Best UK break 2019: Liverpool
For culture-packed fun with minimal travel hassle, head for Liverpool. This thriving northern hub is within a 4-hour drive from most parts of Great Britain.
Why go in 2019
Liverpool has seen a year of activity in 2018, which has reinvigorated the city 10 years after its stint as European Capital of Culture.
The Eighteen for 18 programme saw the city come alive with a clutch of arts-based events, and that upsurge looks set to continue into 2019. Highlights include May's mini festival of independent films to be held in collaboration with Raindance.
Liverpool is known for
The Beatles! The Fab Four are Liverpool’s most famous export, and their influence is celebrated in a host of attractions across the city. Immerse yourself in the interactive Beatles Story or rock out in the Cavern Club, where the band made its name.
The city’s regenerated waterfront is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where dockside museums (the Tate has an outpost here) and listed buildings jostle with eclectic restaurants and trendy boutiques. Or head to the city's numerous rooftop bars for panoramic views of the city's skyline. We love Modo's glass-walled garden gin bar on Concert Square, or the social atmosphere of HUS's roof terrace, which hosts open-air screenings and barbecues throughout summer.
When to Go
Wrap up warm through November and December and enjoy mulled wine at Liverpool’s Christmas Market or check out the seasonal Ice Festival, complete with rink, funfair rides and food stalls. Sprawling Sefton Park, known for its hidden waterfalls, boating lake and glass-panelled Palm House, looks its best in autumn, when beech trees carpet the park’s curving pathways with leaves. Warmer spring and summer months serve up a range of outdoor activities, including May’s Sound City music festival and evening cruises on the River Mersey.
Take a 20-minute drive out to Crosby Beach, home to acclaimed artist Antony Gormley’s striking "Another Place" sculptures. These 100 life-size figures in cast iron are positioned along a 3-kilometre stretch of the shore, all looking out to sea. A stroll along Crosby’s coastal path gives sweeping views of the Wirral and North Wales.
How to get there: fly to Liverpool John Lennon Airport, which is 25 minutes by car from the city centre, or catch the train to Liverpool Lime Street or Liverpool Central.
Average cost of a pint of beer: £3.45 - less than most major cities in the UK.