by John Moss
unless otherwise credited
Cities of Lancaster & Liverpool
City of Lancaster, and ancient house of the Plantagenet Kings of
England, has a great deal to offer the tourist. The Priory Church,
the Judge's House and Lancaster Castle are just a few amongst Lancaster's
many museums and memorials. By
car, the trip takes about three-quarters of an hour by Motorway:
exit Manchester centre via Salford and the M602, take the M61 junction
signposted "Preston" andfollow signs for Preston until joins the
M6 Motorway northbound. Continue past Blackpool and Morecambe. Lancaster
is well signposted and can be seen on approach by the white dome
of the Ashton Memorial.
Park in Lancaster
Photo: Ashton Memorial, Williamson Park, Lancaster
Courtesy of www.webbaviation.co.uk
A major attraction
in the city is Williamson Park. This is a delightfully tranquil place
of more than 40 acres of beautiful parkland and children's play areas,
for entertainment, strolling and generally taking the opportunity
for relaxation. It is dominated by the white Ashton Memorial, whose
white dome can be seen for many miles around the Lancashire countryside
and marks the city's approach from the M6 Motorway like a guiding
beacon. Also in Williamson Park is the Butterfly House, which houses
many exotic and tropical species which are free to fly around amidst
its beautiful trees and plants. The park also contains a Conservation
Garden, wildlife pool and the Mini Beast House. There is also a free-flying
Foreign Bird Enclosure.
The Ashton Memorial itself is an Edwardian folly, built for the sheer
pleasure it might give, and is situated in the heart of the park.
You may also like to visit the Pavilion Tearoom and Souvenir Shop.
visit is Lancaster Castle, which is one of the best preserved working
castles in the country. It is still used as a law court and a prison.
The castle is open to the public from Good Friday to the end of
October, from 10.00am to 4.00pm, unless there is a Court in sitting
; would-be visitors would be advised to telephone 01524-64998 beforehand
to check. The City of Lancaster has many fine buildings and Museums
open to the public, and hosts a whole series of historically themed
events. Contact : The
Marketing Officer, Lancaster Tourism, 29 Castle Hill, Lancaster
LA1 1YN. Tel: 01524-582902
Liverpool - the
Liver Building & the Mersey Ferry Terminal
Photograph Courtesy of www.webbaviation.co.uk © 2005
Situated at the
end of the M62 Motorway, about 40 miles and under one hour's drive
from Manchester City Centre, the City of Liverpool makes for a contrasting,
interesting one day trip from Manchester.
Building from across the Mersey and the Two Cathedrals
its name from the original mile long inlet from the River Mersey,
(the "Pool"), which once existed there. It was filled in the 18th
century and the entrance to the Mersey Tunnel marks its original site.
The term "Liver" has 2 possible explanations. One, the old English
word "Liefer" meaning 'thick' - a reference to the mud which abounded
around the Pool, or an alternative explanation is "Lithe", the old
Danish word meaning an inlet by a marsh. Either way, the city's origins
lie in the fact that it sprang up around a muddy inlet on the Mersey.
In historical terms, Liverpool is not an old city - there is no reference
made to it in the Domesday Book, and the first record of the name
"Liuepul" is in documents of 1192 belonging to John, Count of Mortain,
later King John, to whom the lands of Liverpool were granted. It has
much to offer the tourist .
Docks in Liverpool
The massive fully
restored Albert Docks are possible the best first port of call, and
they make a good base from which to explore the city, as they are
well signposted and there is extensive free parking. Many visitors
find a whole day's worth at the Docks alone, with its many attractions,
including the Liverpool Tate Gallery (entry free), the Maritime Museum
and "The Beatles Experience". The latter is a full multimedia experience
of the life and works of Liverpool's most celebrated pop stars, and
it is a mecca for Beatles fans.
The Albert Docks, designed by the engineer Jessie Hartley, were opened
by Prince Albert, after whom they were named, on 30 July 1846. It
covers about 73/4 acres and has 5 massive warehouses providing 1.3
million square feet of floor space. The whole dock complex bustles
with life and energy, with its various original storage sheds and
wharves now crammed with a profusion of shops offering souvenirs,
books and mementoes of the city. There are several fully licenced
restaurants of various ethnic types on site, as well as a good selection
of small cafés, snack bars, pubs and teashops. Several public conveniences.
The Docks are largely covered and therefore popular on wet days in
The Maritime Museum
is a large and impressive restoration of a large warehouse, dedicated
to the maritime history of Liverpool, with its own restaurant and
shops. An entry charge is payable, but well worth it if you are stimulated
by sailing ships and the sea. The collection includes many scale models
of sailing vessels of all types from the earliest wooden ships to
massive steel liners of the Cunard lines. Permanent exhibitions deal
with the slave trade and with emigration to the new world - each illustrated
by full audio-visual technology. There is a full restaurant available
within the Museum.
Also worth visiting
are Liverpool's 2 cathedrals - the Neo-Gothic Anglican and the modern
Metropolitan Catholic Cathedral of Christ the King, which stand high
on the hill overlooking the city and the River Mersey, and connected
by Hope Street.
other tourist attractions include the Tate Gallery, the Walker Art
Gallery, the Bluecoat Galleries, the Museum of Liverpool Life, the
Royal Liver Building Tours, and the Liverpool Museum itself. Information
can be obtained from Tourist Information Centres which are found at
the end of this entry.
Perhaps no visit
to Liverpool would be complete without a ride on the inimitable Mersey
Ferry, Round trip heritage ferry crossings to Birkenhead across the
Mersey on the Wirral Peninsula sail twice-hourly, and there are recorded
commentaries to describe and explain the spectacular waterfront views
encountered on the trip.
Club & the Beatles
A visit to the
Cavern Night Club, the famed starting place of the Beatles, is another
understandably popular venue for tourists to Liverpool. The Cavern
Club was reopened in 1984, and restored to its original style and
character, still generates all the dynamic musical energy of its heyday
in the 1960s. There are discos and a full programme of live music
on offer - open Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Telephone
: 0151-236 9091 for current details. There is also a Beatles Magical
Mystery Tour bus, which visits Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields. Advance
booking available by telephoning 0151-709 3631. There is also a Cavern
Pub nearby which serves food and drink all day.
A club which keeps
ex-Merseysiders in touch with what's happening at home. Enrol as a
member and receive regular issues of the Liverpool International Echo.
For information Tel : 0151-709 2444.
24 hour hotline Tel : 0151-708 8838.
Clayton Square Shopping Centre, Liverpool L1. Tel : 0151-708 8838
or Tel : 0151-709 3631 (afternoons only)
Atlantic Pavilion, Albert Dock, Liverpool L3. Tel : 0151-708 8854
There is a full
information service about Liverpool and Merseyside on the Internet
at the following address : http://www.connect.org.uk/ merseyworld/tourism.
Email Merseyside Tourism & Conference Bureau: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tours of Liverpool