Fabulous things to do in Liverpool and the Hard Days Night Hotel
Imagine - no don't imagine, just go and visit the City of Liverpool - the city of culture in 2008 has moved on again and is now rated as one of the Best in Britain. The play on words (sung by John Lennon) is fitting as we have just been to Liverpool and stayed at the amazing Hard Days Night Hotel on North John Street. This Beatles inspired hotel has been transformed over the years to depict the rise of the Beatles from mop tops to world renowned artists. The stunning Grade 2 Listed hotel opened on 1st February 2008 to coincide with Liverpool's tenure as the 2008 Capital of Culture .
How ever you arrive at Liverpool you can not fail to be impressed. Lime Street Station has been upgraded to compete with stations all over the country. We arrived by car and could not be more impressed by creative and exciting architecture. Liverpool is a mixture of Old and New and the blend is very impressive. To get to the hotel, you pass the iconic Liver Building and park your car in the Q1 park which could not have been easier. The car park is light and well signed and a lift takes you to the 5th floor. A walk through the Liverpool 1 shopping area is approximately 3 to 5 minutes, past Debenhams and on to the hotel. When in doubt just ask the people of Liverpool, they are friendly and helpful, but you may end up talking to an American, Canadian or any other nationality for that matter. Liverpool draws people from all over the world. As the Hard Days Night Hotel is an inner city hotel there are no on site parking facilities, but the hotel does do a discount system for people staying at the hotel. Our cost was 11 pounds for 26 hours.
From the friendly helpful door man who has been there since the opening and has a badge to prove it, to the efficient, helpful and friendly staff, this hotel has a cutting edge on most hotels I have stayed in. The access to the hotel is by steps but a lift is available for disabled and the door man will help you with your luggage. The Beatles inspired theme is infectious, Beatles music playing, not loud just in the back ground, the pictures, information, the art work all go to make this an experience never to forget. The rooms and suites are all Beatles themed. There are two suites, one that pays homage to John Lennon. There is even a the white baby grand piano in the room. The Paul McCartney themed suite has a suit of armour reminding us of his knighthood. Also on the wall is the certificate of Freedom of the City of Liverpool that was presented to Paul.
We visited Blake's restaurant for our evening meal which was inexpensive for the status of the hotel and the food was excellent, well presented and tasty. It is named after Sir Peter Blake who is famed for his iconic design of the sleeve cover of the Beatles album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band. We visited the Hari bar which is Hari Krishna themed in memory of George Harrison. What about Ringo - well he just said that he would "go with the flow" on the design of the hotel. Also in the centre of the hotel is the John Lennon's Peace Garden - hidden behind a lace curtain, to get in to the garden you have to ask for the key - it is like the secret garden - with a fountain and plants to commemorate the life of John Lennon and what he was fighting for when his life was cut short so early.
The call of the Cavern came and just around the corner on Mathews Street is the Cavern Club, not the original that is further down the street, but an identical replica is a bar with two stages and artists that play Beatles music day and night. The people came from all over the world to listen and experience the famous Cavern Club. We spent the evening reminiscing, dancing and singing to all our old favorites. The Beatles shop is on the corner of Matthew Street and North John Street so an easy walk to get your Beatles souvenirs.
The home of the Beatles is diverse and interesting. "Get a Ticket to Ride" the Red Bus is a must if you are a stranger in town, or take a taxi cost 45 pounds for a Magical Mystery tour of all the places that you hear in the songs for instance Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields and of course the grave of Eleanor Rigby, but from the hotel you can walk to many of the numerous attractions. The two Cathedrals situated on Hope Street are sights to behold in there own right. The Catholic Cathedral is awe inspiring with its central crown of thorns over the alter to the strikingly, colourful stained glass and this space can hold up to 3,000 people at any one service held there. The Anglican Cathedral is a massive building that over the years has been extended and extended to create a space of grandeur. You can climb up the tower and now the cathedral has evening viewing for people to walk up to the top of the tower and see the city lights.
The River Mersey has had songs sung about it that gave it a romantic appeal but the river has a dark past and now has a museum dedicated to the slave trade that it once was engaged in, many years ago. At the moment a Titanic exhibition is on at the Maritime Museum. It is free to enter and is well worth a visit, as it is the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic it is very topical and popular at the moment. The Albert Dock is a must, it has restaurants and bars, craft shops and even a sweet shop. Liverpool Council have over the years up graded the area and now apartments and shops have taken over from the bustling port that was once Liverpool's pride. You can of course cross the Mersey on the ferry - another song comes to mind!!. The ferries cost 8 pounds return you can get off and go to Birkenhead and visit Port Sunlight or New Brighton - or just stay on and come back and sing " Ferry Across the Mersey" like Gerry and the Pacemakers as loud as you wish.
The Liverpool tourist transport is very varied from the Red Bus that you can hop on - hop off has 14 stops and costs 10 pounds per person. The Yellow Duckmarine has daily tours and is great fun. The vehicle is amphibious and tours the city on wheels then plunges into the dock area and sails around the waterfront, the cost is approximately 10 per person depending on age and time you travel. There is also the original city tour bus that covers all of the attractions and that is slightly cheaper at 7 pounds per person, so the choice is yours, to enjoy the sights of this impressive city.
Don't forget the sport Liverpool is a leading sports destination, home of two of the Premiership's biggest football teams, Liverpool FC and Everton FC and of course the Grand National at Aintree Racecourse. Also remember that Liverpool is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, like the Great Wall of China and the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. The city won the status in 2004 because of its impressive waterfront which represents a 'Supreme example of commercial port at the time of Britain's greatest global significance". This stretches from Albert Dock along the pier head and up to Stanley Dock.
We felt privileged to visit this stunning hotel and visit this amazing city, for only a short time but we will be back and look forward to returning to a city that gave us the icons that will be loved forever by the world.