Best views of Liverpool are from Wirral. Try New Brighton as a starting point then carry on round the coast to Hoylake/West Kirby (plenty of food choices here) then up to Parkgate for great ice cream or fish and chips.
Don't forget to call in at Thursaston, near West Kirby, for Churches Organic farm shop and walks on Thursaston common.
Children love the idea of going in a tunnel under the Mersey and crossing over on a boat. Park at Hamilton Square in Birkenhead, get the ferry to Liverpool (superb, heartbreakingly lovely view) and, after a stroll, picnic and visit to the Albert Dock, get the train back from James Street station. Steep escalators, lifts and friendly station staff. Cheap and good fun.
Hamilton Square is signposted from central Birkenhead and is itself an interesting area. The ferry is a five-minute stroll downhill from the station. Ask if you're not sure.
The Dispensary on Renshaw Street, like all Cains pubs, sells excellent beer. It is small and welcoming with a very diverse clientele.
Try the other Cains pubs - the Brewery Tap or the Baltic Fleet as well.
87 Renshaw Street, near Lime St railway station.
Albert Dock is the heart and soul of Liverpool's waterfront, with so many cool bars and restaurants, PanAm, Blue, Est Est Est and Baby Cream. New places to eat like Vinea and Circo add to the already vibrant places to eat.
Tate Liverpool, the Site Gallery and many smaller art galleries offer the perfect mix of culture, right next door to the new Arena & Convention Centre. Now the famous Duck Tour and Shiverpool tours are great fun for a day out.
Albert Dock has seen Liverpool grow up in the last 20 years and will remain my favourite place to hang out on a sunny day on the quayside.
New building hosting the popular chain Malmaison, nice comfortable rooms and bar with brasserie attached. Down at the Princess Dock opposite the Liver Building.
William Jessop Way,Princes Dock,Liverpool, L3 1QZ
0151 229 5000
Liverpool Lime Street 10 minutes' walk away.
An amazing example of public art, these statues (100 of them) stretch along Crosby beach for 3 kilometres and out to sea for one kilometre. Go there at any time of day, but make sure you check the tides - you can't see any of them at high tide. It is atmospheric and beautiful, but at the same time down to earth - it's great to see whole families having picnics next to one of the figures and kids playing around them.
This is an Indian restaurant with a very different menu from the norm. The cooking is assured and the sauces all different - no basic curry sauce for every meal here. Highly recommended.
Lark Lane is a road next to Sefton Park in south Liverpool, which is worth a visit for an evening or a summer afternoon. There are lots of independent shops, pubs and bars, and restaurants which serve food from Thailand through to Turkey. Have a picnic in the park, then call into Keiths wine bar for a glass of wine and people watching.
The Ziba is a restaurant based in the boutique hotel at the Racquet Club. It is not as widely reviewed as some of the other restaurants for fine dining in Liverpool but has been serving excellent food for many years.
It's located in a beautiful building in the central business district, and is a must for a special night out.
5 Chapel Street
0151 236 6676
A Chinese restaurant near the Chinese arch which has a more interesting Sechuan menu alongside the usual choices. Makes a refreshing chnage from the more bog standard food we are offered.
A deli which also has a cafe/restaurant serving great food in the business district of the city centre. The menu has a good variety, including unusual sandwiches, cold meat platters, salads etc, as well as hot starters and main courses which change daily. Great cooking and excellent ingredients.
12 Stanley St
Liverpool, L1 6AF
0151 255 0808
The Beatles Story on Albert Dock is a must see for any Beatles fan. The audio guide is fantastic - it's narrated by John Lennon's sister Julia and is available in 8 different languages. There are some great pieces of memorabilia including John's glasses, George's first guitar and the reconstruction of the Cavern is incredibly atmospheric. There's a brilliant gift shop too and they've recently announced a massive expansion plan.
Lime Street is about 20 mins walk away.
A great show for the price of a round of drinks.
Some of the best new dance I've seen (Memento Mori, Tanya Khabarova).
The best of the Edinburgh fringe and brand spanking new plays so fresh they still creak a little bit.
Occasionally the purveyors of arty nonsense. You can always leg it at the half if it's bad. Some great theatre and the odd hilarious turkey.
1 Hope Place, Liverpool, L1 9BG
Vegetarian Whole food Cafe
A top tip for a tasty lunch for around a fiver. Funky exhibitions from local artists. Cool tunes in an ambient style. Live music provided by a resident harpist.
It's a chance to rub shoulders with the Scouse literati and wrap your lips round a stonking beanburger.
Toilet needs nerves of steel, stout heart and effortless self confidence.
11 Upper Newington Street
Off Renshaw street
Liverpool, L1 2SR
0151 707 8592
Bistro on Hardman Street - great food and good service at low prices. Good range of limited menu deals, lunch £6.95 for three courses 12:00-16:30.
It's packed most of the time so it's best to book.
37 - 39 Hardman Street L1 9AS
0151 708 1998
Very interesting and enthusiastically led by the guides, one of whom doubles up as custodian for John's house.
The custodian of Paul's house is a dead ringer for the man himself without the hair dye!
Try to go off season and late in the day to avoid the crowds.
One tour starts from Speke Hall well worth a visit in itself.
see National Trust website - www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-the_beatles.htm
A relatively modern hostel right by the Albert Dock.
Excellent value for money, offering private ensuite facilities if you book well ahead. Good basic restaurant.
Secure, free car park on site.
Ideal for Albert Dock, Slavery exhibition and city centre.
25 Tabley Street, off Wapping
Cosy, underground cellars form the three rooms of the bistro. Below ground level, the bistro is a great pre-play venue or meeting place for friends.
When I go home to see my parents we go to the Everyman after I get in to Lime Street. It's really relaxed and although pretty basic, the menu is consistently varied, tasty and fantastic value.
Without exception, my dad orders the delicious tortilla with salads, and the desserts are highly recommended.
Liverpool Everyman Theatre.
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