Liverpool, situated on the Mersey River is a bustling, culture-filled city in the north of England. Once you have had your fill of the attractions in the city, you may want to venture further afield and there are day-trip options to satisfy every interest. Surrounded by historical sites, beach towns, and sprawling areas of natural beauty you won’t be at a loss for things to do. Take in some of the scenery and explore more of northern England with these ideas below. Hiring a car in Liverpool will provide you with the freedom and flexibility to explore to your heart’s content.
1. Lake District National Park
- Distance from Liverpool: 77 miles
- Travel time from Liverpool: Around 1 hour 30 minutes
- Suggested route: Head north toward Preston and Lancaster on the M6.
- Great for: Families and outdoor lovers
Hop into your car and drive towards one of the most famous areas of natural beauty in Britain, the Lake District. Renowned for its picturesque villages such as Keswick and Kendal, this area of rugged mountain scenery is also home to the highest mountain in England – Scafell Pike.
Take the time to explore the mountains and rivers. Cleanse your soul with a dip in one of the sparkling lakes or walk and cycle on the trails that wind their way through the scenery. Or choose a place to base yourself such as Ambleside, a town on Lake Windermere, and the starting point for a network of fell walks.
SIXT’s top tip: If you have time on the way, try to stop off in Penrith. This historical market town with cobbled streets and a range of independent boutiques. Enjoy cosy cafes and restaurants is a delightful place to spend some time while taking a break in your journey.
- Distance from Liverpool: 19.7 miles
- Travel time from Liverpool: Around 45 minutes
- Suggested route: Head north from Liverpool on the A565
- Great for: Family day out
Escape to the coast with a visit to the seaside town of Southport. Relax at Crosby Beach with its Anthony Gormley art installation of 100 cast iron figures staring into the Mersey Estuary. Walk to the end of the pier and take in the views of the coast up to Blackpool and across to Wales.
The town itself has plenty to offer and you can learn about Southport with one of the Heritage Trails. They’re stunning walks that wend their way around town. The Lord Street Trail takes you through the town’s architectural history. Also, the Parks & Gardens Trail takes you to Kings Gardens, Hesketh Park, and the Botanic Gardens.
SIXT’s top tip: On the way to Southport why not drop in to the National Trust Formby Beach. Here you can choose to walk in the natural dunes, along miles of unspoiled beach, or venture into the pine woods to do some wildlife spotting in the form of birds or red squirrels.
3. Port Sunlight Village
- Distance from Liverpool: 6 miles
- Travel time from Liverpool: Around 15 minutes
- Suggested route: Head across the Mersey River via the Birkenhead (Queensway) Tunnel and A41
- Great for: Day out close to the city
Founded in the late 1880s as accommodation for the industrial workers who were employed by the iconic soap factory, this beautiful village has been preserved and now boasts a museum, art gallery, and well-maintained parks and gardens.
As well as learning about the history of the village in the museum you can also visit the Soap Works. Enjoy an interactive experience where you can learn about the science and art of soap-making. This is a wonderful opportunity to entertain and at the same time educate children on the value of soap in our world today.
SIXT’s top tip: While you are visiting Port Sunlight Village why not take the opportunity to visit the Lady Lever Art Gallery. Just a two-minute drive from the Village this stone building houses a collection of furniture, paintings, and pottery.
- Distance from Liverpool: 20 miles
- Travel time from Liverpool: Around 40 minutes
- Suggested route: Take the A41 out of Liverpool to the M53
- Great for: Shopping, history lovers
Explore the ancient cathedral city of Chester, built around the first century AD as a fortress. It’s renowned for the Roman walls that are still standing today. The iconic red sandstone structures surround the Old City and outside the walls, you can visit the Amphitheatre and Chester Cathedral which dates back almost a thousand years.
You can do a bit of shopping in the Rows with its iconic black and white Tudor-style buildings. This two-tiered shopping area allows you to shop no matter the weather and if you fancy a break why not stop and unwind in one of the restaurants or bars in the area.
SIXT’s top tip: While you are in Cheshire, take the opportunity to drive half an hour to Wrexham on the border of Wales where you will be able to see the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Finished in 1805, this navigable aqueduct carries boats on the Llangollen Canal across the River Dee.
5. New Brighton
- Distance from Liverpool: 8.5 miles
- Travel time from Liverpool: Around 20 minutes
- Suggested route: Head out of Liverpool towards the Wirral and Wallasey on the A59
- Great for: Families
A seaside town across the Mersey, New Brighton is a great place to visit if you want to take your kids to the sea and to keep them entertained. Explore the historical town, founded in the 1820s as a seaside resort, and then head to Marine Point a retail and leisure facility with restaurants, cinemas, and an indoor play centre for the little ones.
Other activities for kids include a visit to the Championship Adventure Golf – a mini-golf attraction with two courses, one built around holes inspired by landmarks of the Wirral and the other with miniature versions of holes on world-famous courses.
