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The outsider’s guide to…Liverpool

Here at Europcar we’re all about travelling at our own pace while discovering some of the best spots in and around top UK and European destinations. This month we’ve got the sat-navs set for Merseyside as we explore Liverpool – one of the UK’s best-loved cities.

From the days when its famous dockyards served as one of the UK’s leading ports, to the 1960s ‘Merseybeat’ movement lead by The Beatles, Liverpool has always been a bustling city. And today, the town and its surrounding areas still pack a punch when it comes to cultural offerings and attractions; so why not hire a car and discover it all at your own pace with our guide to the Merseyside area?

Embrace your inner culture vulture

The Beatles Museum may grab most of the attention as one of the city’s top cultural attractions, but the 2008 European City of Culture has plenty more up its sleeve. But what could possibly be more interesting than Liverpool’s most famous sons? Well, how about casting your eye over a cross between a lamb and a banana? Yes indeed, the bright yellow ‘Superlambanana’ sculpture is quite the landmark and can be found on Tithebarn Street. At 17 feet tall and weighing close to eight tons, spotting it shouldn’t be a problem.

Image by Steve Montgomery
Image by Steve Montgomery

 

Meanwhile, the city’s famous Albert Dock areais just a short drive away, so park up nearby and stretch your legs on Liverpool’s historic waterfront. Here you’ll find the largest collection of Grade 1 listed buildings in the country, all dating back to a time when the city’s ports teemed with life both day and night. The Maritime Museum offers a great insight into the city’s historic connection with the sea, while you’ll also find the TATE Liverpool Gallery and The International Slavery Museum nearby.

Image by Beverley Goodwin
Image by Beverley Goodwin

 

The Wirral Peninsula

Fancy exploring some of the city’s surrounding countryside? Pick up a hire car in Liverpool and head for the Wirral Peninsula via the underwater road tunnel across the River Mersey.Home to sandy beaches and over 50 miles of lovely countryside, the western part of the Wirral Peninsula is the perfect area in which to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Image by Andrew Stawarz
Image by Andrew Stawarz

 

If there’s a golfer or two in your travel company then they’re spoiled for choice with a range of championship courses, including the Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Holylake, which is set to host the 2014 British Open Championship between the 17th and 20thof July 2014.The Wirral also offers a host of restaurants, cafes, nature trails and plenty of seaside fun – all within a half hour drive from Liverpool.

Sefton Park

You don’t necessarily have to leave the city limits in order to find a bit of peace and tranquillity. The much-loved Sefton Park is just a short drive south-east of the city centre, so pop a picnic basket into the boot and spend the day lounging in the luscious surroundings of this 235 acre green space.

Image by Aphrodite Art
Image by Aphrodite Art

 

Sefton Park is recognised as a Grade One listed park by English Heritage and, as well as being the perfect spot for a bit of relaxation, it also offers plenty of entertainment for the family.There’s a boating lake for starters, as well a children’s playground, cafes and a Peter Pan statue. Like many a park, it also has a bandstand; this one, however, is said to have been the inspiration for The Beatles’ iconic ‘Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band’ album.

Image by Steve
Image by Steve

 

If you find yourself having scoffed your picnic within 15 minutes of arriving, then fear not; a leisurely stroll along to nearby Lark Lane will sort you out.This quirky street is lined with bars, cafes, restaurants and the odd art gallery – the perfect place for afternoon refreshmentswith a bohemian vibe.

Chester & Southport

Liverpool is surrounded by nearby towns and villages, many of which make for great day-trip destinations. The county of Cheshire is particularly easy on the eye, so why not make your road trip that bit more special by treating yourself to a prestige car hire and exploring the countryside in style?

Image by Stephen Jones
Image by Stephen Jones

 

Just a 40 minute drive from central Liverpool, make Chester Zoo your first stop. Here, you can marvel at over 5,000 species of mammal, including elephants, tigers, monkeys and giraffes – with a few curious meerkats thrown in for good measure.

Image by Nigel Swales
Image by Nigel Swales

 

Alternatively, make the 20 mile drive north to the seaside town of Southport. And if you’re blessed with a sunny day, make sure you stop off at Formby Beach on the way up. The breathtaking views and endless sand dunes are ideal for a walk, a spot of sunbathing or even a swim for those brave enough to dip their toes in the Irish Sea. Southport itself has plenty of beaches, parks and beautiful scenery on offer, as well as bars, cafes, restaurants and shops a-plenty in the town centre.

Image by Aphrodite Art
Image by Aphrodite Art

 

Ready to explore more great UK cities on your own schedule? Check out our Outsider’s Guides to Edinburgh, Manchester and London.

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