Things to Do & Must-See Attractions in North West England
This Beatles-centric museum is stuffed full of Fab Four memorabilia, from George Harrison’s first guitar to John Lennon’s orange-tinted glasses. Exhibits trace the journey of Liverpool’s hometown heroes and the rise of Beatlemania, and include a full-scale replica of the famous Cavern Club and a walk-in yellow submarine.
Discover a symbol of Liverpool and gain insight into the city’s history with a visit to the National Heritage-listed Liverpool Cathedral. As the largest religious building in Britain, the Anglican cathedral boasts neo-Gothic architecture, distinctive artwork, and a 328-feet (100-meter) tower that provides sweeping views across River Mersey.
Anfield Stadium, home turf for Liverpool Football Club, is hallowed ground for fans of the Reds. The 54,000-capacity venue not only hosts matches, but also contains the Liverpool FC Story, a museum chronicling the club’s history, and the Steven Gerrard Collection, comprising memorabilia relating to the former captain.
Liverpool’s Royal Albert Dock, formerly an important industrial center, is now home to popular attractions including Tate Liverpool, Merseyside Maritime Museum, and The Beatles Story. Explore its cobbled paths to gain insight into the city’s heritage, marvel at its architecture, or simply unwind in one of the dock’s many bars or restaurants.
Famous as the stage where the Beatles made their debut in 1961, Liverpool’s Cavern Club has become a place of legend, hosting not only the Fab Four, but the Who, the Kinks, the Rolling Stones, Queen, Elton John, and many more household names. The influential club remains one of Liverpool’s top live music venues to this day.
The mighty Etihad, also known as the City of Manchester Stadium, is the home of Manchester City Football Club. Built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, the award-winning venue is among the UK’s largest with seating for more than 55,000. In addition to football games, the stadium hosts live concerts, other sports matches, and stadium tours.
Inspiring the 1967 Beatles’ song Strawberry Fields Forever, Strawberry Field in the Liverpool suburb of Woolton functioned as a Salvation Army children’s home from 1936 to 2005. As a boy, Lennon would sneak in to play, and enjoyed watching the band at the annual garden party. These experiences would go on to inform his later songwriting.
Discover Liverpool’s status as a British port city at the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Its three exhibition floors reveal the city’s nautical history, from its role in both World Wars to its darker past as a slaving port, as well as waterfront views of the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Royal Albert Dock and its industrial architecture.
The John Rylands Library is oft considered one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. Resurrected in the 1890s and taking more than a decade to construct, the gothic and gorgeous library was designed by architect Basil Champneys. It opened its doors on the first of the year, 1900. In 1972, the historic library became a part of the University of Manchester.
Today, John Rylands Library is part of the third largest academic library in the UK, and the Deansgate building houses some of the most significant books and manuscripts ever written, along with extensive collections and rotating exhibits. One of five National Research Libraries, there are more than 4 million books and manuscripts in the library, along with 41,000-plus electronic journals, 500,000 e-books and hundreds of databases
Visit the modernist Metropolitan Cathedral and gain insight into Liverpool’s religious history as you explore its crypts, treasury, and unique structure. As you take in its unusual circular design, learn about the Catholic cathedral’s close relationship with its Anglican sister on the other end of Hope Street, or attend a service or concert for an immersive experience.
More Things to Do in North West England
Made famous by the Beatles song, Penny Lane is lined with shops and small businesses. Before the Beatles hit the big time, John Lennon and Paul McCartney used to catch the bus from here. Some of the places name-checked in the lyrics—such as the shelter in the middle of the roundabout and the barbershop—can still be seen today.
This beautiful cathedral has a long history. It first opened its doors as a small parish in the 1420s and grew over the next 400 years, along with the city where it is located.
Intricate detail can be found throughout this building, which achieved cathedral status when a new diocese was created in 1847. Wood-carvings in and around the choir stalls tell a story of life in the distant past. Other historical artifacts include the Angel Stone, which is located in the wall of the South Porch and dates back to around 700. There are also more recent historical displays, such as the “Fire Window,” a window which was destroyed during WWII and then replaced, and depicts the Nazi attack.
