Wedged between serene North Wales and the even-more-serene Lake District, Liverpool provides an opportunity to sample the "real" England. It's the best look at urban England outside London. Beatles fans flock to Liverpool to learn about the Fab Four's early days, but the city has much more to offer — most notably, a wealth of free and good museums, a pair of striking cathedrals, a dramatic skyline mingling old red-brick maritime buildings and glassy new skyscrapers, and — most of all — the charm of the Liverpudlians.
At a Glance
▲▲ Museum of Liverpool Three floors of intriguing exhibits, historical artifacts, and fun interactive displays tracing the port city's history, culture, and contributions to the world.
▲▲ Liverpool Cathedral Huge Anglican house of worship — the largest cathedral in Great Britain — with cavernous interior and tower climb.
▲ Lennon and McCartney Homes The 1950s boyhood homes of Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney, with restored interiors viewable on a National Trust minibus tour. Advance reservations smart.
▲ The Beatles Story Well-done if overpriced exhibit about the Fab Four, with a great audioguide narrated by John Lennon's sister, Julia Baird.
▲ Merseyside Maritime Museum and International Slavery Museum Duo of thought-provoking museums exploring Liverpool's seafaring heritage and the city's role in the African slave trade.
▲ Walker Art Gallery Enjoyable, easy-to-appreciate collection of European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts.
▲ Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King Striking, daringly modern Catholic cathedral with a story as fascinating as the building itself.
Tate Gallery Liverpool Prestigious modern art gallery with a rotating collection of 20th-century statues and paintings.
World Museum Family-oriented museum with five floors of kid-friendly exhibits, including dinosaurs and an aquarium.