Day 2. A walk around Liverpool

We woke to another bright, sunny morning which was just perfect for our planned walk around many of the city’s major sights.  Our self-guided tour began at the St. George’s Quarter located just across the road from Lime Street station.

St. John's Gardens, Liverpool
St. John’s Gardens, Liverpool

This historic district forms part of Liverpool’s World Heritage Site and includes some of the country’s finest architecture with classical style Victorian and Edwardian buildings.  These include the magnificent St. George’s Hall, Liverpool Central Library, World Museum Liverpool and the Walker Art Gallery all centred around St. John’s Gardens.

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

The terraced gardens form part of the conservation area and contain ornamental flower beds and memorials to notable people in the city.  It’s an oasis of calm yet only minutes away from the the station and the bustling city centre.

Liverpool Central Library
Liverpool Central Library

With museums unable to open at present we’d come to visit the Central Library which was again welcoming visitors through its doors.  I’m a huge fan of libraries and regular readers will know that I try to seek them out wherever I travel and this one had been on my wish list for quite awhile.

Entrance Hall, Liverpool Central Library
Entrance Hall, Liverpool Central Library

The Library is a unique blend of historic and modern architecture as the building dates back to 1860 combining original features with a modern entrance hall incorporating a glass dome with criss-crossing staircases up to the ceiling.  The dome was designed to mirror the library’s Picton Reading Room and features a balcony with spectacular city views although this wasn’t accessible during the time of our visit.

Picton Reading Room, Liverpool Central Library
Picton Reading Room, Liverpool Central Library

After taking the escalator to the first floor we followed signs into the Picton Reading Room which first opened in 1879 and is named after Sir James Picton, Chairman of the Library Board at that time.

Interior of the Picton Reading Room, Liverpool Central Library
Interior of the Picton Reading Room, Liverpool Central Library
Picton Reading Room,
Picton Reading Room

The reading room has a distinctive semi-circular frontage with Corinthian columns and was the first library in the country to have electric lighting, a much safer option than gas lights given its large number of books.  Sixteen Liver Birds, the emblem of Liverpool can be seen carved around the ornate stonework on the exterior of the building.

Spiral staircases in the Picton Reading Room, Liverpool Central Library
Spiral staircases in the Picton Reading Room, Liverpool Central Library

Its magnificent circular interior is stunning with balconies accessed by narrow, wrought iron spiral staircases, it’s oak bookcases and central dome.  The gold ring which can be seen just above the top level of bookshelves is actually a cleverly disguised ventilation system designed to keep the room cool.

The Hornby Library, Liverpool
The Hornby Library, Liverpool

Located in the next room is the Hornby Library named after Hugh Hornby who donated £10,000 for its creation together with his vast collection of rare books, letters and etchings.  The exquisite room is fashioned from Bath stone in a classical style.

The Oak Room, Liverpool Central Library
The Oak Room, Liverpool Central Library

Adjacent to the Hornby Library is the Oak Room named after the golden wood of its floor and bookcases.  It is home to one of the country’s rarest books entitled ‘Birds of America’ which is kept safely in a climate controlled glass cabinet as it is valued at several million pounds.

Jubilee Quad, \university of Liverpool
Jubilee Quad, University of Liverpool

It really had been a delight to visit the Central Library and I would recommend adding it to your own itineraries.  From the library it was then a 20 minute walk to the University of Liverpool. The university is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and is one of the oldest in the country.  We’d come to take a look at the Jubilee Quadrangle, a focal point of the city’s Knowledge Quarter.

University Quad, and Arch, University of Liverpool
University Quad and Arch, University of Liverpool

The quad has an oval shape taking inspiration from the form of spun sugar in respect of Henry Tate, the sugar magnate who donated a large amount of money to the university.  It was designed in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and is surrounded by several of the university’s grand buildings including the Harrison Hughes School of Engineering.

University of Liverpool, Jubilee Quad
Jubilee Quad

The use of pleached trees create a contemporary style forming a stunning elevated screen around the quad.  This style of planting was very popular in the 17th and 18th centuries particularly in France and Italy where the trees could be seen lining the gardens of stately homes and it is now becoming popular once again and looked stylish in the square.

Victoria Gallery and Museum, University of Liverpool
Victoria Gallery and Museum, University of Liverpool

Strolling through the university campus we came across the Victoria Gallery and Museum housed in another impressive Victorian building.  The museum wasn’t open but it will be interesting to return when it is to view the fascinating collection of objects covering the long history of the university.

Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool
Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool

Moving on, our next destination was just steps away bordering on the edge of the campus.  The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King is Britain’s largest Catholic cathedral, perched on a hill high above the city.

Side view of Liverpool Catholic Cathedral
Side view of Liverpool Catholic Cathedral

Its controversial styling definitely splits opinion of both affection and consternation but whether you view it as a modern masterpiece or not, it’s certainly one of Liverpool’s most recognisable buildings.

Georgian Quarter, Liverpool
Rodney Street, Georgian Quarter, Liverpool

Leaving the Cathedral, it was then a fifteen minute walk across to the Georgian Quarter with its cobbled streets, Georgian townhouses and pubs.  The city boasts some of the largest collections of Georgian architecture outside of London taking in the streets of Rodney, Catherine and Falkner.  Reflecting the city’s rich history, these houses display a wealth of decorative features from wrought iron railings and balconies to ornate doorways and fanlights.

Period doorway in the Georgian Quarter, Liverpool
Period doorway in the Georgian Quarter, Liverpool

The National Trust have preserved Hardman’s House at 59 Rodney Street for the nation where visitors can step back in time to explore this fascinating home and photography studio.  Another place I definitely want to visit, when I can.  The neighbourhood is often used as a backdrop for television period dramas and films.

