Skip to Content

Top 5 Day Trips from Liverpool: Coastal Towns to Roman Ruins

We may receive a commission if you make purchases through affiliate links (at no extra cost to you). Read why our approach to travel is different.

Share This Article

1 month ago

The historic port city of Liverpool is famous around the world as the birthplace of The Beatles. It’s also home to two of England’s top Premier League football (soccer) clubs: Liverpool and Everton. Beyond football and the Beatles, it’s no surprise that Liverpool boasts a vibrant nightlife scene, great shopping and a boatload of culture.

We recently named Liverpool one of the best places to visit in North West England. A visit to The World Capital of Pop should definitely be on your England bucket list. As much as Liverpool makes an excellent day trip destination in its own right, if time allows, it’s well worth extending your stay for a few days.

More than being a fantastic city, Liverpool is a good base for exploring the towns, cities and beaches which lay beyond. With that, here are our top 5 day trips from Liverpool which you shouldn’t miss.

Manchester

Another worthy contender in our rundown of the best of the North West, Manchester and Liverpool are age-old rivals. In my opinion, the only way to decide which city is best is to see them both. And at only only an hour apart, Manchester makes for one of the easiest day trips from Liverpool.

Football

For football fans, a visit to one of Manchester’s two top league clubs will be high on your to-do list. Old Trafford, home of Manchester United, is open for tours daily except on match days. Unsurprisingly, this is one of the most popular attractions in Manchester and tickets sell out fast, so book yours in advance.

The Etihad Stadium, on the other side of the city, plays host to Manchester City. If you are a football novice, take note that these are two different teams! Just like Old Trafford, Etihad Stadium is very popular with visitors to Manchester. If you are keen to visit, make sure to book your tour as soon as possible.

Museums & history

Manchester has a long and intriguing history. First settled by the Romans who named it Mamucium, the city grew rapidly during the Industrial Revolution as a centre of textile manufacturing and, in recent years, has undergone extensive regeneration.

In our opinion, this history – and the recent revival of interest in England’s industrial heritage – makes Manchester one of the most fascinating places to visit in England. If you want to learn about Manchester’s role in England’s development, the Science & Industry Museum should be your first stop.

We’re also big fans of the The People’s History Museum, which is often dubbed the national museum of democracy. Unquestionably, this is England’s premier museum to learn how England fought for democracy and equality.

If you love books as much as I do, you won’t want to skip Chetham’s Library. The oldest library in the English-speaking world, it was founded in 1653 in a building which dates back to 1421.

Local tip: In our opinion, to make the most out of your day trip from Liverpool, you’ll want to join a guided walking tour of Manchester.

Shopping, eating & nightlife

Manchester is one of England’s best shopping destinations; two massive malls – the Arndale in the city center and the Trafford Centre near Old Trafford stadium – are great places to pick up some bargains. If you head to the Trafford Centre, don’t miss Europe’s largest food court, The Orient.

Manchester is home to one of England’s most diverse dining scenes. In Manchester you can literally find every cuisine imaginable. Some of the city’s quirkiest spots include alpine-themed Alberts Schloss, Australasia which serves classics from Down Under and modern alfresco bistro the Lawn Club.

Come nightfall, Manchester comes alive. With a hefty student population, Manchester offers some of England’s best nightlife experiences. If you’re craving something a little different, head to prison-themed cocktail bar Alcatraz or, for a more relaxed experience, check out Cloud 23.

Getting to Manchester

With great public transport links, a day trip from Liverpool to Manchester is perfect for when you don’t want the hassle of driving.

By train

Trains run between Liverpool Lime Street and all three of Manchester’s stations several times per hour. The quickest trains take less than 40 minutes.

By bus

You can also travel by intercity coach. National Express has frequent departures with a journey time of just over an hour. For the best fares (and to ensure you don’t miss out), make sure to book online at least one day in advance.

In case it wasn’t yet obvious, Manchester truly is one of the easiest day trips from Liverpool.

Blue Reefs Aquarium & Cheshire Oaks

We doubt you’ll find many travel blogs or guidebooks which suggest Ellesmere Port as one of the best day trips form Liverpool. A town best known for its oil refinery, it’s one of those names that most Brits know well, but have no intention of visiting.

It’s true, the town isn’t exactly glamorous, although it is does have the National Waterways Museum which is certainly worth a visit. However, the real reason we recommend a visit is because just outside Ellesmere Port you’ll find two excellent and very popular attractions.

Blue Planet Aquarium

Start your day trip from Liverpool with a visit to Blue Planet Aquarium. Formerly the largest aquarium in England, Blue Planet remains the largest aquarium in the North West to this day. You’ll find exhibits covering freshwater rivers, deep oceans, rock pools and coral coves.

Some of Blue Planet’s more unique exhibits include Lake Malawi, the Amazon rainforest, Pelican Cove and an area dedicated to Caiman crocodiles. If you’re looking for one of the best day trips from Liverpool with kids, look no further than the Blue Planet Aquarium.

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can book a shark diving experience without having to travel to Cape Town or Australia. You’ll come face to face with tiger, nurse and bamboo sharks plus stingrays and guitar fish.

Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet

When you’re done, head just across the road (less than ten-minutes’ walk) to Cheshire Oaks, one of England’s leading designer outlet malls. Shoppers will be excited to find that the big brands here include Armani, Burberry, Michael Kors, Mulberry and Polo Ralph Lauren. All in all, there are 140 stores to browse, making this a favorite of day trips from Liverpool.

Getting there

By car

If you’re planning on grabbing plenty of bargains, renting a car is the easiest option. With traffic on your side, it will take around 35 minutes from Liverpool.

