By Radka Hostašová
Have you ever thought of becoming a tourist in your own city? By traveling and exploring new places, we usually pack a suitcase and head away from our hometown, heading towards exotic countries and different cultures. Discovering the unknown generally provides us with excitement and curiosity. Perhaps, the Covid pandemic has changed the perception of traveling, and one of the few benefits of Covid restrictions was the expansion of domestic tourism as the only possibility of people’s getaway. However, what if we narrow the national tourism into an even smaller category; namely, sightseeing within our hometown?
If we consider Liverpool, visiting the Royal Albert Dock, the Cathedrals, or Anfield Stadium, to name just a few top tourist attractions, are probably the recommendations we would give to tourists. In fact, these touristic areas are commonly avoided by locals due to the often large crowds. Therefore, we’ve prepared a short guide to remind you of places worth visiting in Liverpool, that as a local you might not have thought to visit.
1. Strawberry Field
Most of us probably know the song ‘Strawberry Fields Forever‘ by The Beatles. To understand more of the iconic lyrics as well as uncover the story of John Lennon, Strawberry Field is a good place to start.
In 2019 Strawberry Field was opened to the public for the first time, with an exhibition on its history, a cafe, shop and a training centre for young people with special educational needs. Located in Woolton Village, Strawberry Field offers a tour around the interactive exhibition or a peaceful walk in adjacent gardens. With a link to activities of The Salvation Army, this place bears the idea of mindfulness, wellbeing, and togetherness.
All sales through the exhibition, café and shop fund the Steps at Strawberry Field programmes, aimed at those with learning difficulties or other barriers to employment.
2. Western Approaches Museum
Amongst the number of museums across Merseyside, Western Approaches is one of the more obscure ones. Calling this museum a hidden gem is quite an appropriate term as the venue is located in an underground bunker. The self-guided tour around the labyrinth of rooms tells a story of the British Armed Forces during the Second World War, involving a range of authentic objects and documents. So if you don’t fear closed spaces, head to the Liverpool Town Hall – the Western Approaches Museum is located in the basement.
3. Sudley House
Sudley House is a Victorian mansion located in Mossley Hill, currently under the administration of the National Museums Liverpool. Back in the 19th century, Sudley House used to be a residence of a Victorian merchant George Holt and his family. Driven by a lifelong love for art, George Holt spent his inherited fortune and trading profits on filling the house with valuable artworks and pieces of expensive furniture. These days, Sudley House is open for the public to experience the heritage of this wealthy Victorian family and admire the glorious interior.
4. Berry and Rye Bar
Berry and Rye Bar is a place that addresses important historical events from a different perspective. Themed as a secret bar, this small venue in Liverpool city centre reflects on Prohibition dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. As a customer, you will be provided with an authentic experience including dim lights, menus hidden in vintage books, and 1930s style jazz music. Berry and Rye Bar is simply a great place to spend a memorable night out.
5. Allerton Towers
Liverpool has some fantastic parks and green spaces, with Sefton Park and Calderston Parks being two of the most popular destinations for a Sunday stroll. But, there’s several Liverpool public gardens that are quieter, if you’re looking for some solitude. If you walk up to Woolton Road, you’ll reach Allerton Towers – a gem amongst the parks with remains of the historical manor and Italianate colonnade in the centre, surrounded by green areas with diverse botanical species. The landscape of Allerton Towers is full of hidden corners and crannies that might enhance your weekend walk with a touch of mystery.
6. Queen Avenue
Even as a regular around Liverpool city centre, you might not have discovered a tiny path off Castle Street named Queen Avenue. These days, the secret passage is mainly occupied by independent art galleries as well as classy wine stores. Lined with historical shop windows and vintage lamp posts, the spirit of Queen Avenue will take you back in time.