Liverpool is the go-to, no-fly destination for Feet on the Ground editor, Johanna Payton – and Hard Day’s Night is her hotel of choice.
Warning: You’ll be hearing lots about Liverpool on this site. It’s my favourite UK city (largely due to an obsession with The Beatles, but the place itself is so fab that I’ve gone way beyond mere music fandom) and is super easy to get to from anywhere in the UK by train, coach, car or ferry (if you’re popping across from Ireland).
If you’ve never been (or it’s been a while), I’d heartily advise you to embrace the 60s musical heritage by resting your head at the boutique Beatles-themed hotel, Hard Days Night.
Bang in the centre of the city, a short stroll from the glorious shopping at Liverpool One and a few steps away from the Cavern, Hard Days Night is an excellent base if you want to explore the city centre and visit the tourist haunts. It’s also a 10-15 minute walk from Lime Street Station, or a short (affordable) cab ride away. If you’re driving to Liverpool, contact the hotel before you arrive for details of discounted parking at the nearby Q-Park in Liverpool One.
As well as being a stone’s throw from the must-see sights (Albert Dock, Tate Liverpool, the Beatles Story, Liverpool Cathedral, the ferry ‘cross the Mersey, Walker Art Gallery, Museum of Liverpool, Merseyside Maritime Museum, the cooler-than-cool Rope Walks area with its hip cafes and bars…), the hotel itself demands a fair portion of your time.
Beatlemaniacs will enjoy the bespoke Beatle artwork – a different painting lives in each room – and the spiral staircase (ascended via glass elevator and peppered with huge photos of The Boys) will take your breath away. Bar Four serves delicious cocktails and mocktails, and in the lounge you can enjoy live music and light meals. Blake’s restaurant serves a cracking breakfast – and I’ve rarely seen it packed in the evening, so you should be able to book a table for dinner if you so desire.
Beatles memorabilia is everywhere, from the jukebox in reception to the soundtrack in the bars and restaurant: for any music fan, it’s quite the delight (certainly the UK equivalent of staying in Nashville).
And if you’re interested in booking a Liverpool function, I’d highly recommend Hard Days Night: I hosted one of my own parties here and from the attentive service to having the cool, George Harrison-themed bar (Hari’s) to ourselves, it was truly a night to remember.
One thing to watch out for is the noise at night: Hard Days Night is slap-bang in the centre of a party-tastic town, so you might be treated to a night of audio rowdiness if your room faces the street. If you need silence to sleep, call ahead and see if you can reserve a room towards the back of the hotel where the noise levels are far lower in the early hours.
But in Liverpool, it’s most likely you’ll forget about your beauty sleep. You’ll be too busy being swept away by the buzz of a vibrant town with a 24-hour celebratory atmosphere and a limitless bill of world-class entertainment, adventurous dining and mind-bending culture. Gear, fab, etc.
How to get to Liverpool without flying:
- By train, Virgin operates a fast route to Liverpool that only takes 2 hours 13 minutes from Euston to Liverpool Lime Street. From other major cities across the country, London Midland Trains, First Transpennine Express and Northern Rail all run routes into Liverpool
- By car, the M6 Liverpool is reached via the M58, M56 and M62 motorways. The city centre is about a 45 minute drive from Chester, Manchester and North Wales and about four hours from London and Edinburgh
- P&O Irish Sea ferries operate between Liverpool and Dublin, Stena Line Irish Sea Ferries run from Belfast and Steam Packet Ferries operate a route from the Isle of Man
- National Express operates frequent coach services into the city centre
Writer: Johanna Payton for Feet on the Ground
Images: Johanna Payton