Acclaimed Architecture of Liverpool, Walking Tour, Liverpool (Self Guided)

Liverpool's rich architectural development has become one of the predominant attractions for tourists. Beautiful landscapes are open to your view, and design and decor will help you enjoy the walk. Check out the list of the top tourist sites that you might wish to visit:
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Acclaimed Architecture of Liverpool, Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Acclaimed Architecture of Liverpool, Walking Tour
Guide Location: England » Liverpool (See other walking tours in Liverpool)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
Author: irenes
Albany Building

1) Albany Building

The Grade II* listed Albany Building is located on Old Hall Street, at the western edge of Liverpool’s city centre, and a short walk from Moorfields rail station. Constructed at the height of the city’s expansion in 1858, it is one of Liverpool’s most highly regarded works of architecture. The Albany Building was originally designed as a headquarters for the city’s many wealthy cotton brokers, under the instruction of local banker and race horse owner Richard Naylor. Recently redeveloped, it now houses several exclusive luxury apartments, whilst the building’s communal areas retain many of their impressive original features.

The Albany is a five-storey building, constructed from sandstone and designed in the Classical style seen across the city. Some of the building’s most impressive features are found within its lavish interior, including a central atrium lined with crystal chandeliers and extending to the full height of the building. The new development has retained this feature, as well as the wide curving staircases and high ceilings typical of grand Victorian municipal buildings. As the building is now occupied by private apartments, it is closed to the public, although it may be possible to tour the lower floor and to view the impressive atrium.
Liverpool Exchange-Mercury Court

2) Liverpool Exchange-Mercury Court

Liverpool Exchange railway station was a railway station located in the town centre. The station originally opened as the Tithebarn Street railway station on 13 May 1850. The station was extensively rebuilt and enlarged between 1886 and 1888, being renamed Liverpool Exchange on 2 July 1888. Under four extremely long roofs lay ten platforms, providing long distance services. Liverpool Exchange closed on 30 April 1977. Within a few years of closure the old station was demolished by Oldham Bros. However, the frontage of the station building was preserved and incorporated into a new office building built behind, called Mercury Court. The station site is still largely intact. The approaches to the station still exist on the old brick viaducts. The lines then descend and disappear just before Leeds Street. Parts of the original station wall can still be seen when walking down Pall Mall or Bixteth Street. The rest of the station site behind Mercury Court is currently being used as a car park.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Municipal Building

3) Municipal Building

The Municipal Buildings are located on Dale Street in Liverpool’s City Centre. Dale Street forms part of the city’s commercial conservation area. This region of the city, midway between Lime Street station and Albert Dock, comprises several streets of well preserved Victorian architecture, on the site of the medieval centre of Liverpool. The Municipal Buildings is the main publicly accessible council building in the city, and has served this purpose since it opened in 1866.

In the early Victorian era, as Liverpool, like many industrial port towns, grew rapidly and needed a new building to house the city’s expanding council staff. The Municipal Buildings were started by John Weightman in 1860, and eventually completed six years later under the guidance of architect E.R. Robson. The building carries hallmarks of French and Italian architectural influence, but has a tall bell tower typical of the traditional English town hall.

The building’s balcony houses sixteen sandstone figures representing the city’s success in science, industry and the arts. The bell tower has five bells, which still chime regularly, and is topped with an unusual pyramid shaped spire. The building is still open to the public, and is open during usual office hours, although tours are unavailable.
Temple Building

4) Temple Building

The Temple is located on Dale Street, a main thoroughfare in the commercial heart of the city. It sits alongside many other fine examples of Victorian architecture, including the Municipal Buildings. The Temple, like the nearby Hargreaves Building, was built by Sir James Picton at the request of local banker and philanthropist Sir William Brown. Picton and Brown are two of the city’s most famous figures from its Victorian heyday. Picton designed buildings across Liverpool, and lends his name to the Picton Reading Room, amongst others. Brown commissioned a number of the city’s finest Victorian buildings, and has a street named after him in the city centre.

