Liverpool’s Creative & Georgian Quarter

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May, 2018

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There are parts within the city of Liverpool, which many tourists miss when they are staying near the waterfront and shopping area. Using the pensioner’s most useful possession – the bus pass – take the No.86 from the bus station. This is then a very short journey uphill to the Georgian Quarter where the two cathedrals are and also the creative heart of Liverpool.

At one end of Hope Street stands the Catholic Cathedral of Christ the King (affectionately called “Paddy’s Wigwam”) It is a unique design with a stained-glass crown filling the space with wonderful coloured light.

Just over the road is the rebuilt Everyman Theatre the home of an astonishing range of talented performers from Julie Walters to Alison Steadman (far too many to list here)
Half way along Hope Street on the corner of Hardman Street is the Philharmonic Dining Rooms. This Victorian pub is a Grade II* listed building with an elaborate exterior and interior decorated in musical themes. There are several ornate rooms, the smaller ones entitled “Brahms” & “Liszt” – the rhyming slang you can work out for yourself!

Diagonally across the road is the Philharmonic Hall where Paul McCartney performed as a young musician and again during an impromptu concert in 2018. He is also the lea patron of the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, which is just along the road.

At the other end of Hope Street is the Anglican Cathedral. This gothic revival building was designed by Giles Gilbert Scott. It is the longest cathedral in the world and the fifth largest. There is always some event taking place place here – choirs, mighty organ music or art exhibitions. For those who don’t mind heights you can take a trip to the top of the tower via a lift and a large number of steps – so not for everyone. The lift takes you to the Bell Chamber to see the world’s highest and heaviest peal of bells. Then the stairs take you to the very top with breath-taking (literally!) panoramic views.

While you are in this area of Liverpool you might be interested in visiting the Hardmans House a National Trust property at 59 Rodney Street.It is a fascinating glimpse into the lives of Edward and Margaret Hardman professional photographers. Not only were they creative geniuses of their day, but nothing was ever thrown away, making the house and studio a typical portrayal of early 20th century living. Timed tours can be booked in the Pilgrim Street reception.

The Georgian Quarter is a conservation area of elegant town houses. One of these residences No.62 Falkner Street was featured in the BBC TV programme “A House Through Time”. On the corner of Falkner Street and Catherine Street is the Blackburne Arms Hotel. I can recommend this establishment having enjoyed a meal there on three separate occasions in the last year. Good food, friendly staff and at a reasonable price.
Further along Catherine Street is another must see pub Peter Kavanagh’s in Egerton Street. It is a welcoming place full of artefacts and unique wall paintings. This characterful pub never fails to charm visitors.

Down Upper Parliament Street will lead you to the Brewery Village, which as the name suggests used to be Robert Cain’s brewery. Now it is being redeveloped in a creative way with artisanal units, bars, restaurants and quirky vintage shops. What amused me was the fact that the things we grew up with are now considered “vintage” and people buy them! The old factory and warehouse buildings are adorned with some amazing street art, which keeps changing as new artists come along. (However, it is really best to visit this particular area during the day because, although it is safe, at night the nature changes and it becomes trendy, crowded noisy mecca of night clubs)
As you can gather Liverpool is constantly re-inventing itself and there is always something new to discover.


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