Liverpool is one of the most famous cities in England for a number of reasons. Gothic cathedrals and the old docks speak to the city’s expansive history, and of course it’s also known as the birthplace of The Beatles (as well as a few modern attractions that have to do with the band). Additionally, Liverpool FC has long been among the most successful and renowned professional British football clubs – and, at the time of this writing, happens to be vying for a Champions League title!
But as is the case with a lot of the biggest and most famous European cities (including Edinburgh, which we’ve covered before), there’s more to Liverpool than the front pages of a guide book might tell you. These are some of the city’s hidden gems you might want to check out if you have time.
1. Red Rocks
Near Hoylake shore on the outskirts of the city, Red Rocks is a gorgeous seaside area. Its name comes from the ground, which is literally made up of red-hued rocks and sand dunes. It’s not a place for laying out or swimming, but it’s striking to behold and it’s known for being an excellent place to watch the sunset.
2. Williamson Tunnels
The Williamson Tunnels are actually fairly commonly recommended as off the beaten path spots in Liverpool, so perhaps the secret’s out! Either way, these 19th century tunnels built by local businessman Joseph Williamson are mysterious and fascinating. We don’t actually know their purpose, though rumor has it Williamson had them built simply to employ the workers during a recession.
3. Kazimier Gardens
One step into the garden, said one publication, and it feels as if you’ve stumbled on some sort of secret paradise. That’s certainly a nice way to describe this venue, which combines food and drink, live music, and a beautiful, off-beat setting to make for one of the coolest places to hang out in the city.
4. Thurstaston Beach
Located just by Wirral Country Park, Thurstaston Beach is another unexpected, pretty outdoor area where you can just relax or take a walk. The beach is made of of a mix of sand and shingle, so it’s not the most comfortable spot to lie down, but it’s wonderful for a stroll (or bike ride) on a nice day.
5. The Bombed Out Church
The Bombed Out Church – properly called St. Luke’s Church – is not exactly hidden. But it is certainly an unusual attraction. Bombed in 1941 during World War II, the church essentially has a single tower and its exterior walls still standing, with the middle having been hollowed out. Now it’s something of a natural garden climbing about stone ruins – almost like something out of a fantasy novel.
6. Goodness Gracious
This is simply a rooftop garden that serves drinks. We can pretty much leave it at that, and add only that it has some truly gorgeous views of the surrounding city.
7. Rossett Park
Liverpool FC is all the rage in town, and with good reason. It’s an historically great club, and one that’s in the mix for the biggest prize in Europe. As a recent match preview put it, Liverpool wouldn’t have assumed it would get as far as it has, but now looks to be among the true European powers once more. Seeing the team at home is special, but you can also head to Rossett Park for a more intimate experience with the semi-pro club AFC Liverpool. It’s a lovely little park and a chance to see quality football up close.
8. Tomb Of William MacKenzie
William MacKenzie was a civil engineer who left instructions to be put into one of the more unique graves you’ll find anywhere. Basically, in place of a tombstone there is a 15-foot pyramid above the grave. There are legends suggesting MacKenzie was entombed sitting upright inside, though one need only read the inscription to learn that he is actually buried, and the pyramid was erected afterward by his brother.
9. Bidston Hill
A short distance outside of town, Bidston Hill makes for a nice place to hike. Basically, it’s 100 acres of woods, land, and old buildings and ancient rock carvings. Its lighthouse is a particularly striking monument, especially since the hill marks one of the highest points on the Wirral Peninsula.
10. Berry & Rye
This is a bar so thoroughly off the beaten path it’s literally difficult to find. But it’s certainly worth looking for. Despite its reputation as being hidden, not to mention somewhat dark and nondescript, it’s been written up as one of the world’s best bars, which ought to intrigue plenty of travelers.
This is a guest post
My name is Colin Baird and I want to see all of Scotland by bicycle.