Located in Liverpool’s incredible World Heritage waterfront, the Royal Albert Dock Liverpool is one of the area’s most visited tourist attractions. The site features the largest collection of grade I listed buildings in England and was made a UNESCO World Heritage site along with other areas of Liverpool in 2004.
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History Of The Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool
The history dates back to 1839 when it was once a thriving port. Designed by Jesse Hartley and Philip Hardwick, it was the first structure in Britain to be built from cast iron, brick and stone with no structured wood. By the 1920s commercial shipping had virtually ceased and the site was used mostly for storage. However, it remained a working dock until closing in 1972. It then turned into a derelict site until it received a full regenerative transformation in 1988. In June 2018, the Albert dock was recognised by Her Majesty The Queen and was officially re-named the Royal Albert Dock.
Royal Albert Dock Liverpool: Why Visit?
No trip to Liverpool is complete without a visit to the Royal Albert Dock. This historic and cultural part of the city is the most popular free tourist attraction in the North West of England. There is always something to do, including several museums, and art galleries, as well as regular themed events throughout the year.
As well as the historical sites and museums you will also find many bars, restaurants, cafes and shops. Regardless of age and interests, you’ll easily find something to do in the Royal Albert Dock.
One of the best things to do is to just walk around and explore. As you walk around you’ll notice lots of artwork, musicians and beautiful architecture. Sometimes you may even find yourself in a festival of some kind! For more information on what events are planned in the future, check out the Royal Albert Dock Website.
Best Things To Do In The Royal Albert Dock:
Mersey Maritime Museum
The Mersey Maritime Museum showcases the maritime history of the Port of Liverpool. Highlights include ship models, maritime paintings, colourful posters from the golden age of liners and even some full-sized vessels. You will also find several exhibitions including:
- Titanic and Liverpool: Discover the untold story of the famous ship.
- Seized!: Border and customs uncovered
- Lusitania, Life, Loss and Legacy: The incredible story of Liverpool’s favourite liner.
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, you can also book a free tour that takes you underneath Liverpool One shopping centre to check out the carefully preserved Old Dock. The Old Dock was discovered during excavations in 2001 after being buried in 1826. For the first time in centuries the bed of the Pool, the creek that gave Liverpool its name, can be seen.
The Pier-master’s House
The Pier-masters’ house was one of four houses originally built in 1852. The Pier-master was responsible for the safe passage of ships entering and leaving the docks at high tide. The house was the only one still standing after the heavy bombing during the Second World War.
The house was converted in 2003 into a wartime house complete with original period furniture, and everyday objects. Today you can wander around the rooms and find out what it was like to live during wartime Liverpool.
International Slavery Museum
Located on the third floor of the Mersey Maritime Museum, the International Slavery Museum highlights the stories of millions of Africans who were enslaved and transported across the Atlantic by Europeans and Americans as a labour force to work, especially on plantations.
Liverpool ships alone are known to have carried 1.5 million slaves across to the Caribbean, returning with goods such as sugar, cotton, coffee and tobacco. It was this trade that made Liverpool boom! Although the British ended the slave trade in 1807, Liverpool’s connection with slavery continued through cotton and other trades that were dependent on slave labour for much of the 19th century.
The International Slavery Museum opened on 23 August 2007, not only the date of the annual Slavery Remembrance Day, but the year 2007 was particularly significant as it was the bicentenary of the abolition of the British slave trade. The museum not only highlights stories and artefacts from the transatlantic slave trade but also focuses on modern slavery, raising awareness for slavery in today’s world!
Tate – Liverpool
Check out some great British modern art at Tate Liverpool. The entrance is free, except for some exhibitions.
The Beatles Story
As most people probably already know, Liverpool’s most famous export was The Beatles! Follow the story of how four young lads from Liverpool were propelled to the dizzy heights of fame and fortune.
Are you in Liverpool with a group of friends, looking for something different to do, if so check out Escape Hunt? Groups of 1-6 are ideal but if you have more, split up and go head to head.
There are four different games to play, once locked in, you have an hour to work together as a team to figure out the clues and escape. Can you beat the clock? Afterwards, enjoy the in-house bar and fun photo opportunities.
Prices range from £22-27 per person depending on group sizes.
