Royal Liver Building | Kidadl

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  • A symbol of Liverpool’s history and people, the Royal Liver Building is one the magnificent Three Graces on Liverpool’s waterfront.
  • Once the tallest building in Europe, the Royal Liver Building stands at 322 feet tall.
  • Journey on an amazing audio-visual immersive experience inside the historic West Clock Tower.
  • Take the Royal Liver Building 360 Tour and see the mesmerising views over the Merseyside from the 10thand 15thfloors.

An iconic landmark and a symbol of Liverpool, the Royal Liver Building is located at the Pier Head on the heart of Liverpool’s waterfront. Part of Liverpool’s UNESCO-designated World Heritage Maritime Mercantile City, the Grade I listed building also forms part of the Three Graces along with the Cunard Building, which was built 1914-1917, and the Port of Liverpool Building, which was built 1904 - 1907. Together these magnificent buildings dominate the waterfront.

Designed by architect Walter Aubrey Thomas as an office for the Royal Liver Assurance Group, construction of the building started in 1907 and it opened on 19 July 1911. Groundbreaking at the time it was built, the Royal Liver Building was one of the world’s first skyscrapers to be made using reinforced concrete. The tallest building in Liverpool, it was also the tallest building in the whole of the UK until 1961 and the tallest in Europe until 1934. At 322 feet tall and 15 floors up, the epic views over Merseyside are sensational.

A viewing platform of the Royal Liver Building overlooking the Merseyside.

The Royal Liver Building has a pair of clock towers, which were built by Bromsgrove Guild the same company that constructed the gates for Buckingham Palace. Perched at the top of the Royal Liver Building clocks stands two iconic Liver Birds sculptures, which can be seen from all over the city of Liverpool. Designed by Carl Bernard Bartels, legend has it that one of the birds looks out over the city to protect its inhabitants and the other looks out to see the sailors coming in from sea. Another popular legend is that if the birds fly away, the city would no longer exist. If you zoom in close enough with a camera or pair of binoculars, you can see that each bird is holding something in its beak.

The building opened its doors in 2019 to the public for the first time in over 100 years! Visitors can learn all about the building’s history and Liverpool’s local heritage at the lower ground floor visitor centre before embarking on the brand new Royal Liver Building 360 Tour (RLB360). On the guided tour, you will get the chance to unearth some of the building’s hidden secrets, as well as getting whisked up to the 15th floor to gaze at the unbelievable 360-degree views across the city from the top of the iconic building.

Journey into the historic West Clock Tower and experience a world-class immersive experience that will leave you speechless. In this nine-minute audio-visual experience, journey through the history of the Royal Liver Building and experience and see Liverpool’s extraordinary highs and tragic lows through the decades. You’ll discover why the building is so momentous to Liverpool through awesome digital effects, sounds and lights.

A Liverpool must see, the Royal Liver Building is still owned and the head office of the Royal Liver Assurance Group, as well as a home for other companies and a venue for corporate meetings and parties.

There are loads of great places to see in Liverpool during your visit with your family to the city. As well as having more galleries and museums than any other city in the UK outside London, Liverpool also has some must-see landmarks and attractions. Make sure you take time to explore the most stunning areas of Liverpool’s waterfront. Learn about Britain’s history of rock and pop at Liverpool’s British Music Experience and explore the Beatles Story exhibition, which contains recreations of the Cavern Club, Abbey Road Studios and the Casbah Coffee Club. Take a stadium tour at the Liverpool Football Club and unearth millions of years of history at the World Museum.

What to know before you go

  • There is no admittance for children under the age of seven.
  • Opening dates and times differ depending on the time of year. Tours usually start every 15 minutes from 9am.
  • There is wheelchair access throughout the main building. On arrival, please go to the main building reception. There is unfortunately no access above the visitor centre and the tower tour is not suitable for wheelchair users or mobility scooters.
  • Please be aware that the tower tour is strenuous and it is not advised for visitors with medical conditions affected by heights, confined spaces and physical exertion. There are 124 steps on the tour; 71 of which are on a very narrow spiral stone staircase.
  • It’s not possible to bring large or wheeled bags into the building. There are locker facilities available for any other bag.
  • Umbrellas are not permitted on the viewing platforms.

Getting there

  • The Royal Liver Building address is Pier Head, Liverpool Waterfront, L3 1HU.
  • The entrance is situated in the courtyard of the building, off Canada Boulevard.
  • Liverpool’s largest train station, Lime Street, is approximately a 20-minute walk away. There are direct trains to London, York, Manchester, Hull, Birmingham and Wolverhampton. James Street is an eight-minute walk away and Moorfields is a nine-minute walk away. Both are served by Merseyrail services.  
  • Bus routes 10A, 10B, 12, 13, 15, 18, 25, 26, 101, 136 and 800 all stop near to the attraction.  
  • Merry Ferry terminal is located opposite the Royal Liver Building if you want to travel by boat.
  • If you are arriving by car, please follow signs to the Pier Head, Waterfront, Albert Dock and Mersey Ferries. There is limited on-street parking around the Royal Liver Building. The nearest car parks are the Princess Parade and the Capital.

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