Cherie Blair, barrister
Visitors to Liverpool are spoilt for choice because there is so much to see. But for a rest from the bustle of the city, take the short trip out to Crosby to see Antony Gormley’s astonishing figures on the shoreline. These tell you more than any book will about Liverpool’s relationship with the sea, and I promise you will not be disappointed.
Phil Redmond, television producer and scriptwriter
My perfect Liverpool day would be spent admiring the city’s architecture – the contrasting styles of the two cathedrals and the finest collection of neoclassical buildings in Europe that house the only national museums and galleries outside of London. On top of this are landmarks like India Buildings, Martins Bank Chambers, the Philharmonic Hall and the Mersey Tunnel buildings – all the work of local architect Herbert Rowse. I am looking forward to the scaffolding coming off the Bluecoat Arts Centre, the Grosvenor Shopping Centre and the new Echo Arena, all of which will give the city a fresh look while still cherishing its 19th-century origins.
Yoko Ono, artist and musician
I’ll never forget the first time I went to Liverpool. I was invited by an art school and felt very special. One of my great memories of the city is seeing those old films of the Kop at Anfield, with everyone swaying to She Loves You. It was wonderful that Liverpool’s airport was renamed in honour of John in 2002 – that gave me such pleasure.
Les Dennis, comedian
The best way to get a real sense of Liverpool is to go on a Beatles tour. If you drive out to Mosley Hill, you’ll stumble on so many of the Fab Four’s haunts, and nearby is Strawberry Field. It has beautiful red iron gates, which someone nicked last year. There was so much protest that the thief returned them. I’d also walk along Hope Street, home to the Everyman Theatre. I used to go there in the 1970s when it had the most phenomenal actors: Alison Steadman, Julie Walters, Bill Nighy. My fondest Liverpool memory is standing on the Kop watching Liverpool FC in the Bill Shankly years. I remember one boring game when the weather was freezing. A pigeon landed on the pitch and slowly made its way to the goal. When it eventually crossed the line, the whole of the Kop went mad, as if it was the best goal ever scored.
Vasily Petrenko, principal conductor, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
The best way to explore Liverpool is on foot. This year the city is going to be packed with art and culture, not just in theatres and concert halls, but in clubs and bars, on street corners, on buses and trains. My perfect day would involve a wander along the iconic waterfront. This is home to Tate Liverpool and is now a Unesco World Heritage Site. From there, I would head to the World Museum, Walker Art Gallery and the neoclassical St George’s Hall. I’d also visit the beautiful green spaces, including Sefton and Calderstones Parks, a few minutes outside the centre. I would spend the evening at the Liverpool Philharmonic, of course. This is one of the world’s great music cities, and the Philharmonic has been at the heart of it for more than 167 years. And there are great bars and restaurants on Hope Street for a drink afterwards.