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12 reasons to visit Liverpool in 2019

PUBLISHED: 00:00 03 April 2019

The view from the Royal Liver Building

The view from the Royal Liver Building

Archant

It’s going to be one of the most exciting years to visit this transformed city. Mairead Mahon reveals some of the best events

1. The Dinosaurs are coming to Liverpool ONE. They’re arriving on the March 29 and making it their home for ten weeks. Everyone who visits will have the chance to chase or, depending if you favour fight or flight, hide from them. It’s all part of Dinosaurs Unleashed Augmented Reality App – a first for Liverpool. Visitors will be able to download the app and collect points as they hatch dinosaurs from giant eggs and they will also be able to play and look after them at home! They’ll know exactly what to do, as Liverpool One has teamed up with dinosaur experts. In addition to the interactive game, there will be dinosaurs on Chavasse Park – perfect for selfies! Follow @Liverpool_ONE on Twitter

2. This summer, for the first time, Strawberry Field – the children’s home immortalised in The Beatles hit – will open its famous red gates to the public. The iconic site has been re-developed by The Salvation Army and visitors are expected from all over the world. They will be able to explore the grounds that inspired John Lennon, take part in an interactive exhibition and have the chance to have their photograph inserted into a giant photomosaic of Lennon’s face. www.strawberryfieldliverpool.com

3. Liverpool is a UNESCO City of Music and one of the events which helped it to gain this status is The Liverpool International Music Festival which, this year, will be held in Sefton Park on the July 20 and 21. Dig out those platform shoes as the headline act will be Disco Classical, featuring Sister Sledge with Kathy Sledge, including DJ Mark Armstrong and a 25-piece orchestra, playing hits such as ‘We Are Family’ and ‘He’s the Greatest Dancer.’ www.limfestival.com

4. Plenty of pomp and pageantry will be on display at The City of Liverpool Tattoo taking place on September 13 and 14 at the M&S Bank Arena. There will be marching bands, Irish and Scottish dancers and tunes like, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ – guaranteed to make the heart swell! Participants are coming from near and far and performers will include The City of Liverpool Massed Pipe and Drums, the Royal Army of Oman Pipe Band and the Maghery Fife and Drum Band from Co. Donegal. www.mandsbankarena.com/whats-on/the-city-of-liverpool-tattoo-2019

5. The Bordeaux Wine Festival, last year’s winner of the NOEA Award for Best New Event, is back this year on May 31-June 2. Taking place on UNESCO World Heritage Waterfront, the ticketed event will give bon viveurs the chance to sample the best that Bordeaux can offer – 4,500 bottles of them. The River Festival will also be taking place, so there will be plenty of entertainment as well. www.bwfliverpool.com

6. Gin lovers can make their way along to Castle Street to a gorgeous Grade II listed building where, late last year, Liverpool Gin opened its new £1m distillery. As well as spaces to eat and drink, visitors will be able to see gin being made in the 600 litre copper still and indulge in tastings. They can then go on to make their own in the specially designed Gin Lab, using botanicals of their own choosing and giving it a name. liverpoolgindistillery.com

7. Liverpool brothers, Liam and Ellis Barrie, are opening an exciting new Fine Dining restaurant on Royal Albert Dock later this year. Ellis, known for his appearances on The Great British Menu (where he reached the final) already owns the award winning 2AA Rosette Marram Grass on Anglesey with his brother. The brothers also own a small farm, where they source many of their own ingredients to produce dishes such as pan roasted lamb rump with minted lamb ragu, pied blue mushroom, Wirral watercress, yoghurt crunch and pickled mustard seeds. The opening date of the Liverpool restaurant will be revealed later this year. www.barriebros.com

8. The Vitality Netball World Cup will be held in Liverpool from July 12-21 at the M&S Bank Arena. Sixteen teams will take place but the England Roses, now ranked as second in the world, are in with a good chance of winning. That, coupled with the fact that the championships are taking place in England, means that the event has been described as a once in a generation event for English fans. There will be a total of 20 ticket sessions and the BBC and Sky will be broadcasting. www.nwc2019.co.uk

9. The Royal Liver Building, one of the Waterfront’s ‘Three Graces’ is one of England’s most recognisable buildings and this May it is opening its doors to the public for the first time. The tour will begin in a ground floor visitor centre before finishing on the top floor, 321 feet up where, those who don’t fear heights, can enjoy amazing 360 degree views across the city. There will also be a peep inside the clock tower, where a splendid audio-visual experience, complete with lights, sounds and visual effects, will be waiting. www.rlb360.com

10. Agatha Christie’s, The Mousetrap is coming to The Empire Theatre from the May 30 to June 1. Starring Gwyneth Strong (Cassandra from ‘Only Fools and Horses’), the show is now in its 67th year. Maybe the key to its success is that audiences are asked to keep the secret of whodunit! www.liverpooltheatres.com/venues/liverpool-empire

11. There are two major exhibitions happening in Liverpool Art Galleries this summer. The first is at The Tate, which has just celebrated its 30th anniversary. Entitled, ‘Op Art in Focus’, this free exhibition celebrates the development of optical art since the 1960s, with a host of big names such as Bridget Riley and Damien Hurst and runs until July next year. The second is at The Walker and runs from this month to August 26. It looks at the life and work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, a leading member of the UK Art Nouveau movement, and has more than 250 objects, from furniture to stained glass, to explore.

12. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles album, ‘Abbey Road’, the Liverpool Philharmonic, with The Bootleg Beatles, are staging their multi-media concert on the December 8. It was been described as ‘terrific’ by Sir George Martin and the anniversary show will include a special set. www.liverpoolphil.com

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