This is a paid article written in partnership with The Royal Albert Dock, with products or services supplied by them. Full editorial integrity is maintained at all times. The views and opinions expressed are entirely the authors own based on personal experiences when travelling and are honest and factual without any bias.
Liverpool is already one of the UKs hottest and most exciting destinations, but hidden at the heart of this great city is a destination within a destination, a must see attraction that has it all; accommodation, world class museums, boutique shopping and great restaurants, all wrapped up in a grade 1 listed historical attraction. The Royal Albert Dock!
Travellers of course are spoiled for choice for things to see and do in Liverpool, but the Royal Albert Dock is a unique, one of a kind destination that commands visitors attention and is worth allocating at least a portion of your trip to explore it thoroughly. But with some epic accommodation and world class cuisine, retail and entertainment options there is more than enough things to see and do to plan an entire trip here without leaving the dock itself!
Of all Liverpool’s world class tourist attractions, the Royal Albert Dock is considered one of the jewels in the city’s crown. The complex of warehouses comprise the largest collection of Grade I listed buildings in the whole of the UK, and the World Heritage Protected site forms a part of the larger UNESCO designated Maritime Mercantile City.
The iconic cast iron colonnades and red brick still mange to evoke a strong sense of history and Empire, subtly reminding visitors of the important role the Albert Dock has played in British history and its status as a once revolutionary docking system, the first and at one time only dock in the world to be made entirely out of cast iron, stone and brick, making it entirely non combustible and securing Liverpool’s place as one of the worlds most important trading outposts.
Now of course it has a special place in the heart of the city and has been reborn as a thriving home to art, culture, retail and of course bars, restaurants and festivals, making it a perfect metaphor for Liverpool’s mixture of heritage and contemporary culture.
Museums, Galleries And Things To Do.
Liverpool has one of the largest, most impressive and most iconic collections of museums and galleries in Europe, second only to London in sheer number and importance, and four of them are located right on the Albert Dock!
The Merseyside Maritime Museum is perhaps one of the most important museums in Liverpool, reflecting the city’s maritime history, and the attached International Slavery Museum focuses on the legacy of the International Slave Trade. The Tate Liverpool Art Gallery has four floors of exhibitions above the colonnades, and the now famous Liverpool Mountain installation is located right outside.
Of course any visit to Liverpool wouldn’t be complete without some Beatles experiences, and the Albert Dock is also home to the Beatles Story, an epic museum devoted to the life and times of the Fab Four!
But for anyone looking for something to get those brain cells ticking over with an epic immersive experience, one of my favourite things to do on the Albert Dock is the awesome Escape Hunt experience! Choose one of a number of themed locked rooms and you have 60 minutes to solve the clues, get through the rooms and escape!
I wish I could talk more about my experience in there but I can’t say much without ruining any of the games for anyone who wants to play them, but suffice it to say their Alice in Puzzleland game is one of the best I have ever played in any escape room across the UK, and a lot of thought has been put into making the challenges unique and them appropriate instead of just a series of find the numbers for the next padlock.
And for those who want a truly unique experience at the Albert Dock, Escape Hunt also offer outdoor escape experiences that let you explore one of the UKs most iconic locations whilst figuring out the next clue!
Food And Drink.
The Royal Albert Dock is not just a historical, iconic attraction with a lot of things to keep visitors interested and entertained, it is also one of Liverpool’s trendiest foodie hotspots with over a dozen independent bars, restaurants, coffee shops and cafe’s.
Whether you want a night out on a weekend, a romantic meal with exciting seasonal menus or a simple coffee and cake stop, the Royal Albert Dock caters for everyone with the added bonus of some of the best views in the city!
Maray, located at the Britannia Pavilion is one of the absolute highlights of any Albert Dock foodie experience. Offering amazing middle eastern food with one of the best views out over the colonnades of any restaurant here, I couldn’t rave about it enough. Being a small, independent chain they really take the customer experience seriously and it shows, and yes, for all of you out there who have allergies and intolerances Maray really caters for you on an individual level too.
Looking for some hand made, bespoke handbags or a mural of Liverpool’s very own Paul O’Grady made out of jellybeans? You’ll find it here in one of the city’s best collections of boutique shops! Liverpool is famous for its shopping experience and of course for the big name high street brands and large department stores Liverpool One is right across the road and the town centre just beyond that, but the Royal Albert Dock offers an experience that is far more unique and independent.
The shops at the Albert Dock aren’t just your usual collection of shops, they are home to a wide variety of local artists, artisans and designers with a wide variety of art, homeware, fashion and photography for sale, as well as the ubiquitous local Liverpool mementos from amazing little finds like Nest. And if you are like me and have a massive sweet tooth, you have to head to the Quay Confectionary and Roly’s Fudge shop while you are here! Don’t try and pick between them, get something from both and treat yourself! Trust me on this, I’m a local!
Of course it wouldn’t be a holistic, all in one destination without somewhere to stay too, and the Albert Dock has two budget hotels, the Premier Inn and the Holiday Inn Express where you can get a good nights sleep on an extremely reasonable budget inside one of the most iconic historic buildings in the UK!
I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express on my most recent visit and it was everything you would expect and so much more besides. It is a Holiday Inn, so the rooms were fairly sized, had a great en suite bathroom with a good shower and a large, comfortable bed, but as any budget hotel the frills ended there and that was absolutely fine. You know what you are getting with a budget hotel like this, great comfort at an extremely reasonable price and that is all you need.
Like most hotels the Holiday Inn has implemented a strong and robust infection prevention control policy that as a nurse I could not fault. They have reduced the risk to guests as much as possible with strong hygiene and safety measures but still kept the guest experience as close to normal as possible and are still extremely welcoming too.
What made my stay here so special was the location. You aren’t just sleeping in a bog standard budget hotel here, you are actually sleeping inside the Albert Dock itself, an iconic grade 1 listed building with epic views over the famous colonnades and waters of the dock itself. The room was made even more special with unique features like the vaulted brick ceiling and original floor to ceiling window that offered those views!
An All In One Destination.
The Royal Albert Dock really is an all in one destination that should be on every visitors itinerary when they are visiting Liverpool, whether you stay here and use it as a base to explore the city or simply come here for a mini break to focus solely on the heritage, history, shopping, dining and cultural experience of the Albert Dock itself, you will not be disappointed by a visit here.
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