From London to Liverpool

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You might be surprised how few ofLondon’soverseas visitors make the tripjust to experience the UK capital. Although London’s a vibrant blend of history, culture, colour and excitement, it isn’t the only thing that Britain has to offer tourists from abroad. The UKis, after all, a rich brew of fascinating, beautiful but cosmopolitan urban centres, countryside and coast, and, yes, individual countries.

LondonIndeed, many of the UK’s cities are world famous for their diversity and historical heritage – places such as Manchester, Edinburgh, Bristol, Glasgow, Birmingham, Cardiff and Oxford and Cambridge. All the same, one of the most distinct, compelling and culturally rich cities you could ever visit is Liverpool in the English north-west – which is why it’s renowned around the globe and one of the UK’s most visited destinations. So, if the main focus of your British holiday is London (and whether you’re on your own, travelling as a couple or as a family),how to get from London to Liverpool easily? How should you travel from the capital to the home of the River Mersey, Anfield and, of course, The Beatles?

Well, it may be easier and, actually, far cheaper than you might think. Should you already have booked a stay at one of the quality but cheap West End hotels in London, you may be pleased to learn that you can travel by road – or more specifically, by coach – between the two cities for a return trip of around £70 for two adults and two children, £40 for two adults or just £20 for one adult. Run by the National Express transport operator, these more than reasonable coach journeys will, admittedly, take you 5-7 hours to travel in either direction, but with the first service departing in the morning, they runregularlythrough the day until the early evening – and return journeys do likewise.

Departing London, the coaches leave Victoria Coach Station, in the south-west of Central London and just a short walk from Victoria Underground and Overground rail stationsand Victoria Bus Terminal.The journeys arrive at Liverpool Coach Station (from which return journeys also depart), which is in the heart of the city and easy to find stops for other public transport routes. And, indeed, that’s worth pointing out because there’s truly so much to see and do throughout Liverpool.

An elegant Lancashire metropolis that lies near the mouth of the Mersey, it’s blessed with a rich maritime and industrial heritage and over the last few decades has carved out an enviable niche for itself as a European hub for culture and the arts (it was a hugely successful European Capital of Culture in 2008). Its people – often affectionately referred to as ‘Scousers’ – are not only blessed with a charismatic, unique accent, but are revered for their fun-loving nature and their reputation for cherishing live music and good comedy. And for being fine welcoming hosts to travellers from all over the world.

Any discerning visitor to Liverpool should definitely check out one or more of the following attractions:

The Cavern Club (10 Mathew Street,L2 6RE)
Famed as the basement spot where The Beatles played to sell-out crowds and rose to prominence in their own city, it was rebuilt in 1984 and is still going strong as a rock music venue

The Beatles Story/ Magical Mystery Tour (Britannia Vaults, Albert Dock, L3 4AD)
A family-friendly, detailed celebration of the Fab Four; you can also go on a ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ of the city that takes in all the Beatles-related sights

Mendips (John Lennon’s home)/ 20 Forthlin Road (Paul McCartney’s home)
The suburban houses in which The Beatles’ guiding lights each grew up; both are now owned by the National Trust and are Grade II listed buildings according to English Heritage

Anfield Stadium (Anfield Road, L4 0TH)
The home of five-time European champions Liverpool Football Club since their formation way back in 1892

Merseyside Maritime Museum (Albert Dock, Liverpool Waterfront,L3 4AQ)
An attraction that showcases the city’s seafaring history and one-time role as ‘the gateway to the world’, its collections highlight Liverpool’s roles in emigration, the transatlantic slave trade, the merchant navyand the ill-fated Titanic.

Tate Liverpool (Albert Dock, Liverpool Waterfront,L3 4BB)
Like ‘The Beatles Story’ and the Merseyside Maritime Museum, this northern branch of the Tate galleries (others can be found in London and Cornwall) is housed at Albert Dock and hosts temporary and permanent international modern art exhibits

Speke Hall (The Walk,L24 1XD)
Now owned and maintained by the National Trust, this sixteenth century wattle-and-daub Tudor manor house is one of the greatest of its kind still in existence; its attractive gardens date from the year 1850.

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