Disclosure – Liverpool FC Stadium Tours provided us with a family ticket for this review. All opinion (and chants of YNWA) is our own
It was about 1992 when I last set foot in Anfield. It was for a match and I went with my Dad, a lifelong Liverpool fan, my brother, uncle and cousins. We travelled the almost three hours on the train, ran from Liverpool train station to Anfield in time for kick off. Watched the Mighty Reds beat Nottingham Forest, then walked back to the train station and travelled three hours back home. I didn’t get to see much of the stadium, and very little of Liverpool itself.
30 years later, I wasn’t sure if my footballing girls would appreciate a football stadium tour of a team they don’t follow, but frankly, this didn’t bother me in the slightest. This day out is for me and they would just have to tag along and either enjoy it or shut it.
Anfield stadium is easy to find. The postcode is L4 0TH. You can park in Stanley Park car park for free – the entrance is on Priory Road to the north – and then walk over to the stadium from there. Once you get to the stadium, walk round either side to find the entrance to the Stadium Tours at The Kop end. Here you will also find the club shop, and the LFC Museum. We walked round to the right and took a look at the memorial to the fans who died at Hillsborough – #JFT96 and never, ever buy The Sun – and the statue of Bill Shankley. The girls had no idea who he was but never mind. There is plenty to look out before you even get inside the stadium itself.
We had pre-booked our tour online so just showed up at the Stadium Tours entrance ahead of our time and showed our booking reference. We were early but we were let onto the next available tour as there was space. We collected an audio-visual tour device (included in the price, including LFC headphones) and waited for the tour to start.
The tour took us through corridors with media that told us more about the history of the club, its managers, and its relationship with the city (and that blue stadium over in the other part of town). We saw inside the changing rooms, got up close with some real silverware (and replicas), pretended to be a manager in the press conference suite, and got to touch the infamous/revered ‘This is Anfield’ sign on the entrance to the pitch. (don’t worry, there were plenty of hand sanitisers throughout the tour).
Halfway round on Level 2 there was a cafe bar and also a chance to meet Mighty Red, LFC’s mascot. The girls were a bit too old for his Halloween themed disco activities and didn’t really know who he was so were keen to move on rather than hang around but the younger fans who were already familiar with him were loving it. One little girl was so excited to win a prize from him in the dancing warm up she couldn’t help but blurt out “I LOVE YOU, MIGHTY RED” at the top of her little voice. If you want to meet Mighty Red, then you need to book onto a special Mighty Red tour when booking. It doesn’t cost any extra but might get full up quicker.
What I loved about the tour was that while you could go through the majority of it at your own pace using the audio guides, there was plenty to read and always a tour guide nearby to answer any questions you might have. Or just to tell you a bit more about where you are right now. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and obviously very passionate about their favourite Liverpool-based football team.
The tour could take as little as one hour, and up to about three hours if you read every little thing and spoke to every tour guide. In some parts you were moved on to make space for the following group, such as in the area overlooking the pitch from the main stand, but in other parts you could take as long as you wanted. The audio guide has a lot of bonus content on too so you could just take a seat and watch all of that too.
The last part of the tour took you from the players changing rooms, past the famous sign, and out of the tunnel onto pitch side. Then we sat in some seats in the Kop for a while and piped You’ll Never Walk Alone from the audio guides into our ears.
Then we handed our audio guides back in and left through a turnstile, which thoroughly confused the kids. A quick trip to the LFC club shop and I have sorted a certain lifelong LFC fan’s Christmas present and it’s not even November! Sssh, don’t tell him.
Total time: 2 hours plus time in the club shop and surrounds
Did the children enjoy it? To be honest, I’m not sure. They got bored in some parts and seemed to love others. They were fascinated by the changing rooms with the named shirts, and I think they liked getting to see a proper stadium up close even if they had no loyalty or knowledge of the team. But it’s not something I would do for them in particular unless they were Liverpool FC fans. This one was for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it and would do it all over again.
If you have children who are LFC fans, and want to see their favourite stadium in more detail then it’s a very accessible and family-friendly tour and I would highly recommend.
You can find out more information and book a tour at: https://stadiumtours.liverpoolfc.com/tours
If you’re a Liverpool resident, you may also be eligible for a discount on certain dates. Check out their website for more information.