If you are looking for some outdoor fun, why not try some of the activities on offer at Wild Shore? This place has everything you need for a day out with the family or a party with your mates! Not only is there a great water-based obstacle course, but you can also try your hands at stand-up paddle boarding, pedalos, kayaks and mini-port boats.
If you want to see more of the city, why not take one of the Liverpool City bus tours. These tours are great for those of you who want to see as much as possible in a short space of time:
Magical Mystery tour – Step aboard the colourful Magical Mystery Tour bus for a fun and fascinating 2-hour tour of Beatles Liverpool. You’ll see all the places associated with John, Paul, George and Ringo as they grew up, met and formed the band that would take the pop world by storm. For a full itinerary and how to book, check out the official website. Tickets cost £19.95 per adult.
Liverpool sightseeing tours – Get to see Liverpool’s most famous sights with a hop on hop off city tour starting from the Albert Dock. There are two tours to choose from, the Beatles or the city tour. You can also purchase a combined ticket and enjoy other attractions with the same ticket. Your ticket also includes a glass of bubbly from one of Liverpool’s most iconic bars, the Philharmonic Dining Rooms! Prices start from £12 per adult, for more information check out the official website.
Check Out The Fabulous Bars And Restaurants:
There are numerous bars and restaurants all located within the Albert Dock itself as well as several great street food options. My favourites include:
Gusto – One of my favourite restaurants in Liverpool. If you like Italian food then Gusto is the place to go! Also serves great cocktails!
The Smugglers Cove – A great themed pub, brace yourself for the perfect pirate experience at Smuggler’s Cove’s atmospheric eatery.
Miller and Carter Steak House – If it’s a steak ya after, then you need to get yourself down to Miller and Carter Steak House!
Places To Stay In Liverpool:
There are tons of accommodation options in Liverpool! You can choose from super luxury hotels, and apartments right down to a simple hostel or B&B, however, if you want to stay close to the Albert Dock, I recommend the following options:
**** 30 James St – Situated opposite the Albert Dock, 30 James Street overlooks the Three Graces, which comprises the Royal Liver, the Cunard, and the Port of Liverpool buildings. Once the home of the ill-fated Titanic! Converted into a hotel, this stunning building offers luxury bespoke rooms and suites. Many feature a double spa bath, stunning views over Liverpool, and 1900s glamour.
**** Hilton Liverpool – In the heart of the Liverpool One development in the city centre, this 4-star hotel has views over Albert Dock. Hilton Liverpool has a 24-hour gym and stylish rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows.
**** Pullman Liverpool – Pullman Liverpool Hotel offers accommodation overlooking the waterfront in Kings Dock, Liverpool. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant and bar, and free WiFi is available throughout the hotel.
**** Jurys Inn Liverpool – Situated in Kings Waterfront, next to the Albert Dock and directly opposite the Echo Arena and ACC Liverpool, Jurys Inn Liverpool is also a 5-minute walk into the city centre.
*** Holiday Inn Express – Opposite Echo Arena, Holiday Inn Express Liverpool-Albert Dock has a 24-hour front desk and stylish bar. The hotel is set in a 19th-century warehouse, a 5-minute walk from Liverpool centre.
*** Ibis Albert Dock – Located opposite the Albert Dock and 350 yards from the Liverpool One shopping centre. It offers affordable rooms, a restaurant, a soft drink service, a bar and affordable parking.
** YHA Liverpool – YHA Liverpool Albert Dock is a modern, 4-star hostel set in the heart of the city, next to the Albert Dock and 10 minutes walk from vibrant nightlife. YHA Liverpool Albert Dock features a restaurant for breakfast and dinner, a library and a games room. There is a bar, a TV lounge area for guests to relax in, as well as a communal kitchen for self-catering. The hostel also has free on-site parking.Booking.com
As a Liverpool lass myself, I can honestly say that the Albert Dock is one of my favourite parts of the city. You will never get tired of wandering around, coffee in hand watching the world go by. Even if you just fancy getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s a great place to relax and watch the sun go down. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve visited but will always come back for more!
Thanks so much for stopping by, I appreciate every one of you who takes the time to read and make it to the end! I have lots of exciting new content coming in the next few weeks so make sure you pop back to catch up!