SIXT’s top tip: While in New Brighton, take the opportunity to stop in at Wallasey Beach. It’s at the top point of the North Wirral Coastal Park. Just a 6-minute drive from the town, this beach is also great for kids. They can play on miles of sand and shallow waters.
6. North Wales – Llandudno
- Distance from Liverpool: 55.5 miles
- Travel time from Liverpool: Around 1 hour 25 minutes
- Suggested route: Take the Birkenhead Tunnel/A41 from Liverpool to the N Wales Expy/A55 leading to Princes Dr/Rhodfa’r Tywysog or the B5113
- Great for: Family day out, outdoor lovers
Why not take a day out of Liverpool to experience the beauty of Wales and head to the seaside town of Llandudno. Llandudno is renowned for its promenade that allows you to stroll in front of seafront hotels with architecture dating back to the Victorian era. The main beach is situated between two iconic headlands – Great Orme and Little Orme and, if you drive along the beautiful Marine Drive which will take you over Great Orme, you’ll find yet another stretch of unspoiled beach, the West Shore.
SIXT’s top tip: While you are in Wales take the opportunity to pop into Snowdonia National Park. The Betws-y-Coed visitor’s centre is just over half an hour’s drive from Llandudno. Here you can find information about walks into the park as well as places to stay if you decide to stay over.
- Distance from Liverpool: 100 miles
- Travel time from Liverpool: Around 2 hours
- Suggested route: Take the M62 to the A64 in North Yorkshire
- Great for: History lovers
Quite a way from Liverpool, this charming walled city is worth a visit. With a route that allows you to skirt both Manchester and Leeds, you’ll be sure to arrive at your destination with time to spare.
The walled city is most famous for the York Minster, an enormous Gothic-style cathedral that dominates the old town. The tiny streets of the Shambles with the quaint tea-rooms and independent shops bustle with life and things to see. These perfectly preserved medieval streets, lined with the iconic black and white buildings make you feel like you have stepped back in time.
SIXT’s top tip: If you do have the time en route you could consider stopping at The Yorkshire Sculpture Park which hosts outdoor sculptures by artists such as Henry Moore, Robert Indiana, and Damien Hirst. Around 20 miles south of Leeds, this park is a good place to spend a couple of hours exploring.
8. National Trust’s Quarry Bank Mill
- Distance from Liverpool: 39 miles
- Travel time from Liverpool: Around 1 hour
- Suggested route: Head east out of Liverpool on the M62 towards Manchester then take the M6 and M56
- Great for: History lovers
Go back in time to the Industrial Revolution with a visit to the Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire. This cotton mill was established in the 1780s and has been designated as a Grade II listed building. You can take a day exploring, investigating the old mill. Discover how it worked and take a tour of an apprentice cottage and the working garden. Find out how the cotton mill owners lived with a visit to Quarry Bank House which has the ground floor open to the public.
SIXT’s top tip: Try to give yourself time to drop in at the market town of Altrincham on your way to Quarry Bank. This charming town and its surroundings are bursting with history – from the Old Market Place to the Bridgewater Canal and the Dunham Massey deer park and gardens.
- Distance from Liverpool: 55 miles
- Travel time from Liverpool: Around 1 hour 30 minutes
- Suggested route: Take the A59 to the M58 and head towards Preston using the M6 to the M55
- Great for: Family day out
A great place to visit for a fun day out in Blackpool, one of Britain’s most iconic seaside towns. This town is renowned for its amusement park, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, which dates back to the late 1890s. With its wide variety of white-knuckle roller coaster rides and old-school dodgems and carousels, there is something for everyone of all ages.
Once you have exhausted the amusement park take a trip up the coast to the Blackpool Tower. For uninterrupted 360 degree views, you can take a lift to the top of the tower or kick up your heels at a tea-dance in the iconic Blackpool Tower Ballroom.
SIXT’s top tip: If you have some time free, take the 8-mile drive north of Blackpool to Fleetwood. A Victorian town with a golden sandy seafront and two lighthouses, one of which is in the middle of the road on a roundabout. The Fleetwood Museum will take you into the maritime history of the town.
10. Delamere Forest
- Distance from Liverpool: 31 miles
- Travel time from Liverpool: Around 41 minutes
- Suggested route: Take the A59 to the M53 and head towards Chester, Cheshire West, and the M56 turnoff. Take exit 14 from the M56
- Great for: Outdoor lovers
A great escape from the hustle and bustle of Liverpool is to head into the Delamere Forest. Covering around 970 hectares, this woodland is full of opportunities to escape and get some fresh air and there are trails for both walking and cycling. You can hire a bike when you arrive to save you having to take your own.
For those who love adrenalin pop into Go Ape and explore the forest from a zip line in the canopies. Book yourself on an orienteering course. If you want some peace there are forest bathing walks available or take the opportunity to sit quietly watching wildfowl around the lake.
SIXT’s top tip: If you fancy some more formal gardens after the wilderness of Delamere Forest why not take the opportunity to drive around 3 miles to Abbeywood Gardens. Here you’ll be able to visit Glasshouse, Tropical and Pool gardens all with their specific range of vegetation and flowers.