Did you know that the city of Liverpool houses more museums and galleries than any other UK city outside of London? Besides being the home of the legendary, The Beatles and two iconic football clubs — Everton and Liverpool, this maritime city situated in northwest England has positioned itself as an art and culture hub. Fuelling this is its plethora of age-old monuments like the Royal Liver Building, contemporary theatres, rich museums and mesmerising art galleries.
This has led to a significant rise in Liverpool’s tourism, as the city, as per Marketing Liverpool (a division of Liverpool City Council), received almost 67.3 million visitors in 2018.
Since we are confident that Liverpool is on your list of destinations to visit in the UK, we pick a few must see spots on your trip here.
Ever since it first opened its doors on Wood Street in 2003, Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, widely known as Fact, has been in the forefront of the UK’s digital art scene. A leading exhibitor and producer of video and new media, Fact is made up of two large art galleries, three cinemas, a media and events space, a lab for learning and experimentation, a café and a bar. One of their interactive workshops for visitors this month (February 18-20) is Prototype Camp: Escape the Game, a virtual reality game based in an escape room.
Art connoisseurs must visit the Tate Liverpool gallery, one of the most prominent Tate outposts in England (there are two other Tate galleries in the UK — in London and in Cornwall). Opened in 1988 at Royal Albert Dock, this gallery is home to contemporary and modern art by British and international artists. The gallery also provides its guests with behind-the-scenes of the ongoing exhibitions apart from other interactive programmes that includes tours, workshops and talks. The ongoing Amalgam exhibition by the iconic Chicago-based Theaster Gates revolves around the complex and interweaving issues of race, territory and inequality in the United States of America. It is on until May 3, 2020.
A trip to Liverpool is incomplete without exploring the Museum of Liverpool that opened in 2011 and showcases the city’s history, culture and geography in the form of art, objects and installations. The antiquated Lion stream engine seen in The Titfield Thunderbolt, a 1953 British comedy film, is housed here.
Next on your list should be the landmark structure in the heart of the city, Bluecoat, that promotes contemporary art through a series of exhibitions, music, dance, literature, live performances and heritage events. This art haven with a history spanning across almost 300 years receives around 700,000 visitors annually. Alexis Teplin’s It’s My Pleasure to Participate exhibition (February 22) that blends film, painting and installations, is a showcase you could check out here. Post a cultural immersion, you can enjoy some quality time at this iconic building’s Espresso Café serving barista coffee, leaf teas, craft ales and wines along with local English food.
Another key attraction is this intimate theatre space called Everyman and Playhouse. Situated between the two cathedrals on Hope Street, this is an interesting venue for tourists to engage in cutting-edge theatre and live music. Some upcoming performances that you could enjoy include Six, a British musical (March 3 to 7) and Our Lady of Blundellsands, a comic drama (March 6 to 28).
What’s on in Liverpool:
Comic Con Liverpool
This edition has many surprises. Popular figure Elijah Wood of The Lord of the Rings has been confirmed for Comic Con Liverpool. There is an entire area dedicated to Harry Potter and a huge Transformers special attraction has been planned as well. Fans can interact with a range of stars at the venue. The event is going to take place from March 6 to 8.
Light Night Liverpool 2020
Be a part of Liverpool’s cultural life with the Light Night Liverpool 2020. The 11th edition will explore what ‘home’ means to everyone. This entry free one-night celebration of culture will take place on May 15, and will have over 100 organisations from different disciplines, hosting unique events across 50 arts and heritage spaces.
Nisha Shroff and Sanchita Nambiar