Image courtesy of Visit Britain Liverpool Playhouse / Brian Roberts

City Centre, Liverpool

Creative Tourist

Here’s the thing. Liverpool dates back to the 13th century but, in the city centre, you’ll struggle to find anything much older than 200 years. The creative hub that is the Bluecoat, a former school dating back to 1716, is one exception. Alongside an excellent gallery, café and courtyard garden, the complex boasts independent craft shops and the rated Bluecoat Display Centre. Another architectural OAP is the Town Hall, which dates to 1754 and stands at the centre of the seven streets that made up medieval Liverpool. Keep an eye out for the other beautiful structures in the area, including the Grade I listed Bank of England building, The Royal Insurance Building and the immense glass panes of Oriel Chambers.

Aside from architecture, the main attractions here are eating, shopping and theatre. Our top picks include Delifonseca, which boasts good food, fine wines and locally-brewed beer, the hard-to-find Jenny’s Bar, hidden beneath what appears to be a fish restaurant, and the Liverpool Playhouse, sister to the Everyman theatre on Hope Street.

Discover our top picks

Leo Fitzmaurice: Between You and Me and Everything Else
Exhibitions 29 September 2018–17 March 2019, FREE

Leo Fitzmaurice: Between You and Me and Everything Else at Walker Art Gallery

Curated by Newport-born artist Leo Fitzmaurice, ‘Between You and Me Everything Else’ at Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool is an invitation to approach the age-old genre of portraiture through fresh, curious eyes.

Fernand Léger: New Times, New Pleasures at Tate Liverpool
Exhibitions 23 November 2018–17 March 2019, from £10.50

Fernand Léger: New Times, New Pleasures at Tate Liverpool

Tate Liverpool presents the first major UK exhibition in 30 years of renowned modern artist Fernand Léger’s work, exploring how the iconic French painter, sculptor and filmmaker redefined the value of art to 20th century society.

John Beck and Matthew Cornford: The Art Schools of North West England at Bluecoat
Exhibitions 17 November 2018–10 March 2019, FREE

The Art Schools of North West England at Bluecoat

There were over 150 art schools in England in the mid-1960s; now most of them are closed or absorbed into other institutions. Bluecoat’s new exhibition, ‘Art Schools of North West England’, asks: What did it mean to have an art school in every town and what can we learn by discovering their fate?

Charles Rennie Mackintosh: making the Glasgow Style at Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool
Exhibitions 15 March–26 August 2019, from £2

Charles Rennie Mackintosh: making the Glasgow Style at Walker Art Gallery

Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool prepares to present its blockbuster exhibition of 2019, dedicated to the life and work of the Glaswegian artist, architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh – father of the UK’s part in the international Art Nouveau movement.

Broken Symmetries at FACT in Liverpool
Exhibitions 23 November 2018–3 March 2019, FREE

Broken Symmetries at FACT

A new international exhibition premiering at FACT in Liverpool, Broken Symmetries brings together artists who aim to understand and question the physical world by navigating the shifting realities of modern science.

Broken Symmetries encompasses a wide-range of artistic approaches: reflecting the diverse ways in which scientists and artists are collaborating in both tackling and communicating some of the most elaborate concepts of modern physics.

Instituting Care: Jade Montserrat at Bluecoat, Liverpool
Exhibitions 17 November 2018–10 March 2019, FREE

Instituting Care: Jade Montserrat at Bluecoat

Bluecoat in Liverpool presents a solo exhibition by Scarborough-based artist Jade Montserrat, who will transform the gallery walls with huge charcoal wall drawings comprised of quotations and responses to key texts on decolonisation and decolonising knowledge.

Joshua Henderson and Veronica Watson: Studio Me at Bluecoat, Liverpool
Exhibitions 17 November 2018–10 March 2019, FREE

Joshua Henderson and Veronica Watson: Studio Me at Bluecoat

Joshua Henderson and Veronica Watson, who have developed their practice as members of Blue Room, Bluecoat’s inclusive arts programme, embark on their first studio residency, ‘Studio Me’, sharing work from their individual practices.

Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing at Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
Exhibitions 1 February–6 May 2019, FREE

Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing at Walker Art Gallery

‘Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing’ at Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool explores the diversity of subjects that inspired the Renaisance master’s creativity across 12 drawings, from botanical and anatomical studies to the design of theatrical costumes, hairstyles and ferry-boat plans. 

Cinema 7 March 2019, from £6

Little Malcolm at Bluecoat, Liverpool

The first feature film produced by George Harrison, who supplied incidental music – features art student Malcolm (John Hurt), expelled from Oldham Art School, at war with ‘the Eunarchy’ of social conformists and sexual timidity.

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