Liverpool lights up as the nights get darker. With gorgeous food and drink in surprising spaces, world-class culture throughout the season and a famously warm welcome from locals, we’ve picked out six highlights for your visit this season.
1. Visit the UK's biggest contemporary arts festival
Benches designed by young children, a lab growing bricks from mushrooms and an indoor jungle are just three of the exhibits on display at the Liverpool Biennial. Over 40 artists from around the world come together every two years to transform the whole city into an art gallery, and now is the perfect time so see for yourself why the festival attracts such rave reviews. A must-visit interactive experience for 2018 is the art facial at Blackburne House.
2. Explore the Baltic Triangle
Ask someone on the street for the coolest area to go, and strong chances are you’ll be pointed towards Baltic Triangle. This neighbourhood of converted warehouses, street art and outdoor bars is a must-visit day or night. It’s hard narrowing it down to a few places but a bikram session at Yogacita, followed by delicious food and drink at Baltic Market and a dance at 24 Kitchen Street sounds like a perfect Saturday night to us.
The iconic Liverpool Cathedral provides the backdrop to the Baltic Triangle, and is another must-visit destination in the city, with a climb to the top of the Vestey Tower – via two lifts and 108 – affording you stunning 360˚ views of Liverpool.
3. Be part of Homotopia
Each November Homotopia, the month-long LGBT+ arts festival, brings cutting-edge performance to the city. Immerse yourself in its eclectic mix of drama, music, workshops, drag and dance – with a headline draw being John Waters’ only UK show this year. It’s closed by a special party by Lez Be Avin It: an alternative and inclusive lesbian club night which is programmed and run exclusively by self-identifying women.
If you miss their closing show as part of Homotopia, you’ll still be able to go to one of their regular nights at Invisible Wind Factory. The city has lots of other exciting, inclusive club nights including Sonic Yootha - a monthly ‘queer disco’ at 24 Kitchen Street which is immensely fun and prides itself on being for ‘homos, heteros, drag shows and don’t knows’ and those programmed by all-female collective SisBis.
4. Snap the Iron Men at their most Instagrammable
100 cast iron statues stand along a 3km stretch of Crosby Beach, all staring moodily out to sea. Instagram gold, we’re sure you’ll agree. Of course, Antony Gormley’s Another Place statues are magnificent throughout the year, but the atmospheric low light of Winter is the ideal time to catch them. If it snows, you’ll be rolling in the likes.
5. Warm yourself up with Nepalese curries
You’re going to need warming food and drink after your visit to the beach, and nearby Waterloo and Crosby have you covered. The area is a hotbed of coffee expertise, headed up by stalwarts Moose Coffee – famous for their huge, delicious Canadian breakfasts – as well as independent roasters Crosby Coffee and the very popular Peaberry Coffee House.
After visiting the Iron Men, take a short walk from the beach to sample the intriguing mini-scene of Nepalese food in Waterloo. The suburb is home to three acclaimed kitchens - Da Gurkha, Da Mount Gurkha and Saffron – offering the very best of Nepalese cuisine and an exceptionally warm welcome.
6. Delve into the past at Magical History Museum
You’ll be transported back in time at the Magical History Museum, the brand-new Beatles museum owned by Roag Best, brother of original drummer Pete and son of Casbah Club owner Mona. The collection, just a stone’s throw away from the Cavern Club, is steeped in history, with original, never-before-seen artefacts from the band’s earliest days through to their break-up.
Then, head over to the Casbah Club to see first-hand where it all started. The club is located in a house in suburban West Derby, and you’ll follow in the footsteps of the young Beatles (before Ringo joined the group, and they graduated to The Cavern).