The CEO of UKinbound, the UK’s only trade association that represents inbound tourism, recently visited Liverpool on a short staycation. We asked him to guest blog his trip for us!
In March this year, the Croft family is all sat round at home wondering if we are going to get a holiday this year – also combined with the fact that my wife has been recovering from an operation and has a bad case of cabin fever and is desperate to go away. Our two teenagers are starting to think about university applications, but we haven’t seen any because of the lockdown. And whilst I know Liverpool reasonably well, my wife – from that town beginning with M quite close by – had only ever been to the passport office and had never seen this great neighbouring city of Liverpool.
We live in North Kent – which might seem a long way from Liverpool but with a quick High Speed to St Pancras a quick walk to Euston and the train north – voila – 3 hours and 45 mins door to door and we are popping out at Lime Street in the centre of Liverpool.
We had a quick walk to our booked hotel – the Hard Day’s Night Hotel – and were met with a warm welcome. The hotel is operating almost normally – some things are different – no buffet for breakfast (a joy to me!) and reduced menu meant a simple choice of full English breakfasts all round!
With only the one full day and two half days, we didn’t have a huge amount of time, so we booked a Fab 4 Taxi tour which gave us a really swift and interesting insight to the stories and people behind the Beatles. It also opened our eyes to the many stunningly beautiful parts of Liverpool such as the Georgian Quarter with even Mrs C saying it was more beautiful than Manchester! We did fit in the International Slavery Museum that was beautifully presented but very emotional, as well as the Walker Art Gallery for some quite incredible art.
One thing that struck me about Liverpool this time round was the dynamic food scene – I am absolutely passionate about food and the first night we had the best ever burger at Almost Famous – day 2 evening we went to the Pen Factory – wonderful, delicious food and such good value. When travelling I always ask the locals where they go and what they do – it reaps rich rewards and the most authentic experiences – they always know best and love to show off their destination. We asked our waiter where to go for a drink and she recommended Clockworks, where the adults did fit in a couple of cheeky margaritas! We also popped into the Cavern Club for a crafty half when the kids had gone to bed as well.
We met up with our friends’ daughter in her final year at the Uni and had a quick show-round. She did such a good job that my son is now serious about studying at Liverpool Uni.
So what did we think? – well we got to spend some great time together, experienced some great culture and ate some great food – but most of all we enjoyed the people and the place itself – what a great destination for a short break. And considering the destination for international visitors, Liverpool offered a unique British experience that was authentic and experiential with a great value offering – just what today’s international traveller demands.