Liverpool exploded into life in the 18th century, rapidly turning from a small town into one of the world’s most important port cities. For 200 years, it eclipsed most of Europe in the trading stakes – nationally and internationally – Liverpool was where it was at.
What does that mean for the visitor today? You’ve only to look up: a skyline that’s part of a World Heritage Site, a waterfront that never fails to impress, and Georgian streets that are as graceful as they are grand. It is these architectural cheekbones that, along with the grand sweep of the River Mersey, make Liverpool such a visual treat. Sure, the city was for years on its uppers, its post-industrial decline as swift as it was comprehensive. But Liverpool has reinvented itself, as the UK Capital of Culture in 2008, as the home of the leading visual arts event Liverpool Biennial, as the place where artists make work and where a new, creative future is being written.
Step straight out of Lime Street Station and you’ll find yourself in the middle of the bustling St George’s Quarter. Together with the World Museum, is the Walker Art Gallery, housing a collection of historic and contemporary art. The Liverpool Empire, Royal Court and the Liverpool Playhouse Theatre are close by too. With two stunning cathedrals that sit on either side of Hope Street in the Georgian Quarter, the arrea is also home to the Everyman Theatre and some of the finest restaurants and bars in the city: The London Carriage Works, Pen Factory and the architecturally marvellous Philharmonic Dining Rooms are among our favourites.
Head to Liverpool Waterfront for a world-class visual arts offering alongside important historic exhibitions. Aside from an abundance of independent shops and eateries, the Dock is home to Tate Liverpool and its collection of contemporary art and changing exhibitions; the Merseyside Maritime Museum exploring Liverpool’s long nautical heritage and the uniquely important International Slavery Museum, examining Liverpool’s part in the Transatlantic slave trade.
Like the Liver Birds sitting atop the city’s most famous building, one turned to the sea, one turned to home, Liverpool is a city with a world view, yet a place with a personal, personable one too.
Spanning post-war muralism, fashion, music subcultures, gender politics and more, Lucy McKenzie’s first UK retrospective is not to be missed.
From sombre nudes to darkly-hued architecutre, the retrospective of Walter Sickert’s art at The Walker Art Gallery is a raw glimpse into Victorian-era life.
The Reader’s Spoken Word evenings at the Mansion House in south Liverpool’s Calderstones Park are back inside, with a packed line-up running into the New Year.
Set in the heart of the city centre, at LUSH Liverpool, Cinema in The City is back this February, with another weekend of contemporary feature films alongside shorts from emerging filmmakers plus food and drink from local traders
Liverpool’s Zap Graffiti teaches all the basic skills and techniques you need to make a street-style creation you’ll be proud of.
FACT presents an ‘alternative museum’ of artworks that question our past and offer new ways of understanding who we are.
A treat for the eyes and curious minds, the Walker Art Gallery’s spring exhibition of Tudor portraits is sure to delight audiences.
The Bluecoat will offer an in-depth look at Suki Chan’s project CONSCIOUS, which tackles questions of collective consciousness and memory through films, photography, sculpture and virtual reality.