Dogged, determined and for many decades down-at-heel, Liverpool just refused to go down. When unfancied Liverpool FC overcame a 3–0 half-time deficit to win the 2005 European Champions’ League final, it transcended the much narrower boundaries of football and was quickly adopted by this passionate, football-mad city as the latest – and most poetic – expression of Scouse defiance in the face of all the odds.
Most people are familiar with the concept of home-town pride, but in Liverpool they’re just that little bit more in love with the city. They’ll slag it off all right – slagging has always been an Olympic sport around here – but it’s a critique born of a deep pride that these days is extremely well placed.
Liverpool is 2008's European Capital of Culture, and the city has spent the last few years getting ready for the ball. Handsome old buildings have had facials and brand-new ones shine spotlessly on the skyline. The once boarded-up warehouses of the city centre have been transformed into new shops, cafés and fancy apartments.
Impressive stuff, no doubt, but it’s the culture on offer that really has us buzzing. The city’s store of superb museums and top-class art galleries – all free – have put paid to the scurrilous rumour that Liverpool peaked with the Beatles: in 2004 the whole of the waterfront and docks was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site because there are more listed buildings here than in any other city in England except London. And then, of course, the nightlife: as rich and varied as you’d expect from a good northern city.
Best places to stay in Liverpool
England - Manchester, Liverpool & the Northwest (Chapter)
Hedonism, history and music - just a taster of three good reasons to explore England's once-mighty industrial heartland, the birthplace of the first modern city, the cradle of capitalism and the Age of Enlightenment.
Liverpool destination guides
Beatles and Liverpool Rail Day Trip from London
Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields - visit these famous Liverpool sights your own way on an independent day trip from London. Everything's arranged for you: return rail tickets, entry to the Beatles Story, a Magical Mystery Tour and a Liverpool city map and information booklet.
The Beatles Story Experience
Visit the award-winning Beatles Story Experience in the band's hometown of Liverpool, England. Spread between two sites, the unique Beatles-themed museum offers an atmospheric insight into the life, culture and music of the iconic 1960s English rock band. See exhibitions, exclusive memorabilia and interactive discovery zones.