If you’re staying in London for any length of time, it would absolutely be a crime not to take advantage of Britain’s great railway system and visit Liverpool. If you take the early train from London Euston, you can make the trip in just a little over two hours and end up in Lime Street station by 10:30 in the morning with a whole day of sightseeing ahead of you! If you were out at a pub the night before, you could always catch up on your missed beauty sleep on the way, but I wouldn’t recommend it, because you’d be missing some spectacular scenery.
First stop in Liverpool, if you’re a Beatles fan, has to be the Magical Mystery tour. The Fab Four were originally from the port city, and people flock from all over the world to pay homage. If the name of the tour wasn’t cool enough, picture this: you, riding around Liverpool, visiting legendary places like Penny Lane and Strawberry Field in a big, yellow, psychedelically-painted bus. I don’t think the Beatles would have had it any other way. You even get a “Ticket To Ride.” Along the way, you’ll also get to see John Lennon’s childhood home and the church where John and Paul met for the first time. You can even finish off your Beatles experience by having a pint in the renowned Cavern Club, known for giving the boys from Liverpool their start.
With Yellow Submarine stuck in your head all day long (oh hush, you love it), you can get a feel for the city by checking out some of the area shops on Liverpool Street. Have a chat with some salespeople or some locals, and you’ll get to experience the Liverpudlian accent, and see if you can understand what they’re saying. It sounds like a combination of Irish, British and Scottish accents to me, and definitely takes some practice to decipher!
Afterwards, head on over to the Albert Dock where you can check out the Merseyside Maritime Museum to better understand Liverpool’s history and connection to the sea, or learn about the city’s role in the slave trade by following the Slavery History Trail. There are also tons of little shops and craft carts to check out. Whatever you decide to do, make sure to stop in at the Pump House for a great view of the waterfront while you grab some lunch and another pint. Yes, you can have another. You’re in England! The building used to pump water between the docks, hence its name, and you definitely won’t forget you’re among sea-faring folk once you’re inside. It’s popular with locals and tourists alike, and you can get great steak and Guinness pie before catching your train back to London.
Liverpool is a thriving city with so much to offer. If you’ve got more than a day, consider sticking around for a bit and experiencing the art museums and maybe even a football match! I will always treasure the time I got to spend in Liverpool, traveling in style to some of pop music’s most hallowed spots and grubbing it with the locals.
- Meghan McKeighen