The building in the photo above is the Royal Liver Building, built in 1911, an icon of the English city of Liverpool and one of its most recognisable Liverpool attractions. And yes, indeed, in many ways it is at the heart of Liverpool’s foundations as the home of the skyscraper. You won’t see blistering Dubai-like skylines in Liverpool – actually, much of what is important is what you can’t see.
Liverpool buildings were the first to use iron to actually support the structure itself. This was first accomplished in some of the city’s older churches before being put to use inside bigger buildings.
Older taller buildings had small windows because the walls required the support. Not so in many Liverpool buildings, which were the first to have large glass windows as walls.
The Royal Liver was indeed the first to use reinforced concrete to secure its height. Without it, some of the original tall concrete buildings looked a bit like the leaning tower of Pisa a bit too soon after construction!
Pre-fabricated building sections were also first used in Liverpool. These were mostly used in the building of several apartment complexes throughout the city which weren’t architecturally stunning, but it did prove that this concept could increase building speed and reduce the cost.
I visited Liverpool in February 2010 and asked for tips about the best Liverpool attractions. So here are somel ideas to help you get the most out of your Liverpool visit.
Liverpool Travel Tips
Zoe Dawes the Quirky Traveller says that the Slavery Tour is fascinating and the Walker Art Gallery has some great Pre Rafaelite art if that is your thing! I was born just up the road in Southport and wrote this article for GirlsGetAway which has some ideas for places to visit.
I’d recommend the TateLiverpool even if modern art isn’t your cup of tea.
I stayed at the Hampton by Hilton Liverpool John Lennon Airport for two nights in February 2010 on a complimentary basis. The hotel is located directly opposite John Lennon Liverpool Airport, so is ideal for stopovers the night before an early flight departure or the night of a late flight arrival. Despite the proximity to the airport I heard no external noise in my bedroom. Free parking is provided for guests resident at the hotel. If you wish to leave your car there during a trip the cost is Â£5 per night (cheaper than standard airport parking). There’s a half hourly express bus service from the airport to Liverpool city centre which costs Â£2.60 single or Â£3.30 for an all day ticket.
I really liked my room, it was very comfy with a small sofa style seating area in one corner. The chair by the work area was very good for working on the laptop on the desk. The walk in shower was great as it was spacious because you didn’t have to fiddle around with opening and closing the shower door. There was some noise from the heating/air conditioning system one morning around 7am which was loud enough to wake me up, although I’d switched the system off when I went to bed.
The public areas of the hotel are well done in a trendy style but you get the feeling of discrete cosy spaces too. There’s an airport information screen in the lounge area so you could sit in comfort in the hotel while keeping an eye on your flight check in and departure times.
The free wifi advertised as being available through the hotel was very unstable. I was able to connect sometimes in the lobby but the signal in my room was so bad that I had to purchase mobile internet time in order to get a decent connection.
The staff are very welcoming and bubbly, trying their best to be helpful but some seem to be a little inexperienced.
I had a meal from the bar on my first evening. Now I wasn’t expecting any culinary delights when I ordered my chicken and chips but I thought it was a poor show for Â£8.95 for a main course. It was a very small serving, the chips were soggy and lukewarm and the vegetables were cold and hard (not that I like over cooked mushy veg but this was the other extreme). The chicken was OK. The problem is that there’s not really much of an alternative for meals close by.
Chicken and chips from the bar at Hampton by Hilton Liverpool John Lennon Airport
Hampton by Hilton promote their hot free breakfast. I thought that the cooked part of the breakfast was not great. I only had scrambled egg and it was pretty watery. The continental part of the breakfast was good with a selection of cereals, one flavour of yoghurt, fruit juice, fresh fruit, fresh bread and sliced bread for toasting. There were croissants on the second morning, I didn’t like the coffee from the urn but there was hot water to make tea or instant coffee and sachets of drinking chocolate.
Breakfast bar at the Hampton by Hilton Liverpool/John Lennon Airport
Overall the Hampton by Hilton Liverpool/John Lennon Airport is ideal if you have an early flight departure or late flight arrival. The public area and the bedrooms are very good but the hotel is let down some poor constituents of the meals and the unreliable wifi.
The concept of the “Capital of Culture” was launched by the European Union in 1985 to allow the designated city to showcase it’s cultural offerings and often accompanying a planned change in image and perception of the city. Glasgow’s 1990 stint as a city of culture, certainly did a lot to enhance the city’s shift away for it’s rough, grimy industrial image.
I was last in Liverpool about 6 years ago. Do you think you’ll be more likely to go there because of the Capital of Culture publicity and events? I agree with James Collard when he comments that going for a weekend break in Liverpool doesn’t quite have the same enticing ring of destinations such as Barcelona or Berlin. However I’m a great believer that many UK residents too readily dismiss the UK for short breaks and holidays. The first reaction for a leisure trip is to jump on a plane, fueled by the availability of cheap flights. Even if the flight is cheap you’re still going to spend the best part of two days out of a short break getting to the airport, checking in, hanging around the airport, waiting for luggage and then the final leg to your destination, all to be repeated a couple of days later.
Find the best hotel deal for your visit to Liverpool with the HotelsCombined price comparison site.