Exploring Liverpool: 5 Landmarks Students Must See

The view of Liverpool's 'Three Graces' from Albert Dock.

With just weeks remaining until we welcome the first students to our new accommodation at Ablett House, we thought it would be a good idea to let our new residents know a little bit about the city they will be living in.

Liverpool is one of the most interesting, vibrant cities in the country, with plenty to keep you occupied during your stay. Here, we take a look at some of its most famous attractions.

  • Albert Dock

Situated just a 20-minute stroll from Ablett House, Albert Dock is a significant part of Liverpool’s cultural and maritime history.

This striking structure is the largest collection of Grade I listed buildings in the UK, and the city has certainly put each of them to good use.

For a look at the history of the docks, Merseyside Maritime Museum is undoubtedly the best place to start. Albert Dock was first opened in 1839, welcoming cargo ships to one of the country’s most important ports until 1972. The museum provides fun, interactive exhibits that explain what life on the docks was like at this time. Tours of the historic Old Dock are also available.

Albert Dock is also home to Northern England’s finest collection of art at the Tate Liverpool. Its galleries feature work from world-renowned artists such as Cezanne, Picasso, Renoir and Grayson Perry, while recent exhibitions have focused on Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol and the prestigious Turner Prize.

While much of the Albert Dock is given over to celebrating what makes Liverpool great, the city certainly doesn’t sugar-coat its history. The International Slavery Museum offers an eye-opening, honest look at what was a very different time for the city and for the world in general. It is the only national museum dedicated solely to this subject, so it’s well worth visiting.

Of course, Albert Dock is arguably most well known for housing a tribute to Liverpool’s most famous cultural export. Which brings us on to…

  • The Beatles Story

It may be 45 years since The Beatles broke up, but they are still one of the world’s best-loved bands and their home city remains keen to recognise their contribution.

The Beatles Story museum can be found in Albert Dock, and charts the unstoppable rise of the Fab Four throughout the 1960s. Visitors will be able to relive their ascent to worldwide fame and reminisce over the group’s extraordinary back catalogue. Sections of the museum are also given over to each member’s solo career.

You can even pick up a handy audio guide narrated by John Lennon’s sister, Julia, to walk you through the experience.

Not far from the museum is the starting point for the Beatles-themed Magical Mystery Tour, where in one coach journey (£16.95) you can take in all the sites that shaped these legendary musicians.

Highlights include the former homes of each band member, the church hall where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met and locations that inspired their greatest hits, such as Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields. The tour finishes at the iconic Cavern Club, where the band’s early shows first placed them in the spotlight.

  • Anfield

Sports fans will be aware that Liverpool is home to one England’s most successful football clubs, and Anfield is where you can watch them in action. The famous old ground has seen some of the greatest players in the world take to the field.

If you are lucky enough to get a ticket, you will experience an atmosphere like no other. This is largely due to the impressive Kop stand that houses the team’s most fervent supporters. Prices start at around £37 for a Premier League game, while cup matches may be cheaper depending on the opposition.

Alternatively, there is much to delight fans on the official stadium tour, where you will find all five of the team’s European Cup trophies, as well as club legend Steven Gerrard’s personal collection of memorabilia. You can also walk out of the same tunnel used by the players, passing under the famous ‘This is Anfield’ sign. Students enjoy a discount on these tours, with prices as low as £11.

  • Liverpool Cathedral & Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral

Separated by just half a mile, these two inspiring cathedrals are an important part of Liverpool’s past and present.

Liverpool Cathedral is the largest church building in the UK, around 1800m2 larger than London’s St Paul’s. It is currently the fifth largest in the world, so visitors can expect a visually spectacular experience.

Construction began in 1904, but was not fully completed until 1978, so in fact the finished cathedral is relatively new. You can visit the church free of charge from 8am until 6pm every day, where you can enjoy the many architectural wonders within or simply take a moment to yourself for some quiet reflection.

Don’t forget to take in the majestic gothic arches, the UK’s largest church organ and the award-winning Tracey Emin artwork over the cathedral’s west doors. Climbing up to the top of the main tower will earn you the worthwhile reward of some stunning panoramic views across the city.

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral is the hub of the city’s Roman Catholic Community. Its instantly recognisable design is a dominant feature of the city’s skyline, and looks particularly spectacular at night.

It is the UK’s largest Catholic cathedral, and visitors are welcome to participate in a mass, take in their surroundings at their leisure or attend events such as organ recitals or local community craft fairs.

  • Pier Head

Liverpool’s port history means that banks of the Mersey remain home to many of the city’s most historic buildings, and nowhere sums this up better than Pier Head.

Here, you will find what are known as the ‘Three Graces’, a trio of UNESCO and World Heritage landmarks that are a nostalgic nod to a golden age for the city.

First there is the Royal Liver Building, upon which stand the two Liver Birds that are seen as the symbol of the city. Legend has it that Liverpool would crumble if the Liver Birds were to fly away.

Then we have the Cunard Building, which was the headquarters of the popular cruise company until the 1960s. Liverpool was a popular starting point for cruises on Cunard’s grand liners, with some voyages heading as far as the United States.

Finally, the Port of Liverpool Building was the home of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board until 1994. It has now been converted into residential and office space, but a multi-million pound restoration project did return many of its most attractive features to their former glory.

Want to know more about living in Liverpool?

If you are thinking of studying in Liverpool, it’s important you find the accommodation that’s right for you. Ablett House welcomes students at the University of Liverpool, Liverpool Hope University and John Moores University, and you can reach all three very easily from your new room.

Contact us today to find out more.

Image: Paul Holloway

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