Trip Review: 48 Hours in Liverpool, England including a Beatles Tour and the Aloft Liverpool

The "three sisters" buildings on the Strand in Liverpool

After we made it to Manchester via our Singapore Airlines business class flight, two quick train rides had us to our starting destination of the trip: Liverpool, England.

Now, if you’re like most people we told about our trip, your first question is probably…um…Liverpool? Why? But there’s a few things you need to know about Mrs. Millennial:

  1. I grew up in a family obsessed with the Beatles.
  2. I took a Beatles class at University, and aced it.
  3. I walked down the aisle at my wedding to a Beatles guitar medley of Blackbird, Here Comes the Sun, and In My Life.

So, yeah, if I was flying to the West of England anyways, I was definitely going to be making a stop in Liverpool to soak up all the Beatles culture I possibly could. The fact that it was also the same time as the 50th anniversary of the Sgt. Pepper release was just gravy.

Standard guest room at the Aloft Liverpool

Our standard guest room at the Aloft Liverpool

The first step was to book a hotel, and that was easily accomplished with a stockpile of Starwood points I had leftover thanks to the Starwood American Express card. We booked two nights at the Aloft Liverpool for just 7,000 points total. Given that an average night at that property runs for about £65 a night (currently about $84 USD), that means we not only saved more than $160 by booking our stay on points, but we also got a redemption value of about 2.4 cents per point! That’s a very healthy redemption rate for Starwood points.

Standard guest bathroom at the Aloft Liverpool

The bathroom of our standard room at the Aloft Liverpool

And the Aloft Liverpool was absolutely fantastic. The building itself was central and close to everything we wanted to see, and the staff exemplified the excellent Starwood service. Our room itself was a generous size for a European room, and was surprisingly quiet, given how close we were to the raucous Cavern district.

The "Liver" (pronounced lie-verh) birds atop the Royal Liver Building close to the Liverpool pier.

The “Liver” (pronounced lie-verh) birds atop the Royal Liver Building close to the Liverpool pier.

Once we were checked in, we took a quick jetlag-recovery nap before heading to our first attraction: The Beatles Story. A museum (of sorts) located on the tourist-friendly Albert Docks, the Story takes you through Beatles history mainly using re-creations of albums & places featured along the way.  You’ll move through a life-size model of the Sgt. Peppers album cover, for example, as well as John Lennon & Yoko Ono’s “white room”.

The hubby at the entrance to the Beatles Experience in Liverpool.

The hubby at the entrance to the Beatles Experience in Liverpool.

The museum provides a nice introduction for a casual Beatles fan, but if you’re more of a die-hard, this isn’t the tour for you. We were happy we scheduled this as our first activity, and had already planned for a much deeper-dive into Beatles culture for the following day.

In front of the Yellow Submarine album art at the Beatles Experience in Liverpool

I fit right in to the Yellow Submarine, don’t you think?

After checking out the museum, we headed to another important Beatles landmark nearby: The Jacaranda Bar. Here the Beatles played some of their first gigs, found their first manager, and (allegedly) first called themselves the Beatles. Today, it’s just a regular-old pub that still offers live music nightly on their famous — and tiny — basement stage. We enjoyed our first pints of the trip here, before heading towards dinner.

The Jacaranda Pub in Liverpool, a Beatles classic venue

The Jacaranda Pub in Liverpool, a Beatles classic venue

Ready for some dinner, we had chosen the East Avenue Bakeshop as our first meal of the trip. And it was a fantastic choice. Not only was the food fresh, hearty, and delicious — but it was also served with a smile in a cute, quaint venue.

A couple of the highlights of our meal at the East Avenue Bakeshop in Liverpool: from L to R, that's a Pork Belly main course, the menu board and bar area, and a rhubarb and mozzarella starter.

A couple of the highlights of our meal at the East Avenue Bakeshop in Liverpool: from L to R, that’s a Pork Belly main course, the menu board and bar area, and a poached rhubarb and mozzarella starter.

By this time, we’d had just a few hours of sleep over the past 48 hours or so. We headed back to the hotel for a much-needed 12 hours of sleep before waking up the next day to a surprise: the Liverpool Marathon!

Competitors in the Liverpool marathon running close to our hotel

Competitors in the Liverpool marathon running close to our hotel

While it was very cool to see the marathon in progress, the street closures did block us off from our intended breakfast destination. Not to worry, though, because we stumbled into a great little find at HUS, a combination coffee shop/bar/restaurant/gathering place with a distinctly Swedish feel.

