Welcome to my place . . . Liverpool

Paul McDermott on following in the footsteps of the Fab Four and drinking in the city’s great soccer heritage

 

Paul McDermott was born in Liverpool, which he says is sometimes affectionately known as “Ireland’s second capital”. His great-great-grandfather went to Liverpool during the Famine and set up a coal business. A teacher in the city, he is a regular visitor to family and friends in Co Roscommon.

Where is the first place you always bring people to when they visit Liverpool?

Liverpool is a city of contrasts. First stop, therefore, must be its two cathedrals. “If you want a cathedral, we’ve got one to spare,” as the old Liverpool folk song goes. Epitomising the ancient and the modern, Liverpool’s cathedrals are less than a mile apart. Located at either end of the aptly-named Hope Street, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King (Catholic) are very different in architecture, but both are majestic and beautiful. Full of restaurants and bars, Hope Street “is one of Liverpool’s official “Great Streets”, voted best street in the UK by The Academy of Urbanism in 2013.

The top things to do there . . .

Pick any of the city’s public parks and pay it a visit. Liverpool has more green spaces than any town outside London. They’re the city’s lungs, and vital to keep our environment healthy and relatively pollution-free.

Almost all the museums and art galleries in the city centre are within walking distance of each other, and they’re all free to visit. So what are you waiting for?

Take a ferry across the Mersey. Gerry And The Pacemakers thought it was worth singing about, so it is definitely worth a ride. You will also get an interesting view of the city – what’s not to like?

Go native with a walking tour of the city focusing on The Beatles. Well why not? Money can’t buy you love, but it can buy you a closer acquittance with the Fab Four.

I can’t stop at four . . . drink in the soccer heritage and enjoy the greatest show on earth as you go red or blue with Liverpool FC or Everton FC. Choose your own tour . . . I couldn’t possibly . . .

Where do you recommend for a great meal that gives a flavour of Liverpool?

Bold Street is a short stroll from the two main train stations or the bus terminus. Here you’ll find “The World in One City”, which was Liverpool’s “tag line” when we were European Capital of Culture, and there is cuisine from every corner of the globe here.

Where is the best place to get a sense of Liverpool’s place in history?

The riverfront and the Docks (on both banks of the River Mersey) offer a variety of museums and other historical monuments. Liverpool city centre is undergoing a massive rejuvenation, with loads of attractions . There is plenty for the tourists arriving at our new cruise liner terminal to experience and enjoy.

What should visitors save room in their suitcase for after a visit to Liverpool?

Fish and chips always tastes better when they come wrapped in a newspaper. But to keep your clothes clean, a number of local micro-breweries have started offering quality craft beers unique to the area.

If you’d like to share your little black book of places to visit where you live overseas, please email your answers to the five questions above to abroad@irishtimes.com, including a brief description of what you do there and a photograph of yourself. We would love to hear from you.

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