Blackpool's first-ever (and Lancashire’s only purpose-built) comedy club, the Comedy Station is the only comedy club in Blackpool that hosts a completely professional lineup. Here you can laugh along with comedians from around the world that have appeared on shows such asMock the Week,8 out of 10 Cats,Live at the Apollo, and more.
St. Peter’s Church in Woolton, Liverpool, is more than an example of Gothic Revival architecture—it is also a significant site in musical history, as it was here in 1957 that John Lennon first met Paul McCartney. Also here are the graves of Eleanor Rigby, John Lennon’s Uncle George, and Bob Paisley, the renowned Liverpool FC manager.
Pier Head serves as the ferry departure point on the River Mersey and as a Liverpool symbol, marked by buildings known as the Three Graces, the most famous of which is the Liver Building, with its Liver Birds. Pier Head, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also home to memorials, the Museum of Liverpool, and Mersey Ferries landing stage.
An idyllic expanse of grassy peaks, rugged peat moors and stone-brick villages; the Peak District National Park became Britain’s first national park back in 1951 and remains one of the country’s most visited regions. With over 555 square miles (1,438 square kilometers) to explore, it’s an obvious choice for lovers of the outdoors and the vast network of hiking, cycling, horse riding and climbing routes include famous long distance trails like The Pennine Way.
Additional highlights of the Peak District National Park include the Castleton Caves; the 2,087-foot (636-meter) peak of Kinder Scout; and Chatsworth House, the magnificent estate of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Other popular destinations include the town of Bakewell, renowned for its Bakewell Tarts; the Georgian spa town of Buxton; and the historic village of Eyam, known for its fascinating plague history.
With a capacity of nearly 75,000, Old Trafford is the UK’s second-largest football (soccer) stadium and home of Manchester United since 1910. Beside Premier League fixtures, the venue has hosted Olympic games, rugby league finals, and several international cup matches. The on-site museum houses the team’s famous continental treble trophy.
Take time out from the bustling city streets with a visit to the Walker Art Gallery, home to a diverse collection of artwork that spans eight centuries. Peruse masterpieces by artists, such as Monet, Rembrandt, and David Hockney, and enjoy an experience in the Big Art for Little Artists gallery, a hands-on space designed for young children.
Delve into Manchester’s inventive and industrial heritage at the Science and Industry Museum. Housed in a building that served as the world’s first passenger railway station, the museum includes a wide collection of vintage vehicles, historical machinery, hands-on exhibitions, and other engaging offerings.
At 138 meters (452 feet), Radio City Tower is a prominent feature of the Liverpool skyline, and its observation platform provides aerial views of the city and beyond. Built in 1969, the tower began life as St. John’s Beacon—a ventilation shaft topped with a revolving restaurant—and is now a regional communications tower.
Enjoy a break from the bustling city center and discover the historic grounds of Sefton Park, a 200-acre (81-hectare) green getaway that hosts nature trails, children’s play areas, and a boating lake teeming with wildlife. Stroll leafy avenues, explore a Victorian conservatory, or relax in one of the park cafes to absorb the atmosphere of the Grade I English Heritage site.
The Imperial War Museum North—one of five branches of the Imperial War Museum throughout England—is housed in a Daniel Libeskind–designed building meant to resemble a globe split into shards. The museum houses a collection of more than 2,000 objects that relate to global conflict and show how the specter of war changes lives forever.
Owned by the University of Manchester and housed in a striking, neo-Gothic building, the Manchester Museum has a vast collection that spans natural history, anthropology, and archaeology. Collection highlights include everything from a fossilized Tyrannosaurus Rex (nicknamed "Stan") to ancient Egyptian artifacts.
Opened in 2018, the Magical Beatles Museum tells the story of the Fab Four through a 1,200-strong collection of memorabilia, which belongs to the brother of first Beatles drummer, Pete Best. Highlights includes John Lennon’s Sgt. Pepper medals, theI Am the Walrus cello, and Starr’s Ludwig snare drum.
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