When I say ‘England’, first thing that came to your mind was London, right? Well, let me tell you about two less known gems of United Kingdom, Liverpool and Manchester. One known for the birthplace of the legendary Beatles, the other mostly for their football club, Manchester United. For many tourists London is very expensive and, although we agree it really is something special to see London Eye, Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace and so on, we also think you should give a chance to these two fantastic cities. See what it’s like in England outside the capital by checking out our Liverpool and Manchester tour guide!
Day 1: Liverpool
What to see:
- Liverpool Cathedral: Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, apart from being the city’s most known landmark, is Britain’s biggest cathedral as well (and 5th largest in Europe). It is open daily from 08:00 to 18:00 and free to enter. The tower and audio tour (also free) are highly recommended, so take it and enjoy amazing panoramic views from 500 ft above sea level. The Cathedral is a first-class attraction for visitors with its events, from Cream Classics music sets to conferences and large gala dinners.
- The Beatles Story: The Beatles Story is the world’s biggest permanent exhibition exclusively devoted to lives and work of The Beatles. It is located at the Albert Dock, the UNESCO World Heritage site and offers you a tour of the band’s music, story and culture which changed the world. Apart from this one, there is another Beatles site, Pier Head, located in Merseytravel’s eye-catching Ferry Terminal Building. It offers two exhibitions and a unique multimedia experience: The British Invasion and the GRAMMY Museum.
- Albert Dock: It’s a complex of dock buildings and warehouses in Liverpool, designed by Philip Hardwick and Jesse Hartley. With its opening in 1846, it became the first structure in Britain built from cast iron, brick and stone, without any structural wood. Today the Albert Dock is a major tourist attraction of the city and the most visited multi-use landmark in the UK outside London. It belongs to UNESCO designated World Heritage Maritime Mercantile City.
- Merseyside Maritime Museum: Situated right in the heart of the Albert Dock, the Merseyside Maritime Museum is the ideal place to learn about the world famous port. Ship models, boats, paintings, uniforms and much more bring Liverpool’s nautical story to life. The exhibitions are free. Highlights include the Life at Sea display about the story of the merchant navy through which you can learn about Liverpool’s role in the Battle of Atlantic during WWII.
- Museum of Liverpool: The Museum of Liverpool is the first national museum in the world devoted to the history of a regional city. Through more than 6 000 objects, exhibits display popular culture, including the 360º immersive films about Liverpool, Everton FC and The Beatles, as well as historical, social and contemporary issues of the city. You can also see Ben Johnson’s Liverpool Cityscape, a life-size Liverbird, Chris Boardman’s Lotus sport bike and the first Ford Anglia from Ford’s Halewood production line. The Museum is open daily from 10:00 to 17:00 and there’s no admission fee.
- Anfield Stadium: Grab a ticket and watch a Liverpool Football Club play against another Premier League team at the iconic city’s Anfield Stadium. Blend in the ‘Red Army’, Liverpool FC’s avid fans and enjoy the show. The ticket to the Stadium includes a complimentary match program, pre-match buffet and halftime and post-match refreshments. Book your ticket in advance to avoid them being sold out as it is usually the case.
- Sefton Park: The splendid 235 acre park is a historic park in the same named district of Liverpool. It is a Green Flag and Green Heritage awarded landmark with many beautiful features and monuments to see. It’s a perfect place to relax after sightseeing or to have a picnic with your closest ones. In case you want to go fishing in the boating lake, you will need an angling permit.
Where to eat: Liverpool has a variety of excellent restaurants, so you can choose from all types of cuisine, such as TriBeCa with top-class pizza and delicious desserts, Almost Famous which offers the best burgers in town, Oh Me Oh My where you should go if you’re a finger food lover,Yutki is for South Asian cuisine fans and for those who want to try Mexican food Lucha Libre is the place. Finally, for meat lovers there is Red’s True Barbecue with the amazing grill meat delicacies.
