduction to your stay in an old building that manages to mix its original architectural features with bold, contemporary flourishes.

There is an onsite gym for those of you who are disciplined enough to want to try and burn off some holiday calories, while the rest of us will enjoy sipping a drink in the hotel’s bar or eating a meal in the NYL restaurant and bar that is located in the same building. (If you’re feeling very lazy, you can even order room service from there too…)

Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet

Where to shop

While Liverpool has some of the best shopping in the UK, why not pop down the road to enjoy the discounts available at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet?

With more than 140 brands on offer, Cheshire Oaks is where fashion-conscious northerners flock for the latest designs at bargain process. There are a number of great places to eat and drink too, plus free parking. Oh, and Cheshire Oaks is also home to the biggest purpose-built Marks and Spencer in the world! (Not a lot of people know that…)


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.