From New York, it was a quick six-hour hop over the pond to Manchester, England, a flight in which I had an entire row to myself: the ultimate flyer’s Holy Grail! There were no hiccups—a rarity for me, the travel cursed—and I watched Inside Out and took a quick catnap, then I woke up in Manchester, ready to tackle the UK. Ready to fall in love with Liverpool, England.
Getting to Liverpool
A destination I never even cared to visit quickly grew to be one of my favorite European cities after I landed and took the 45-minute train ride from the international airport in Manchester. To clarify, Liverpool also has an airport of its own, but I only found direct flight options from New York into Manchester, but it was easy enough to catch a train directly from the airport that then deposited me smack in the center of Liverpool.
I’ve been to the United Kingdom dozens of times by now; in fact, I lived there for a semester more than a decade ago and have explored Scotland, England and Wales at length in the years since. There are few places I adore more for culture, scenery and, of course, the people. Have you ever met a Brit you didn’t like? I, for one, have not.
Liverpool, on the other hand, was a place that never even crossed my radar. Other than the obvious—meaning Beatles’ history, of course—I knew very little about the town and never would have thought to go there on my own. But three days in this bustling hub of creativity left me wanting much more.
At first glance, Liverpool is glaringly industrial. And if you know anything about its history, you’ll know it’s only been the last decade since this cultural renaissance began. But peer closer and you’ll see there’s much more than meets the eye.
Where to stay in Liverpool
I stayed at the city’s hottest new hotel, the Titanic, which occupies a former rum warehouse in Stanley Dock and boasts some of the biggest hotel rooms I’ve ever seen.
Having just opened last year, everything about this new hotspot is well thought out and follows theme. And you know I love me a good theme.
The short flight from the US to Britain is almost a tease—compounded with the time change, it’s so quick that you don’t have time for a full night’s sleep—so I’ll confess, as soon as I got into my room, I took a shower and laid down for a rest. Jet lag purists may tell you that you should never do this, but it worked for me, and by the time I awoke, I was ready to tackle the town!
Admittedly, Titanic is a bit of a walk from the center of town—the only downside, I saw, but taxis are plentiful and cheap, so not even a real downside per se; plus, this area is about to see the next big boom in development—however, on my first trip in, I walked. It was daylight out and a bit under two miles, and I needed the exercise after an overnight flight. It was a nice stroll, though not one I would do when darkness set in.
What to see in Liverpool
Once at Albert Dock, there was so much to see, I’d wind up needing to come back a second day to take in the rest. I strolled through the museum complex, which includes Museum of Liverpool, the Tate Liverpool and the Beatles Story. After a couple hours of checking out the area by foot, I hopped aboard the brightly-painted Dazzle Ferry, which makes three stops along both sides of the river over the course of an hour. I, however, stayed put and rode it round trip until I was back where I started.
Once through, I caught a cab to the bustling city center, alive with activity as it was a Saturday night, and settled into my seat at the Royal Court Theatre. While my mom and I have been season ticket holders for Nashville’s own visiting Broadway shows for two decades now, I missed Let It Be when it blew through town a few years back, so how cool to see it not only in the Beatles’ own home, but also in a theater as spectacular as this?
I hadn’t managed to eat prior to the show and was starving by the time I returned to the Titanic for the night, so I nabbed a table at Stanley’s Bar and Grill and had a bite to eat before going to bed. And, of course, after that bite to eat, I had to have dessert. I mean, when in Liverpool, right?
Let’s be honest, I could use that excuse for any city I visit—as a matter of fact, I often do!
And it was worth every calorie. Just as falling in love with Liverpool was worth every ounce of jet lag.
Looking for other UK travel inspiration? Start here:
- It Turns Out Hogwarts Does Exist — at John Rylands Library in Manchester
- Welcome to Gotham, the Sexiest Hotel in England
- Albert Dock in Liverpool: The Story of a Waterfront Renaissance