Things to Do in North West England
Anfield Stadium, home turf for Liverpool Football Club, is hallowed ground for fans of the Reds. The 54,000-capacity venue not only hosts matches, but also contains the Liverpool FC Story, a museum chronicling the club’s history, and the Steven Gerrard Collection, comprising memorabilia relating to the former captain.
Famous as the stage where the Beatles made their debut in 1961, Liverpool’s Cavern Club has become a place of legend, hosting not only the Fab Four, but the Who, the Kinks, the Rolling Stones, Queen, Elton John, and many more household names. The influential club remains one of Liverpool’s top live music venues to this day.
Liverpool’s Royal Albert Dock, formerly an important industrial center, is now home to popular attractions including Tate Liverpool, Merseyside Maritime Museum, and The Beatles Story. Explore its cobbled paths to gain insight into the city’s heritage, marvel at its architecture, or simply unwind in one of the dock’s many bars or restaurants.
This Beatles-centric museum is stuffed full of Fab Four memorabilia, from George Harrison’s first guitar to John Lennon’s orange-tinted glasses. Exhibits trace the journey of Liverpool’s hometown heroes and the rise of Beatlemania, and include a full-scale replica of the famous Cavern Club and a walk-in yellow submarine.
Discover a symbol of Liverpool and gain insight into the city’s history with a visit to the National Heritage-listed Liverpool Cathedral. As the largest religious building in Britain, the Anglican cathedral boasts neo-Gothic architecture, distinctive artwork, and a 328-feet (100-meter) tower that provides sweeping views across River Mersey.
Inspiring the 1967 Beatles’ song Strawberry Fields Forever, Strawberry Field in the Liverpool suburb of Woolton functioned as a Salvation Army children’s home from 1936 to 2005. As a boy, Lennon would sneak in to play, and enjoyed watching the band at the annual garden party. These experiences would go on to inform his later songwriting.
Made famous by the Beatles song, Penny Lane is lined with shops and small businesses. Before the Beatles hit the big time, John Lennon and Paul McCartney used to catch the bus from here. Some of the places name-checked in the lyrics—such as the shelter in the middle of the roundabout and the barbershop—can still be seen today.
Visit the modernist Metropolitan Cathedral and gain insight into Liverpool’s religious history as you explore its crypts, treasury, and unique structure. As you take in its unusual circular design, learn about the Catholic cathedral’s close relationship with its Anglican sister on the other end of Hope Street, or attend a service or concert for an immersive experience.
The mighty Etihad, also known as the City of Manchester Stadium, is the home of Manchester City Football Club. Built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, the award-winning venue is among the UK’s largest with seating for more than 55,000. In addition to football games, the stadium hosts live concerts, other sports matches, and stadium tours.
Discover Liverpool’s status as a British port city at the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Its three exhibition floors reveal the city’s nautical history, from its role in both World Wars to its darker past as a slaving port, as well as waterfront views of the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Royal Albert Dock and its industrial architecture.
More Things to Do in North West England
St. Peter’s Church in Woolton, Liverpool, is more than an example of Gothic Revival architecture—it is also a significant site in musical history, as it was here in 1957 that John Lennon first met Paul McCartney. Also here are the graves of Eleanor Rigby, John Lennon’s Uncle George, and Bob Paisley, the renowned Liverpool FC manager.
Also known as the University of Manchester Library, the John Rylands Library is widely considered one of the world’s most beautiful libraries. Built in 1900 and celebrated for its Victorian, neo-Gothic architecture—which includes a soaring, vaulted entryway and ornamental carvings—the landmark houses a vast collection of rare books.
With a capacity of nearly 75,000, Old Trafford is the UK’s second-largest football (soccer) stadium and home of Manchester United since 1910. Beside Premier League fixtures, the venue has hosted Olympic games, rugby league finals, and several international cup matches. The on-site museum houses the team’s famous continental treble trophy.
The Grade I listed Manchester Cathedral is one of the city’s oldest and most important religious landmarks. With origins dating back to 1421, the soaring cathedral was constructed in the English Gothic style, and later renovated during the Victorian period, and following World War II. Today, the landmark is celebrated for its striking interior.
Pier Head serves as the ferry departure point on the River Mersey and as a Liverpool symbol, marked by buildings known as the Three Graces, the most famous of which is the Liver Building, with its Liver Birds. Pier Head, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also home to memorials, the Museum of Liverpool, and Mersey Ferries landing stage.
Blackpool's first-ever (and Lancashire’s only purpose-built) comedy club, the Comedy Station is the only comedy club in Blackpool that hosts a completely professional lineup. Here you can laugh along with comedians from around the world that have appeared on shows such asMock the Week,8 out of 10 Cats,Live at the Apollo, and more.
The Peak District became Britain’s first national park in 1951 and remains one of its most popular outdoor destinations. From fertile farmland and stately homes to towering peaks and underground caves, there’s much to explore across the 143,700-hectare park, including the beginning of Britain’s best-known trail, the Pennine Way.
Running right through the heart of the city, the Mersey River is the lifeblood of Liverpool, and the city’s iconic ferries have sailed its shores for more than 800 years. Today, the Mersey Ferries remain a must-see attraction for visitors to Liverpool.
Take time out from the bustling city streets with a visit to the Walker Art Gallery, home to a diverse collection of artwork that spans eight centuries. Peruse masterpieces by artists, such as Monet, Rembrandt, and David Hockney, and enjoy an experience in the Big Art for Little Artists gallery, a hands-on space designed for young children.
Delve into Manchester’s inventive and industrial heritage at the Science and Industry Museum. Housed in a building that served as the world’s first passenger railway station, the museum includes a wide collection of vintage vehicles, historical machinery, hands-on exhibitions, and other engaging offerings.
For over 120 years, this 42-acre (17-hectare amusement park has been drawing fun-loving visitors to England’s northwest coast with its roller coasters, family-friendly rides, and immersive shows and events. Today’s highlights include the recording-breaking Big One, iconic Big Dipper, and the UK’s first multi-launch coaster, Icon.
The Imperial War Museum North—one of five branches of the Imperial War Museum throughout England—is housed in a Daniel Libeskind–designed building meant to resemble a globe split into shards. The museum houses a collection of more than 2,000 objects that relate to global conflict and show how the specter of war changes lives forever.
Perched 380 feet (116 meters) up the Blackpool Tower, the Blackpool Tower Eye has indoor and outdoor observation decks and commands spectacular views. Visitors can soak in the panoramas, stand on the glass Skywalk above Blackpool promenade, and enjoy a 4D cinematic journey through Blackpool’s history as a curtain-raiser to their visit.
Opened in 2018, the Magical Beatles Museum tells the story of the Fab Four through a 1,200-strong collection of memorabilia, which belongs to the brother of first Beatles drummer, Pete Best. Highlights includes John Lennon’s Sgt. Pepper medals, theI Am the Walrus cello, and Starr’s Ludwig snare drum.