The Temple combines modern features with the flourish of classical architecture. Fitted with a lead roof and a functional granite basement, it carries the Italian influence of many of the city’s greatest Victorian buildings. Constructed in 1865, it is notable for its distinctive curved bay window on one corner, and Tuscan colonnade on the ground floor. Look out for the unusual carving above the main entrance – it shows four hands, clasped together, with the motto ‘Harmony Becomes Brothers’ inscribed underneath. It reflects the fraternal spirit that helped establish the city as a global trade centre, and for which the local people are renowned.
Royal Insurance Building

5) Royal Insurance Building

The Royal Insurance Building can be found on North John Street, in the historic heart of Liverpool’s Victorian city centre. As the name suggests, it was constructed as a national head office for the city’s successful Royal Insurance Company. The company moved out in 1980, and sadly the building is still disused. Having deteriorated since its closure, it was placed on English Heritage’s Buildings at Risk Register. There is hope for the grand old building yet, however, as plans are afoot to convert it into a hotel.

The Royal Insurance Building took seven years to complete, and opened in 1903. The architect, James Doyle, won an open contest and was assisted by famous Scottish architect Norman Shaw, who chose the winning design. Fashioned from Portland stone supported by a steel frame – and one of the earliest buildings in the city to use this technique – the building stands out from the subtly European influenced architecture that surrounds it.

Broadly described as Neo-Baroque, the design combines several different styles, including Greek Doric colonnades, sash windows and quirky domed towers at the top of the building. A Grade II listed building that won high praise from observers upon its completion, the Royal Insurance building replaced an earlier headquarters, which still stands on nearby Queen Avenue.
Picton Reading Room & Hornby Library

6) Picton Reading Room & Hornby Library (must see)

The Picton Reading Room and Hornby Library stand side by side on William Brown Street, alongside other grand Liverpudlian landmarks like the County Sessions House, and the Walker Art Gallery. The two buildings were constructed thirty years apart, in 1879 and 1906 respectively, and together form part of the Liverpool Central Library.

The Picton Reading Room is the more distinctive of the two buildings, with its semicircular frontage and Corinthian columns. It is named after local architect and antiquary Sir James Picton, though he did not actually design the building. The Reading Room is the work of Cornelius Sherlock – but Picton laid the first foundation stone. It was the first library in the UK to have fully electrified lighting – a safer option than gas light given the vast array of books it held.

The Hornby Reading Room, as it was originally known, was named after Hugh Hornby, and designed by Thomas Shelmerdine. It is located behind the Picton building and is known for the well-preserved interior demonstrating hallmarks of Edwardian Imperial style.

Why You Should Visit:
The architecture and internal design is something to behold, and there is more on offer than in most other British libraries.
Aside from the extensive book collections, some worth many thousands of £s, there are many collections of photos and maps.
A small coffee shop is also present if you just want to sit and take in the atmosphere and watch people milling around.

Grab some coffee from the ground floor and take the lift to the top floor terrace – fabulous views of Liverpool!

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 9am-8pm; Sat: 9am-5pm; Sun: 10am-5pm
County Sessions House

7) County Sessions House

The County Sessions House is in Liverpool’s city centre. It is located to the east of the Walker Art Gallery, and close to the city’s famous World Museum. A Grade II listed building which, like many in the city, is clad in ashlar stone and built in the neoclassical style, County Sessions House originally functioned as a county court house.

Built between 1882 and 1884 and designed by local architects Francis & George Holme, the building once contained three separate courtrooms, barristers’ chambers, legal offices, and cells for the accused. As a courthouse, the building was required to have four separate entrances, for judges, solicitors, prisoners and the public. The interior is ingeniously designed so that the paths of these four groups did not cross until they reached the courtroom.

