Liverpool River of Light

21 October – 6 November 2022.

Want to get that holiday feeling for a night? Okay, not as warm as Barbados but a lot cheaper and easier to get to. It’s Just an idea for an uplifting night out in these trying times, without breaking the bank. Whether as a family, couple, with friends or on your own. Liverpool River of Light is an outdoor illuminated gallery on Liverpool Waterfront. It features 10 illuminated pieces of art along a 2 kilometre circuit. The artworks are comprised of lights and sound from local artists, others across the contry as well as from abroad. Read on to find about the exhibits and get a sneak preview. Download a Map of the River of Light circuit here. Find out how to get there and what you will find once there in this article.

Easy to get to by car or train. Take the train, Jamest Street or Lime Street

A Sneak Preview of the Liverpool River of Light Exhibits

Take a lok at the video compiled by Visit Liverpool. Some artworks are new to Liverpool and some are never-seen before, brand-new comissions.

You will be able to find a complete list of all exhibits at the Visit Liverpool site in the near future. 

On your Route – A Little History

The Three Graces

Lierpool River of Light - 3 Graces

So you have had a glimpse of the art exhibits. Without doubt there is much more to experience on your route. With this in mind a good place to start is at the 3 Graces. Essentially that’s the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building. First we have the Royal Liver Building adorned with the four clock towers. Next, the Cunard building was home to the shipping line of that name until 1969. It is built from Portland stone and 50,000 cubic feet of Italian marble. On the Strand side of the building you will find a number of stone benches with inscriptions of its many famous liners. Find out more about the Cunard Building history. Finally, the third building, also known as the Dock Office was home to the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board for 87 years prior to relocation to Seaforth.

Before the 3 Graces construction, this was the location of St George’s dock. It provided a link to the northern docks before being filled in way back in1899. A new link costing £22 million was completed in 2009. Essentially an extension of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, from the Princess Dock into the Canning Dock, passing in front of the 3 Graces.

The White Star Line – Titanic’s HQ

Lierpool River of Light White Star HQ
Old White Star Line HQ – Albion House

From here, on the opposite side of the strand at the corner of James Street, is a red brick building with horizontal cream stripes, Albion House. This was the home of the White Star line, a major competitor of Cunard until they merged. It was from one of its balconies that the sinking of the Titanic was announced to the folk of Liverpool including relatives of its crew. Now a stunning hotel, take alook at its fine furnishings or even enjoy a drink on its roof top bar with outdoor terracing. The views are stunning.

The original waterfront

River of Light - St Georges Church Strand The Original Waterfront

Did you know the Strand was the original river frontage of Liverpool. When land was extended outwards to allow the building of St George’s Dock and others. Stone from Liverpool’s demolished castle was used in construction os some of this. The castle is now the site of the Courts, built to resemble a castle structure. You can see this up at Derby Square at Queen Victoria’s statue.

Other Things to Do Around the Waterfront, Albert Dock and City Centre

Lierpool River of Light - Albert Dock Restaurants and Bars
Looking Out on the Albert Dock towards the Pier Head

While the circular walk only takes you around the Pier Head end of the historic Albert Dock, its well worth nipping through to it during or after your amble. It is also the largest collection of Grade I listed buildings in the UK. Cheerfully lit up, it’s a great place to find a drink, meal or just take in the holiday atmosphere. If you really want to make a night of it you could even book into the Premier Inn that’s there. Not all of it your typical fast food fayre, but some great restaurants that are ideal for groups, couples or families. Select from indoor only or those with a terrace over the dock. Choose from Gustos, PanAm, Miller & Carter, Revolution and many more. For a comprehensive list take a look at Albert Dock Food & Drink.

Lierpool River of Light - Albert Dock Food and Drink

Walking through the dock at the southern end you can’t miss the vista of the Big Wheel in front of the Echo Arena. Here you will come across Pizza Express and arguably the best Indian restaurant in the north west, East’z’East. The latter is a spacious restaurant with two floors and has that feel of a transatlantic passenfer liner. Of course the food is absolutely delicious.

Liverpool River of Light Free Photo Walk

If you are one of the keen photographers around Wigan or a complete novice, they you can also take the opportunity of a FREE camera walk.

For full details and how to book follow the link to Free Photo Walk.

How to Get to Liverpool River of Light

By Train

Lierpool River of Light by Train

Trains run from Wigan North Western, Garswood and Bryn directly to Lime Street. There is the option of faster through trains from North Western, or those that stop at mor elocal stations on the way. The faster trains are all pretty new electric trains, while the stopping trains are electric refurbished carriages.

Once at Lime Street, it’s a pleasant 15 minute walk via St Georges Hall or Lord Street. For anybody wanting a shorter walk you can take the Merseyrail Underground from Lime Street to James Street. That is just two stops right to the edge of Liverpool River of Light circular walk.

By Car

There are numerous pay and display car parks dotted about the Albert Dock complex (see map). There are also others by the Pier Head Building. A further option is the Kings Dock multi storey car park. Ideal for the Albert Dock and the restauarnats and bars dotted around it. There is a large undercover multi storey at Liverpool One with payment by ticket machines before exiting.

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