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My 10 best Liverpool tourist attractions Part 1 - St Georges Hall Walker Art Gallery Town Hall

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Recently I received this enquiry: “Am I right in thinking you consider Liverpool an interesting city? Two American colleagues are going to spend a few days there next week for a conference. They asked me to recommend things to do/see. All I could think of were the Beatles Museum and the Anglican Cathedral (for evensong). One of them wants interesting things to photograph. Would be most grateful for any recommendations. Thanks J” - Read on to find out my response.

Yes, I certainly do consider Liverpool an interesting city. Liverpool is a city with a lot to offer: a fascinating maritime and cultural history, magnificent architecture, a spectacular waterfront, a good selection of pubs and restaurants - and most of all, a strong and individual character, with an inimitable accent.

To take it all in on a two day trip would be difficult. Two weeks - or maybe two months, would be required to experience all Liverpool has to offer, but time is limited, so let’s see, what are my 10 best Liverpool attractions? They conveniently located. I’m going to list them by location, not by merit, as each one is fantastic in its own way.

St Georges Hall 1960s and 2000s

The first attraction on my list is very conveniently located. It stands opposite the main railway station, Lime Street. As you walk out the front entrance, and look to your right, there it is, a magnificent neo-classical building with a portico, arches, statues, steps and friezes set in front of ceremonial square with statues. That’s St George’s Hall, a building which combines the sublimeness of musical performance with the rigours of justice.

Go in via the visitors entrance on the left hand side, and you will discover a museum devoted to the history of the building. Follow the stairs to the preserved law courts, including the cells and judges’ rooms. Continue up the stairs and there is a gallery overlooking the magnificent concert hall with a stained glass window representing St George and the dragon. The building is unmissable but the entrance to the visitors centre is easily overlooked, so make sure to see it inside and out. That’s Number One on my tour!

To get to Attraction Number Two, continue along the front of St Georges Hall to the far end, next to the column and fountain. Overlooking them is the Walker Art Gallery. it contains many artworks from the Middle Ages to the present day. I particularly like the sculpture hall, located on the ground floor, to the right of the main entrance. There’s a cafe in the main hall, and take a look on the shelves to see if my ‘Liverpool Then and Now’ is on sale.

Back outside, we turn right and walk down a gentle slope of William Brown Street with a succession of magnificent buidlings to our right including the Liverpool Museum and the recently refurbished Picton Library. We continue past the entrance to Queensway Tunnel, opened 1934, and down Dale Street where we find the ornate Liverpool Town Hall. That’s my Attraction Number Three! Inside, you’ll get a sense of the splendour and opulence of Liverpool in times gone by. And from upstairs there’s a great view along Castle Street and down towards the river. The staff are always very welcoming and helpful there.

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Written by Aidan O'Rourke
Posted/Updated 2013-03-29

Aidan O'RourkeAidan O'Rourke has been active in photography and online media since 1995. He has documented the development of the local area in his Eyewitness website (1997-2005) and as a contributor to books, publications and the Manchester Evening News. He runs his Eyewitness photography walks in Manchester, Liverpool and other locations. He offers one-to-one tuition in Photography and Languages. He is a high-level speaker of German and can offer photography walks and tours through the medium of German. Visit www.aidan.co.uk

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