Here, I enjoyed a delicious latte and the “scandi” breakfast, consisting of a thick hashbrown, beautifully poached eggs, smoked salmon, and celeriac slaw. This was a fantastic way to start off the day.

The Scandi Breakfast at HUS in Liverpool, England

The Scandi Breakfast at HUS in Liverpool, England

Up next we walked around St. George’s Place, a lovely public park, before heading off for our main attraction of the day: The Fab Four Taxi Tour.

Near the birthplace of Ringo, in Liverpool, England.

In front of Ringo’s local pub, which has now been properly adorned.

There are plenty of tours in Liverpool (walking tours, bus tours, etc.) that cater to Beatles fans. But if you want to get up-close-and-personal to the sites…to be able to take a photo with each attraction along the way…then you need a personal tour.

Strawberry Fields Forever

Strawberry Fields Forever

And luckily, the Fab Four tours don’t break the bank: the “Original” 3-hour tour that takes you past the birthplace and childhood homes of each of the Beatles, Strawberry Field, Penny Lane, the original clubs where the group met and played is just £60 and can accommodate up to five people.

Next to the Penny Lane street sign

Next to the Penny Lane street sign

Finally, with my Beatles obsession mollified, we were able to go check out some other Liverpool highlighs. We wandered over to the warehouse district where we found Ghetto Golf: a miniature golf park + bar + street art “sanctuary” that was—as our waitress put it—the “coolest thing Liverpool’s ever had.” (I’m guessing she’s *not* a Beatles fan…)

An aerial view of Ghetto Golf, an excellent entertainment pop-up in Liverpool.

An aerial view of Ghetto Golf, an excellent entertainment pop-up in Liverpool.

But, in fairness, it was pretty cool. We enjoyed tiki cocktails and played about 12 of the 18 holes on offer in the old brewery building, while enjoying 80s and early 90s hip-hop before heading out for our dinner reservation.

For our final meal in Liverpool, we decided to stop by Salt House Tapas, which turned out to be a fantastic reservation.

Clockwise from Left: fried chicken with Spanish green chiles and honey, Iberico pork cheek and potato gnocchi, and pan tomate with manchego cheese

Clockwise from Left: fried chicken with Spanish green chiles and honey, Iberico pork cheek and potato gnocchi, and pan tomate with manchego cheese

After dinner, we headed down to a local pub for what was supposed to be a “quick pint.” Instead, we were “adopted” by some native Liverpudlians who were visiting home for the bank holiday weekend, and decided to show the Americans a “proper good time.”

To be honest, it gets a bit blurry from there on 🙂 But we know that we had a great time, made it home to the Aloft Liverpool that night, and somehow still managed to make our ferry the next morning.

Stay tuned for the next installment, detailing our train and  ferry trip to Dublin!

Whitney

  • Nat

    Hey Whitney, I see you’re a real Beatles fan, totally understandable! 😉 And I’m happy for you that you made it to Liverpool to explore the birthplace of the best band in the world 😉

  • Dominique Fasano

    This trip looked so so fun! Love all the food highlights and Beatles influence 🙂

  • It’s funny, I’ve lived in the UK all my life and I’ve never been to Liverpool! It looks like you had a great time, I think I need to add it to my list of places to visit!

    • Absolutely! We also visited Manchester this trip and just found it a more laid-back type of place, which we really enjoyed! It was a perfect way to start off our trip 🙂

  • Bailey

    This is so great! England is one place I am dying to visit. Thank you for the overview.

    • We loved it…I’m already thinking about planning a second trip to see more of the countryside and smaller towns.

  • arita muhaxheri

    This is the perfect plan for a short time in such lovely city <3 hope to go there one day and use your guide <3 xoxo

  • Tonya Wilhelm

    Wow! What a fun trip. Liverpool seems like such a great place to spend the holiday. Great photos.

  • I love your wonderful photos, which really do the city justice! It looks like you really made the most of your time in Liverpool.

  • Liverpool seems like a great weekend destinations. And the food from Salt House Tapas looks absolutely delicious 🙂

    • It was! I think we could have done another day there, but a long bank weekend would be absolutely fantastic. Thanks for stopping by, Charlotte!

  • Lexi Goyette

    So cool! I’m a big Beatles fan too so I’d love to hit up Liverpool next time I go to England. (I’m hoping to rent a car and do a road trip around the UK sometime soon, so I’m crossing my fingers it can happen soon!) That Ghetto Golf was so cool!

    • Absolutely! I’ll admit, we were too nervous about driving on the opposite side of the road to try renting a car, but it probably would have been easier than the maze of trains we ended up with at times!