The ultimate guide to Liverpool’s Castle Street - bars, restaurants and listed buildings
It is one of the city’s oldest streets but still continues to thrive with people flocking to its various bars and restaurants.
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One of the original seven streets of the city, Castle Street, got its name from the Castle which was once located here. Now, it is a thriving part of the city's commercial district.
The iconic street is a place absolutely steeped in history, and it shows no signs of going anywhere - with many flocking to its various bars and restaurants and enjoying the alfresco seating areas in the summer months.
Here are some of our favourite things about Castle Street, and why it really should be on your list of places to visit.
Liverpool Town Hall: At the head of Castle Street stands Liverpool Town Hall - the base for the Lord Mayor and all civic matters. Built in 1749, the Grade I listed building is not short of character and characters, from Golden Pineapples to a Goddess of Wisdom. The Hall has hosted countless prestigious events, including numerous Freedom of the City ceremonies, royal visits from home and abroad, and an iconic homecoming for the Beatles on the front balcony.
If you want to get inside, it is periodically opened up for guided tours, allowing visitors an exclusive opportunity to explore one of the finest surviving town halls of the 18th century.
Sanctuary Stone: We can see some of the great history of this street with the Sanctuary Stone. This once marked one of the boundaries of the medieval markets, which took place here for centuries.
Queens Avenue: Something you might miss unless you're in the know is Queens Avenue. It's a real blink-and-you'll-miss-it part of the city. This picturesque alleyway has been likened to a magical passage, and down here, you'll discover an art gallery, wine shop, hairdressers and restaurant.
Local gin: Liverpool Gin Distillery produce their very own Organic Gin on-site in a custom-built 60-litre copper still. Over three floors, there are bars where you can get a variety of tipples. They also have 'Laboratories' where you can make your own gin to take home.
Bars: There are also a host of other bars to whet your whistle and restaurants serving Italian, French and Brazilian cuisines, to name just a few. In June 2020, Liverpool City Council launched a fund to help local businesses redesign outdoor spaces and turn them into high quality, covered seating areas – making up for the internal space they lost as a result of social distancing restrictions during the pandemic. This has resulted in part of Castle Street being closed to traffic, enabling venues to spill out onto the streets.
Behind the name: You may not necessarily associate castles with Liverpool, but there was one right here from around 1235 to the 1730s. Built on a natural sandstone outcrop on the natural tidal inlet from the River Mersey. The castle was prominent in the layout of Liverpool's original medieval 'seven streets'. A historic document informs us it included a chapel, a brewhouse, a bakehouse and a covered well.
Derby Square: Built directly on the site of the former castle is the Queen Victoria monument on Derby Square. But it's not just the former monarch on display here. The statue actually contains 26 bronze figures. The Grade II Listed structure was unveiled five years after the sovereign's death. It even endured the Blitz. Whilst the surrounding area was destroyed, it managed to survive.
Watch the video at the top of this page for our full guide to Liverpool’s Castle Street.