Accommodation: The hostel prices vary depending on the location and the season, but it is possible to find a bed in YHA Liverpool for only €12. Everton Hostel and Hatters Liverpool cost €13 per night. We also recommend Euro Hostel, The King Harry, Regent Maritime and International Inn, all popular among tourists for good locations and cozy accommodation.
Liverpool – Manchester: There are many daily departures on this route, including one night bus. The prices vary from €3 to €9, depending on the time and bus company.
Day 2: Manchester:
Getting there: In case you want to start your journey with Manchester, you can reach it by plane at Manchester Airport or arriving by bus to one of the city’s three bus stations: Piccadilly, Shudehill Interchange or Stagecoach Sharston Depot.
What to see:
- Museum of Science and Industry: The Museum of Science and Industry situated itself right in the heart of Manchester, the first industrial city in the world. Apart from many amazing objects and the fact that you’ll learn a lot about people whose ideas changed the world forever, you can also see the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station and first railway warehouse from 1830, located at the end of the museum.
- The Lowry: The Lowry is a gallery complex and a theatre named after the 20th century painter L. S. Lowry and opened in 2000 by Queen Elizabeth. The place presents diverse programme of theatre, opera, dance, musicals, comedy, visual arts and music to the public. It also offer thousands of free creative participation opportunities each year and tends to nurture talent, develop creative professionals and inspire anyone who is into art.
- The Crystal Maze: This popular attraction, which finally arrived to Manchester as well, features a big variety of games and bigger and better zones. Both venues offer visitors the chance to star the show. Once UK’s favourite television show, now brings the very own Maze Master who will be your guide through mental, skill, mystery and physical challenges in four zones: Aztec, Medieval, Futuristic and Industrial, right before the legendary Crystal Dome itself.
- Great Northern Warehouse: It used to be a railway goods warehouse of the Great Northern Railway in the city centre, but today the Great Northern Warehouse a leisure complex built in 1999. It is situated right above the Manchester and Salford Junction Canal. Today it contains an AMC cinema, a casino, James Martin restaurant, All Star Lanes bowling alley, bar and a restaurant, a Lifestyle Fitness gym and a car park.
- The Quays: The Quays is Greater Manchester’s unique waterfront destination, situated only 15 minutes by tram from the city centre. It is Britain’s hottest short-break destination and has combined everything you can do in a big city into one magnificent square mile, from shopping, sport and art to drama, history and world-class architecture.
- Manchester United Museum and Centre: As a must-see hotspot for any real Manchester United fan, the Museum offers you to learn a 130-year-long story as seen through the eyes of the club’s greats themselves. It is advised to come at least an hour in advance before the tour time to look around the amazing Museum. The entrance fee is £18.00 (there are discounts as well).
- Jurassic Kingdom: Situated on Stuart Street, an impressive Jurassic Kingdom houses giant prehistoric creatures which have amazed the numerous visitors. You can’t miss it since the life-like dinosaurs emerge from the parklands and the surrounding greenery. Enjoy this outdoor experience while looking out for more than 30 dinosaur installations and replicas with breathtaking animatronic features.
Where to eat: Mancunians (that’s right, that’s the name for citizens of Manchester) are very self-confident when it comes to their fine dining. Manchester House is one of the best restaurants in the city and the place where you can try maybe the most delicious squab pigeon in your life. Yuzu will give you Asian delicacies, Almost Famous (yes, another one) the fantastic burgers and La Bandera the best of Spanish cuisine. Australasia has probably the best design and infrastructure (when you get there, you’ll see why), but the food is amazing as well. We have to mention Aladdin as well, for Middle Eastern food lovers.
Accommodation: The prices are subject to change, however you can spend the night in YHA Manchester for €11 per person, Hatters at Hilton Chambers is €17 per night and Hatters Manchester costs 19€. We also recommend B&B 51 Cherry Avenue and Citi Park Hotel where prices go from €22 up.