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Heritage Tour: Birkenhead and Liverpool

14th November 2015


Northwich Memorial Court


Pickup Times

9.00am from Northwich
Other pick-up points available - details and booking conditions here.

We start the day with a visit to the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum in Birkenhead. One of Wirral’s hidden gems, the Williamson was funded by the philanthropists, John Williamson, a Director of the Cunard Steamship Company Ltd and his son Patrick Williamson. It opened to the public in 1928.

The Williamson houses one of the best art collections in the North West of England in its beautifully proportioned galleries. Paintings of all sorts, especially British watercolours and work by local artists, join highlights of the decorative arts collections like Liverpool Porcelain and Birkenhead's own contribution to the Arts & Crafts Movement, the Della Robbia Pottery.

There are also rooms featuring ship models from the area, focusing on Cammell Laird shipbuilders and their contribution to marine history, the Mersey Ferries and the variety of vessels that used the River Mersey when it was at its busiest.

We then cross under the Mersey to Liverpool, with a chance to explore the Walker Art Gallery and Liverpool World Museum.

The Walker Art Gallery is one of the finest art galleries in Europe, and is home to renaissance masterpieces, Tudor portraits and one of the best collections of Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite art in the country. For 130 years it has housed Liverpool’s most outstanding art collection. Many of the gallery’s most important works have been on display in the city for nearly 200 years. The gallery also has an outstanding display of contemporary art including work by David Hockney, Lucian Freud and Bridget Riley.

The temporary exhibition is Reality - Modern and Contemporary British Painting. This vibrant exhibition brings together over 50 works celebrating the strength of British painting, with some of the best and most influential artists of the last 60 years. Major 20th-century artists, such as Walter Sickert, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and LS Lowry, are shown alongside contemporary painters including John Keane, Ken Currie, Paula Rego and George Shaw.

The Liverpool World Museum has extensive collections covering archaeology, ethnology and the natural and physical sciences. Special attractions include the Natural History Centre and a free Planetarium.

Nearby you can also visit the recently redeveloped Central Library, and St George's Hall.

We finish the day at Sudley House. Sudley House is the former home of Victorian ship builder George Holt, housing his personal collection of 18th and 19th century British art, and still in its original setting.

A charming gallery displays works by Turner, Gainsborough, Lord Leighton and Holman Hunt. Many of the original Victorian features of the building survive, including tiles, ceramics, stained glass and wallpaper. Also houses works from The Walker´s collection of fine and decorative art and George Bullock furniture. Reopened in 2008 following a major restoration.


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