Museums in Liverpool
From warships and smugglers to the Beatles and Brookside,
Liverpool’s rich history is exposed inside the
walls of the many museums dotted around the city.
So if you’ve got a few hours to spare why not
head to the museums and history centres to discover
how Liverpool became one of Britain’s leading
The city’s most famous exports are undoubtedly
four lads named John, Ringo, George and Paul, so where
better to start your tour of Liverpool than at the Beatles
Story Experience [map].
Situated at the impressive Albert Dock, this museum
offers a wonderful insight into the lives of the world
famous Fab Four. As well as seeing John’s lenses
and George’s first guitar, you can also hear the
fans scream, walk down Abbey Road, relive the Mersey
Beat, see Liverpool in the 60s and go aboard the Yellow
Apart from the Beatles, Liverpool is also famous for
its docklands, where around nine million emigrants began
their journey to a new life in America, Canada or Australia
in the 19th century. To discover what life for them
was really like aboard the ships and to uncover the
truth about the city’s slavery trade, then get
along to the Merseyside Maritime Museum [map] at Albert Dock.
As well as the museum, which has wonderful models of
the Titanic and Lusitania, visitors can also enjoy a
two-hour trail around the most historically important
sites of the slave trade. The tour covers places such
as the Roscoe Memorial Gardens, and the renowned
Rodney Street and Exchange Flags with their imposing
statues and architecture.
For more of Liverpool’s maritime activities why
not pay a visit to the Historic Warships museum [map] in Birkenhead, which has Britain's finest collection
of fighting ships. Among the many ships on show are
the HMS Plymouth and submarine HMS Onyx, which were
both involved in the Falklands War. The exhibition also
includes the mysterious U534, the only German submarine
to be raised from the seabed after being sunk by the
Allies in 1945.
When it comes to the World War II, Liverpool not only
suffered in the Blitz, it also played a vital
part in the Battle of the Atlantic.
Concealed under the city streets, the Western Approaches
Command Centre is a former top-secret nerve centre
dating from the 1940s, which has reconstructions of
the Admiral’s office and Anderson Shelter. There
is also a mocked-up schoolroom where you can try on
a gas mask and sound the sirens.
Another place well worth a visit if you want to learn
more about the wayward travellers and smugglers caught
at Liverpool Docks is the HM Customs and Excise National
Based within the Maritime Museum, it tells the story
of smugglers and duty men from the 1700s to the present
day, and includes interactive exhibits where you can
try and spot a suspect traveller.
If you’re more interested in learning about Liverpool’s
social history then the Museum of Liverpool Life
[map] is well worth a visit. The museum delves into everything
from political activity to religious faiths, and the
production of Ford cars to the soldiers who served in
the Kings Regiment. It also celebrates aspects of popular
culture, including Liverpool’s famous soap opera, Brookside.
Liverpool Museum [map],
which is currently having a £35 million extension
built, has one of the biggest collections in Britain,
with 10,000 historical exhibits from all over the world
including ancient Egyptian artefacts and Roman relics.
Located on the top floor of the museum is the Planetarium,
which gives visitors the chance to blast off on a spectacular
journey through space and time to learn about the universe
To discover how experts preserve and restore everything
from fine art and sculpture, to space suits and ancient
archaeological treasures, visit the Conservation Centre
Located in Victorian railway depot in the Whitechapel
area of Liverpool, the centre has exhibits ranging from
two Beatles gold discs to a mummified Egyptian crocodile.
For all you budding scientists out there, the Catalyst
Museum in nearby Widnes focuses on the world of
chemistry and has many hands on exhibitions for you
Other museums also worth checking out are the Prescott
Clock Museum, where you can see the intricate watch
making process, the Birkenhead Tramways Museum,
where you can view historic vehicles, and the Norton
Priory Museum and Gardens, which depicts life at
the grand house 800 years ago.
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