County Sessions House has been described as a Venetian style building, and has a distinctive portico columned entrance at the front. The coat of arms above the entrance is that of Lancashire County Council, to which the city of Liverpool once belonged. Now owned by National Museums Liverpool, the building houses a lecture theatre and other research facilities relating to the organisation’s many art galleries.
St. George's Hall

8) St. George's Hall (must see)

A fine example of Liverpool's neoclassical architecture, this Grade I listed building's Greek-columned facade is both impressive and imposing. The St. George's Hall hosts social events, including live music, and is open for visitors free of charge and you can also book a guided tour online – you will be greeted by the friendliest of guides and will be welcome to spend a few hours inside.

The main entrance is in the centre of the east façade and is approached by a wide flight of steps. The front has a central portico of 16 Corinthian columns flanked on each side by series of square pillars. Between these pillars are reliefs which were added between 1882 and 1901. The roof is a tunnel vault carried on columns of polished red granite. The walls have niches for statues and the panelled plasterwork of the vault has allegorical figures of Virtues, Science and Arts. The highly decorated floor consists of 30,000 Minton tiles. The doors are bronze and have openwork panels which incorporate the letters SPQL (the Senate and the People of Liverpool) making an association with ancient Rome. The organ is at the north end and at the south end is a round arch supporting an entablature between whose columns is a gate leading directly into the Crown Court. The building also houses the world's first air-conditioning system from Victorian times.

Why You Should Visit:
Wonderful architecture from a time when bureaucracy knew that if they were going to keep you waiting half an hour to fill in a form, then it may as well be somewhere nice!

Try and find out when the original tile flooring is on show as that is a perfect time to go (doesn't happen very often).
Don't miss the coffee shop on the ground floor – superb value and quite reasonably priced and atmospheric.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Liverpool, England

Create Your Own Walk in Liverpool

Create Your Own Walk in Liverpool

Creating your own self-guided walk in Liverpool is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Acclaimed Places of Worship Walking Tour, Liverpool

Acclaimed Places of Worship Walking Tour, Liverpool

The architecture of religious buildings is especially impressive in the United Kingdom. A mix of styles such as Gothic, Victorian, and Scandinavian makes Liverpool's landscape unforgettable. You will find some of the most popular religious attractions on this tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 km
Museums and Galleries Walk II

Museums and Galleries Walk II

A wonderful mix of classic and contemporary art styles can be enjoyed at some of the best artistic venues in Liverpool. The city's numerous galleries invite you in. Liverpool is home to numerous extraordinary museums, as well. As the European Capital of Culture in 2008, the city is ready to show you diverse aspects of its historical and maritime past and present. Take the following...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km
Museums and Galleries Walk I

Museums and Galleries Walk I

A wonderful mix of classic and contemporary art styles can be enjoyed at some of the best artistic venues in Liverpool. The city's numerous galleries invite you in. Liverpool is home to numerous extraordinary museums, as well. As the European Capital of Culture in 2008, the city is ready to show you diverse aspects of its historical and maritime past and present. Take the following...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
The Beatles Trail Tour in Liverpool, Part II

The Beatles Trail Tour in Liverpool, Part II

Here in Liverpool, the Beatles seem to be everywhere! There are so many places associated with them in the city: childhood homes, schools, and bars. This tour takes you to some of the more popular stops for Beatles fans:

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.4 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

The Beatles capital Liverpool is more than just Beatles. Other than the places associated with the Great Four, the city is noted for its historic landmarks, world-class sport arenas and shopping/entertainment. The abundance of museums and galleries will delight culture lovers and history buffs. All of this makes Liverpool a highly attractive tourist destination. This orientation walk will guide...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Holy Buildings Tour in Liverpool

Holy Buildings Tour in Liverpool

Rich in religious roots, Liverpool has many noteworthy places of worship for visitors to experience. A number of churches are located in the town and nearby outside of it, such as the two famous cathedrals, the antique Saint Luke's Church and the Swedish Seamen's Church. Take the following self-guided tour to discover the most interesting religious buildings of Liverpool.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

Top 18 Pubs in Liverpool England

Top 18 Pubs in Liverpool England

In this fantastic city is a great selection of bars and pubs to have a drink or two. This directory can help you decide on where to go. Choose which part of the city you would like a drink then take it from...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Liverpool for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Liverpool has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Liverpool, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.