The city of Liverpool has always had an affinity with Ireland and it’s easy to see why so many make the short trip across the Irish Sea every weekend.
When we say short we’re not exaggerating either. If you buy a newspaper to pass the time on the flight from Dublin to John Lennon airport, you’ll barely be a few pages in by the time you land approximately 35 minutes later.
What awaits is a vibrant and multicultural city of music, culture, food and sport which is difficult to rival anywhere else in this part of the world.
While Liverpool is famous worldwide as the home of The Beatles, there’s a lot more to it than John, Paul, George, and Ringo. That said, the legacy of the Fab Four is clear to see in every corner of the city and it is a major reason why people flock from all over the globe to the north west of England.
The Pool is an ideal size for you to pack a number of activities into a few short days. The place really kicks into life once the sun goes down but there’s a vast array of things to do during the day.
Given its similarities to Irish weather, indoor activities can sometimes be a good bet and there’s no better place to start than the massive Museum Of Liverpool on the waterfront.
Here you’ll easily spend a couple of hours wandering through the many floors and exhibits learning about how much Liverpool has influenced pop culture in the UK and beyond throughout the years. From the aforementioned Beatles to other notable acts like Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Cast, The LAs, Atomic Kitten and many more, any quiz aficionados will love taking part in the museum’s many interactive games while reminiscing on unforgettable music from years gone by.
Of course, to sports fans, Liverpool is mostly known for its eponymous football club as well Everton FC, the blue half of a football-mad city located just across Stanley Park from their rivals in red.
A video exhibit at the museum will educate visitors as to how the two clubs came about and went onto forge one of the most famous rivalries in international sport. A touching aspect of the fierce enmity between the two is how they came together on the back of the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy in which 96 Liverpool supporters tragically lost their lives.
While there you’ll also see how Irish immigrants helped to shape the city and the influence they still have today. Don’t forget to catch a glimpse of the iconic Brookside Close road sign and who knows, you might even catch a glimpse of Jimmy Corkhill or Sinbad.
Moving on with the weekend, there are worse things to do than to pay a visit to Liverpool Cathedral which is one of the largest of its kind in the UK.
For a panoramic view of the city, take a trip up to the rooftop viewing area where you will see just how close the stadiums of Liverpool and Everton are located to each other as well as get a fine view of the ships chugging in and out of the bustling Albert Dock.
Eventually, we’re sure you’ll have had enough of sightseeing for one day and will be feeling thirsty, peckish or both.
Make your way to the famous Bem Brazil on Hanover Street where you’ll be greeted by an absolute meat fest of all you can eat Brazilian delicacies. You pay about £25 and waiting staff will keep your taste buds tantalising by bringing you a wide selection of some of the best meat, bread and sides you’ve ever tasted. It won’t be long until you have to stop them because your belly literally can’t take any more but there’s always room for a pint or two.
That’s when you should head down to Concert Square, a place where Liverpudlians and tourists alike gather to kick off their Saturday night. The area is surrounded by a number of bars giving it a sort of music festival vibe as you duck in and out taking your pick of the finest beers and spirits the city has to offer.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous you can take a well-earned stroll to the Belvedere Arms pub on Sugnall Street, one of the many famous haunts of John Lennon, the city’s most famous son.
Here you can sample some of the finest gin you’ve ever tasted and enjoy the atmosphere of a local boozer while still being relatively close to the heart of the city.
Try not to overdo it though as there’s still plenty to do when you get up the next day, not least embark on one of the numerous Beatle-themed tours of the city.
The Magical Mystery Tour, named after one of the band’s most famous albums, is actually hosted by the brother of Holly Johnson, the lead singer of Frankie Goes To Hollywood.
You’ll be taken on a no holds barred journey to the childhood homes of each of the Fab Four, the pubs their families drank in as well as iconic locations which have made their way into The Beatles’ vast catalogue such as Penny Lane and the Strawberry Fields.
Anyone with even a passing interest in the Fab Four won’t help but be mesmerised as they stare down the garden paths of homes where Lennon and McCartney came of age on their road to international superstardom.
The end of the tour will leave you off outside The Cavern Pub and Cavern Club where the lads began to make their name in the city.
There are plenty of photo opportunities as tourists wander the halls of two of the most famous buildings in music history. Sit down, relax and have a pint while you’re surrounded by a rolling line-up of tribute acts as well as up and coming bands trying to emulate the Scouse icons that went before them.
The best time to arrive in the area is in the evening so you can pass the night mingling with like-minded people who have come for a taste of pop culture history.
If you have time on your final morning before heading home, a walk around the shops of Albert Dock should be enough to clear any cobwebs you may have accumulated over the weekend.
For us here in Ireland, it’s easy to view traveling to Liverpool as a bit of a slog merely because it involves taking a boat or a plane but in reality, you can be there quicker than the time it takes you to get from Dublin to Kilkenny.
For some, it might be tempting to head to Liverpool with the stag and hen mentality of spending the weekend on the piss and while that is always fun it itself, there’s a lot more to this cultural hub than sitting in a beer garden for days on end.
If you’ve never been, or have simply taken day trips to follow the football team of your choice, take a couple of days off around the weekend and book your flights today.
Have a Liverpool gin on us!