Pocket Britain

A city in a world of its own; music, art, sport, culture, design and history all interweaved in a unique urban experience

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Hear Liverpool and one immediately thinks of a 4 piece band changing the face of music, the legendary River Mersey, Kenny Dalglish and an era of beautiful football, a city full of history, culture and art. Liverpool is one of the world's great cities. What was once a small Lancastrian town is now a place of major influence from sport to music, trade to architecture.
Founded as a borough in 1207, Liverpool has a fairly short but dramatic history. Although it celebrated its 800th birthday in 2007, it only grew to major prominence in the industrial revolution that swept Britain in the 16th and 17th centuries. The town grew on the back of the industrial boom of the North West and cities like Manchester. Liverpool quickly became the major port for the region and by the early 19th century, 40% of the world's trade passed through its docks. With this level of activity the city soon grew both in size and population. Now with over 800,000 inhabitants, it is one of Britain's biggest cities.
The history of its trade has a darker past to match its positive boom. By the 18th century the docks saw the passage of thousands of slaves, taken from Africa and shipped to the plantations of the Americas. A trip to the International Slavery Museum located on Albert Dock is a sombre reminder of the unpleasant side of humanity. Recent redevelopments of many of the more run down areas of the city have served to add to the already impressive legacy of architecture and design. The mix of industrial buildings, Victorian showcase pieces and modern design led to Liverpool being awarded the 2008 European Capital of Culture. An award well deserved. The city has more listed buildings than anywhere else in UK outside London and in 2004 several areas throughout the city centre were granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status. These sites include Pier Head, William Brown Street and Albert Dock, all essential points of interest.
With Liverpool's wealth of stunning buildings, architectural gems are hard to pick out. Centrepieces of design though must include the 'Three Graces'. These are a set of three historical buildings on Pier Head - the Port of Liverpool Building, The Cunard building and the Royal Liver Building. All of which are a part of the World Heritage Maritime Mercantile City. A walk down this impressive dock side is a majestic journey and rivals the joys of New York's Hudson shoreline or San Francisco's Fisherman's wharf. The Albert Dock provides yet more joy for the eyes, with the largest collection of Grade I listed buildings in Britain. The first non combustible dock system in the world and built in cast iron and stone, the Albert Dock is a metaphor for the city; powerful, innovative and fascinating. The dock is also home to the Merseyside Maritime Museum and the Tate Liverpool. The Kings dock just south of the Albert, is also home to the Liverpool Echo Arena, a centre of entertainment.
Other sites of interest are the city's 2 cathedrals; the Catholic Cathedral with its dramatic crown like design and largest stain glass panel in the world and the Anglican Cathedral - the fifth largest in the world.
The area around William Brown Street has been labelled the 'Cultural Quarter' and has a wide variety of yet more stunning buildings. These include the William Brown Library, the World Museum Liverpool and St George's Hall, perhaps the most impressive of the neo-classical buildings of the area.
To match the city's architectural prowess and artistic flare, Liverpool is also home to some of the best nightlife in Europe. Driven by a history of great music, the city never sleeps and its fine musical legacy is now only matched by a superb range of restaurants and top class food. The world famous 'Cavern Club' was the centre for Beatles mania. The timeless band performed almost 300 times there. The club is equally popular with tourists with thousands of Beatle fans clambering to get their photo on the stage. Up to 40 bands still perform here each week. Liverpool's love of music is only superseded by its love for football. Liverpool FC are one of the most successful teams in the history of the game and their beloved Anfield Stadium is a true footballing temple. Their bitter rivals Everton add a hugely competitive edge to the city's sport.
Liverpool is really a world of its own; music, art, sport, culture, design and history all interweaved in this unique urban experience. The people of Liverpool are known as Scousers in reference to a local stew called the 'scouse'. These Liverpudlians are the heartbeat of the city; friendly, funny and passionate. The Mersey's flow has carried the magic of Liverpool out into the world, the aorta to its heart, and undeniably the city has left its mark on the world map.
Visitor Information
Liverpool Tourist Information Centre, Anchor Courtyard, Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4BS. Tel: 0151 233 2008
International Slavery Museum is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Entry is FREE. Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4AQ. Tel: 01514 784 499
Merseyside Maritime Museum is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Entry is FREE. Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4AQ. Tel: 01514 784 499
Tate Liverpool is open daily from 10am to 5:30pm (closed Mondays from September to May, extended hours in August). Entry is FREE. Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4BB. Tel: 01517 027 400

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