The Best Museums of Liverpool

Port of Liverpool building

I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m fascinated by museums. Over the course of my international wanderings, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit museums on everything from Communism to beer-brewing and motorcycles to torture. While the subject matter is always different, the sense of learning and historical insight is what keeps me seeking out museums when I travel. In this sponsored guest post, we offer a couple of fascinating museums you should take the time to visit in Liverpool, England. 

Liverpool has a fantastic range of museums and art galleries, with something for everyone, from history buffs and art connoisseurs to families with young kids looking for lively and interactive exhibits. Five of the finest are explored below. Some of the city’s museums are in the city centre while others are a little further out of town. For those visiting the area car hire in Liverpool is recommended for visiting attractions further afield.

Liverpool Museum

1. Museum of Liverpool

Recently reopened in a brand new purpose-built waterfront building, the Museum of Liverpool explores the city’s history and culture with various exhibits, including those on its archaeology, maritime heritage, people’s lives throughout the ages, and the performers and creative works that have come from the city.

The building itself is a magnificent work of art, the largest new-build national museum in Britain for over a century. Wide airy spaces created by a vast steel frame allow for a feel of light and openness, the perfect flexible space for changing exhibits.

2. World Museum

The World Museum takes us out of Liverpool and out into the world, where the collection includes everything from tropical fish and creepy crawlies to Egyptian mummies and Javanese shadow puppets. The aquarium also houses fish from mangrove and native habitats, while the bug house has real colonies of leaf cutter ants along with huge models and interactive exhibits. Natural objects include rocks, minerals and plants, while the anthropological collection includes musical instruments, tools and machines.

Don’t miss the meteorite from Mars, a rock that fell to Earth over four decades ago, or the planetarium, recently reopened and now showing spectacular shows such as close-ups of the moon and Mars.

3. Merseyside Maritime Museum

The Merseyside Maritime Museum explores Liverpool’s maritime heritage in more depth, with exhibits on the docks, the city’s migrants, art and the sea, and the Titanic and other shipwrecks. The docks section includes a look in more detail at the Albert Dock, which at the time it was built (it opened in 1846) was a revolutionary system due to its construction from iron, brick and stone (with no wood used for its structure) and its design which allowed the direct loading and unloading of ships from and to the warehouses.

The shipwrecks section, meanwhile, looks at the tragedies of the Lusitania and the Empress of Ireland along with the infamous story of the Titanic. Items on display include a lifejacket and apron from survivors of the Titanic, along with a builder’s model of the doomed ship.

Liverpool Slavery Museum

4. International Slavery Museum

The International Slavery Museum combines exhibits covering historical slavery and examples of modern day slavery. It is also a repository for resources on human rights issues and as such is very much a working institution.

The three main galleries begin with Life in West Africa, which explores the story of African cultures and includes objects such as musical instruments and sculptures. Enslavement and the Middle Passage takes visitors through the reality of transatlantic slavery, from the capture and transport of slaves to the Americas to their lives on plantations. Legacies of Slavery explores current issues that continue to be affected by the legacy of transatlantic slavery.

5. Lady Lever Art Gallery

The Lady Lever Art Gallery includes a varied range of artworks, including paintings, Classical antiquities, Chinese ceramics, tapestries, furniture and sculptures. Highlights include “The Blessed Damozel” by renowned Renaissance painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti, “The Beguiling of Merlin” by Edward Burne Jones, and the beautiful “Snowdrift” sculpture by Edward Onslow Ford.

Photo Credit: Port of Liverpool Building Photo by 8mm and other stuff on Flickr; Liverpool Museum photo by robbelaw on Flickr; World Museum photo by troyjmorris on Flickr; Slavery Museum photo by lunamoth on Flickr

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