With Gatwick Airport a mere half hour away from Brighton by train, seeing the continent has never been easier or more affordable. Chiefly, this is down to Easyjet choosing to base at Gatwick which means that residents in East Sussex are spoiled for choice when it comes to mini breaks at a bargain price.
But what happens when the redeye flights to Prague, Warsaw, or Budapest begin to wear thin? Is there a closer alternative offering the same cultural experience that doesn’t have to involve being shepherded through security at 5 am and then being forced to sit next to a buoyant hen party? The answer is yes, and it’s called Liverpool.
Mid-April in Liverpool
In fact, early spring is one of the best times to go to Liverpool as the iconic Grand National Festival is held just a few miles outside of the city – this is an event that has something for everyone. In particular, if you’re a keen horse racing punter, then you’ll not only be able to place an Aintree Bowl bet on one of the favourites like Ahoy Senor to win at odds of 3/1, but you’ll also then have the rare opportunity to watch these magnificent horses run live.
Alternatively, even if you know very little about horse racing, these Grand National ante post tips will get anyone up to speed as far as picking a winner goes.
Away from the heart-stopping action of the Grand National that takes place in mid-April every year, you’ll find that Liverpool has all the sights and sounds that will charm you as much as any celebrated European city will. This is, after all, a city that once enjoyed world heritage status.
The Liverpool of 2023
Yes, its world heritage status may have been taken away in 2021, owing to Unesco’s opinion that ‘years of development had caused irreversible loss to the historic value of the Victorian docks’, but ironically, this judgment serves as another worthwhile reason to visit.
Indeed, the best European cities all have a captivating mixture of ancient and modern architecture. In essence, Liverpool’s city leaders were well within their rights to modernize parts of the Albert Dock that had come to resemble a derelict wasteland.
The result of this forward-thinking decision means that Liverpool now has one of the most spectacular waterfronts anywhere in the world where history and innovation meet.
For those who use city breaks to delve deeper into a region’s past, history experts will be delighted to hear that there is a range of museums and galleries on offer in Liverpool. The city’s maritime heritage is particularly fascinating with the Merseyside Maritime Museum showcasing Liverpool’s integral role in world trade and shipping. Additionally, the World Museum is another popular attraction where you’ll find exhibits covering science, natural history, and international cultures. Art lovers, meanwhile, shouldn’t leave the city without stopping off at the Tate Liverpool which is home to an inspiring collection of modern and contemporary pieces.
Finally, can you really say that you’ve been to Liverpool without paying homage to the greatest music act that the city has ever given to the world?
Celebrating the Beatles
The Beatles Story is another award-winning museum in Liverpool that celebrates the lives and music of the legendary band that went on to become the best-selling outfit of all time.
Located at the aforementioned Royal Albert Dock, the exhibition is spread over two sites with each offering an immersive and interactive experience that brings the story of the Fab Four to life. You will leave with a newfound connection to members of the Beatles who all lived only a stone’s throw away from the museum.
England’s answer to a cultural city break
Overall, Liverpool is a city that has something to offer everyone, from history and culture to sports and entertainment, this is a fascinating destination you have to see for yourself. So instead of scrolling through the latest Easyjet sales in a bid to find the cheapest flight leaving Gatwick, head north and treat yourself to one of the most enriching cultural experiences on offer in Europe.
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