National Trust house in the Georgian Quarter, Liverpool
National Trust house in the Georgian Quarter, Liverpool

From the Georgian Quarter our stroll through the city continued to Liverpool Cathedral on St. James Mount.  It’s Britain’s biggest Cathedral and the 5th largest in Europe.  King Edward VII laid the foundation stone in 1904 and by 1910 the first part of the Cathedral was complete.

Liverpool Cathedral
Liverpool Cathedral

Fortunately, the building was open and we were able to explore its vast interior and beautiful Great West window.  Not only is the Cathedral the country’s biggest but it also boasts the UK’s largest organ made up of a staggering 10,267 pipes which took three years to build.

The Nave, Liverpool Cathedral
The Nave, Liverpool Cathedral

In front of the altar steps a photograph of the Duke of Edinburgh had been placed with a Book of Condolence for visitors to sign in recognition of his numerous visits to the city.  After strolling through the grounds it was then a downhill walk to Chinatown, the next place on our list.

Looking towards the high altar, Liverpool Cathedral
Looking towards the high altar, Liverpool Cathedral

Liverpool’s Chinatown starts from the top of Duke Street and continues along Nelson Street and is home to one of the largest and oldest Chinese communities in the country with its collection of supermarkets, bars and restaurants.

Chinese Arch, Liverpool Chinatown
Chinese Arch, Liverpool Chinatown

The focal point is the traditional Chinese arch which is adorned with more than 200 dragons.  This ornate entrance welcomes visitors to Chinatown and also celebrates Liverpool’s twin city status with Shanghai.

Chinese Arch, Liverpool Chinatown
Chinese Arch, Liverpool Chinatown
Lion and Chinese street sign, Liverpool
Lion and Chinese street sign, Liverpool

On our way back to the hotel we walked along Bold Street, starting at the top by the Church of St. Luke and following the street all the way down to Concert Square in the heart of the city.

Bold Street, Liverpool
Bold Street, Liverpool

This narrow, pedestrianised street is a vibrant area noted for its small independent shops, cafes and restaurants spilling out into the road.  The area is known as Ropeworks as the street was originally laid out as a Ropewalk, a long, thin area of land used in the manufacture of rope.

Bold Street, Liverpool
Bold Street, Liverpool

The measurement from one end of the street to the other was the standard length needed for sailing ships.  Last summer we came across a Rope Walk by the riverside in Ross-on-Wye, an area that was used to dry ropes that were manufactured nearby.

Marks & Spencer, Liverpool
Marks & Spencer, Liverpool

We were now close to our hotel and after popping into Marks & Spencer located in a grand old building we were ready for some tea and cakes after an enjoyable day touring the city centre on foot.  Liverpool is reasonably compact and it is unlikely that you will require the use of public transport unless you are travelling further afield.

 

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Liverpool

 

56 thoughts on “Day 2. A walk around Liverpool

      1. It certainly looks like it from your photographs. It was always a city with a great vibe so we are looking to go back. My partner when she lived there lived not far from Penny Lane and there was if I remember a small restaurant called Sgt Pepper’s in the same area.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow Marion, I will loose myself in that amazing Central Library!! How beautiful – just for that, Liverpool might now be my famous city ☺️.
    I’m in two minds about the modern Catholic Cathedral, but the Liverpool Cathedral on the other hand is beautiful.
    Thanks for taking me on a stroll through Liverpool (I’m glad there is more than one post on this city!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The library looks fabulous! I didn’t have time for that. One of my favourites was the Cathedral with those wonderful mysterious gardens behind them. Or perhaps it was the cake in the cafe there 🙂 🙂 My feet were tired by then.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the historical architecture and I agree the Georgian quarter reminds me a lot of Dublin (especially the buildings on Lower Leeson Street). I think the two cities were quite connected over time, from the ferry between them to people moving between them for work and other reasons. The library is quite impressive. Thanks for sharing Marion. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I used to live in Bebington on the Wirral across the Mersey from Liverpool. Do you know the story of the Liver Birds? The local call the Catholic Cathedral, Paddy’s Wigwam. While at the other cathedral did you find the little mouse on one of the tombs? There is a cute story that goes with that. Did you see the Titanic stained glass window? Lots of good memories. Thank you

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The Georgian Quarter took me back to Dublin where the city centre is built in this style. I especially liked the library, such elegance. I find that curved facades always attract attention in architecture, even if they are not always easy to arrange inside. Thank you for the stroll.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That library is a delight, especially with the spiral staircase! I’m a sucker for gorgeous architecture, and libraries are nothing short of impressive regarding that. Liverpool definitely needs a second walk-over to really get the feel for the city…perhaps a third or fourth, too! Thanks for sharing more of your time in this UK city. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have visited Liverpool on several occasions but it was always for work! I have always wanted to go back, with my husband, for a proper visit. Your posts, Marion, have certainly whetted my appetite for a return adventure! Thank you,

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Looks like you had fabulous weather for exploring around Liverpool. I love all the historic buildings, especially the Central Library. I too am such a fan of libraries. It’s neat seeing the inside of the Picton Reading Room and how they managed to construct bookcases around the circular walls. It really must have been such a sight to behold.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m so pleased that you also take an interest in libraries. The Picton Reading Room is gorgeous with its circular walls and oak bookcases. The old buildings of the university were lovely too! Thank you for commenting and hope you have a good weekend. Marion

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Wow! That’s a treat of a trip covering many of the haunts of my student days, Marion. Several of the locations feature in one of my novels, so they must be special. The library is the most special though. The the man who was to become my husband found me there 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

        1. Thank you so much for your kind words and for taking an interest in my Liverpool posts. It won’t be like this for ever and I’m sure you will be able to start exploring once again when conditions improve. Take care and stay safe. Marion

          Like

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