Church Street is the thriving hub of Liverpool's busy shopping district and one of the most visited streets in the city. As well as being a renowned cultural centre, Liverpool has a deserved reputation as one of the UK's most bustling and diverse shopping destinations.

Central to the city's retail allure is Church Street and the narrow alleys and bold new developments that make up its surrounding area. It's this refreshing contrast between old and new that makes the area so dynamic for visitors and residents alike. And apart from the abundance of stores and entertainments on offer here, the vicinity also boasts its share of fascinating historic and cultural pearls.

Church Street in Liverpool - one of the highlights of 10 Most Popular Streets in Liverpool and 10 Best Places to Go Shopping in Liverpool (Read all about Liverpool here)

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What are the highlights of Church Street?

The street is within walking distance of Liverpool Central station, making it a convenient destination for shopaholics and sightseers. The majority of the shops located here are high street classics catering for the mass market – including Marks & Spencer, Boots, Lush, and Foot Locker – so those hunting for boutiques and independent stores will have to dig a little deeper into the winding backstreets.

First-time visitors to the area may be surprised to find that there isn't actually a church anywhere to be found in the locality, but its name makes more sense when you discover that the church from which it derives its name – St Peter's – was demolished back in 1922.

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Apart from the street names, eagle-eyed visitors will be able to spot clues to the former landmark's existence – including a carving of the Keys of St Peter high above the entrance of nearby Key's Court, as well as a brass cross embedded in the pavement just outside the Court.

Along the south side of Church Street visitors will find Church Alley, home to The Liverpool Athenaeum – a historic members club originally set up in the 18th century as a men-only information hub for the city's many merchants and traders. While the impressive American classic style building still functions as a club to this day, one pleasing difference from its illustrious past is that women are now allowed to join up as well.

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What’s good to know about Church Street?

Just around the corner on School Lane is central Liverpool's oldest surviving building, the hugely impressive Bluecoat Chambers. The stunning Grade I-listed former school is over 300 years old and is an exquisite example of the Queen Anne style of architecture.

The building was lovingly restored and reopened in 2008 and now serves as a thriving centre of arts and culture. The venue regularly hosts art exhibitions, debates, poetry readings, and musical concerts. Indeed, its cultural significance extends back through the centuries, as it was the first place in Liverpool to exhibit works from Claude Monet – who received a special invitation to show there in 1908.

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Stroll through St Peter's Lane, behind the shops of Church Street's south side, and you'll find the entrance to the staggering Liverpool One development – comprised of a mind-boggling array of shops, restaurants, and entertainments facilities, as well as accommodation and residential dwellings.

The first phase of the Liverpool One project opened in 2008 to coincide with the city's year spent as the European Capital of Culture, and it has now become a beacon of the city's retail landscape.

The complex is the largest outdoor shopping centre in the UK, and each of the stores was designed by a different architect, leading to a wonderful contrast between the various building styles. Among many other things, the development includes favourite high street stores including John Lewis, Debenhams and Top Man, as well as an Odeon Cinema for film lovers, and a mini-golf course for all the putters out there.

Church Street in Liverpool

Patrizio Cavaliere | Contributing Writer