By bus

If you prefer to stick to public transport, take Stagecoach bus X1 from Sir Thomas Street in Liverpool towards Chester. The bus stops at Cheshire Oaks first, then Blue Planet Aquarium. There are usually two buses an hour, taking around 80 minutes to complete the journey.

Llandudno

The perfect way to tick another country off your list, a day trip from Liverpool to one of Wales‘s most famous coastal towns is ideal in summer (it’s the town that Llandudno in Cape Town is named after). The Welsh border is just 20 miles from Liverpool, so it would be a shame to go all this way and not cross into Cymru.

Llandudno (pronounced klan-did-no) is a charming seaside town which rose to fame during the Victorian-era. It has everything you need for a day at the seaside, British-style.

Llandudno Pier is one of the town’s highlights. At the far end of the Pier you’ll find a pavilion which houses a café and bar, amusement arcade and gift shop where you can pick up some famous Llandudno rock. That’s not a rock as in a stone, but a sugary Welsh sweet sold in a stick, traditionally flavored with peppermint. You’ll also find many other Welsh goodies to try.

Aside from the pier – and lounging on the beach – a trip on the Great Orme Tramway is a must. Built in 1902, the trams work on a cable system like the famous ones in San Francisco. It runs through the summer season from March to October and is the last remaining funicular in the United Kingdom.

Get on board at Victoria Station, near the pier, and hop off at the top of Great Orme (for the best view). The Great Orme is one of two headlands which make Llandudno a calm, natural bay and is a great place for a walk to explore the abundant flora and fauna.

For a change of scenery on the way back down, take the Llandudno Cable Car. The ride gives unbeatable views of the bay and ends at Happy Valley, right by the beach. If you plan to do the Llandudno Cable Car, make sure you take cash as card isn’t accepted.

Where to eat

Like any great British seaside resort, Fish & Chips are always on the menu in Llandudno. Fish Tram Chips is the local go-to here. That said, if this is your only day in Wales, it’s well worth trying out some traditional Welsh food.

Head to Dylan’s for local favorites includes Welsh lamb, Welsh mussels and classic Welsh Cawl served with stunning sea views.

Getting to Llandudno

By car

If you’ve rented a car, the drive along the coast is a scenic one and takes around an hour-and-a-half from Liverpool.

By train

To reach Llandudno for a day trip from Liverpool by public transport, the best option is to take the train. The journey takes around two hours and requires a change at Chester.

If you’re planning to travel from Liverpool to Llandudno by train, you’ll get the best fares by booking in advance.

Southport

Another example of the classic British seaside, Southport is Liverpool’s subdued neighbor and, being so close, it’s the easiest of our day trips from Liverpool to take. Operating since 1860, Southport Pier was historically a calling point of Victorian and Edwardian-era pleasure steamers which carried holidaymakers to coastal towns.

We particularly love Southport Pier for being a little more refined than most coastal towns. There are no amusement park rides or stalls selling candy floss and rock, rather a vintage arcade and traditional tea rooms. It’s the old-world charm that makes Southport so popular. It’s for this reason that we predict Southport Pier will see a travel rejuvenation in the coming years.

Then again, if the slow lane is not for you, don’t write Southport off. Southport Pleasureland, just to the south of the pier, is where the action is. Another Southport highlight is the Model Railway Village. Based on local architecture, the model village is set in 1.5 acres of parkland and, on top of the model trains, has replicas of the village life in England of yesteryear.

Southport’s best restaurants

It’s almost compulsory to eat fish and chips in Southport. Unquestionably, The Swan is Southport’s best fish and chips. This award-winning restaurant has been serving fresh, locally caught fish for almost 50 years.

If you want to lean into Southport’s more refined character, check out Le Bistrot Pierre, right by the Model Railway Village. They serve French favourites with a British twist in bright, airy surroundings.

Getting to Southport

The train is the easiest way to get to Southport for your day trip from Liverpool. Direct trains leave from Liverpool Central every 15 minutes and take just 45 minutes to reach Southport.

Chester

Settled by the Romans in 79 AD, Chester is one of England’s oldest and most historic cities. It has the most complete Roman walls of any city in the United Kingdom and a walk around them is a great way to start your day trip from Liverpool, but history is not the only thing Chester has to offer.

Historic sites

Chester Castle, built in 1070 by William the Conqueror following the Norman invasion of Britain, is pretty much in ruins today. The keep may be gone, but walking along the impressive walls and seeing the Agricola Tower are among the top things to do in Chester.

The original entrance to the Roman city of Chester is Eastgate. In 1896, a stunning clock was installed on top of the gate to commemorate Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee.

If you’re in Chester after dark, it’s so serene to witness the iconic clock lit up.

Chester’s top attractions

If you want to learn more about Chester’s long history, head to the Grosvenor Museum. Here, you’ll find hundreds of exhibits showcasing Chester from Roman times right through to the 1920s. Best of all, the Grosvenor museum is free, making for an ideal introduction to Chester (and a great rainy day activity).

Chester’s most famous attraction, though, is a little more recent of an addition. Located a couple of miles outside the city, Chester Zoo is one of the largest in the country. Alongside all the animals you’d expect, Chester Zoo’s highlights include a monsoon forest, South American aviary and a nature reserve. The zoo is open daily but note that the opening times vary by season. As always, the best value tickets are available online.

Getting to Chester

The easiest way to get to Chester for a day trip from Liverpool is by train. Trains depart Liverpool Central every 15 minutes and the journey takes around 40 minutes.


Share This Article

Looking for the best comprehensive travel insurance? SafetyWing has you covered.
And for your eSIM in every country, there is only one option we recommend: Airalo.


Read more of our best insights from around the world