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Liverpool History

Liverpool started life as a small riverside village in the 13th century but its growth occurred when its port boomed during the 17th and 18th century via the slave and cotton trades. Profits from the slave trade helped the town to prosper despite the fact that prominent local men such as William Rathbone were at the forefront of the abolitionist movement.

By the early 19th century, 40% of the world's trade passed through Liverpool's docks. In 1830, Liverpool and Manchester were the first cities in the country to have an intercity rail link and in the following decade, the city’s population soared as a result of Irish immigrants escaping the Great Famine.

By 1851, one quarter of the population were Irish-born residents. Chinese immigration was also significant; Liverpool is home to the oldest Chinese community in Europe, numbering around 30,000. German, Greek, Nordic, Jewish and Polish communities also began to grow and make their mark on the city.

Many key landmarks were built during this period in the city's history. The famous Albert Dock was completed in 1846. In the early 20th century, the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building were all built, collectively becoming known as the ‘Three Graces’.

80 air raids on Merseyside killed 2,500 people and destroyed half of all buildings during the WWII. Significant rebuilding took place in the post war years, some of which was deeply unpopular.

The 1960s saw the ascent of The Beatles and other local bands, while the 1970s and 1980s were characterised by the decline of manufacturing industries and the docks, plus a spike in unemployment; the city was overlooked by successive governments

By the end of the century, Liverpool had embarked on ambitious regeneration scheme. As a result, the docks today are a thriving area packed with key attractions including Tate Liverpool, The Beatles Story and the Maritime Museum. The development of Liverpool ONE, the remodelled city centre, is part of Liverpool's renaissance and opened in 2008 when the city became the first in England to be named European Capital of Culture

Did you know?
• Liverpool and Everton football clubs have collectively won 27 league titles, making Liverpool the most successful football city in England.
• Liverpool has 10 listed parks and cemeteries, more than any other English city, bar London.
• The Titanic was registered in Liverpool, the city’s name adorning the ship.

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Featured Hotels


Hope Street Hotel

Housed in a renovated 1860s warehouse, this boutique property is located in the Georgian Quarter. It manages to feel chic and contemporary without losing touch with its industrial past. The 48 individually designed rooms feature the softest white linen, exposed brickwork, and oak and walnut furniture. Book a table at the highly regarded hotel restaurant, The London Carriage Works, too.

Malmaison Liverpool

Seriously sharp and stylish, the Malmaison Liverpool is in a smart new building about a 15-minute walk from the city centre. The supremely comfortable rooms in deep plums, dark browns and dazzling white all come with flatscreen TVs, drench showers, and Wi-FI. Ask for a room with a river view.

Titanic Hotel Liverpool

What the Titanic might lack in location it more than makes up for in space and style. Set in a converted 19th-century warehouse in the Stanley Dock conservation area just under 2.5km (1.5 miles) from Albert Dock, it's utterly in keeping with its surroundings; the huge rooms have exposed brick and vaulted ceilings.

Hard Days Night Hotel

Fans can now finally eat, drink and sleep Beatlemania. This 4-star boutique hotel in a Grade II-listed building is elegantly furnished with designer pieces and specially commissioned, original Beatles artwork. The 110 rooms are all impeccably tasteful, despite the hotel's devotion to the Fab Four. There's even a shop where fans can stock up on merchandise.

Hotel Ibis Liverpool Centre Albert Dock – Liverpool One

As you'd expected from the Ibis brand, this 192-room 3-star hotel is clean and comfortable as well as being conveniently located in Albert Dock, less than 10 minutes from the city centre. All rooms come with ensuite bathrooms, tea- and coffee-making facilities and Wi-Fi. It has an onsite bar and restaurant as well.

The Shankly Hotel

Pay homage to one of football's greatest managers in this quirky, stylish hotel. It's dedicated to famous Liverpool FC manager Bill Shankly but you don't have to be a die-hard footie fan to appreciate the central location and spacious, manly rooms with whirlpool baths. If you are a Liverpool FC fan, there's plenty of tastefully displayed Shankly memorabilia to take in – even on the ceilings.