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A Dock photo walk

Find a different perspective on the Dock and discover more about our heritage in this creative photo walk. From classic shots to its hidden details, we’ll help you see the Dock in a whole new light...

Framing the Pier Head

Starting on the Strand, you can see Albert Dock across the calm stretch of Salthouse Dock – the city’s oldest existing dock – which borders the main road. The granite stone gable and arch entrance at its south east corner survives from a transit shed built by Dock architect Jesse Hartley. It’s also a great frame as you look across Salthouse Dock to Edward Pavilion and the Pumphouse.

The start

Salthouse Dock and the Leeds-Liverpool

Walk through the Dock gates and you’ll see the Echo Arena and Wheel of Liverpool on your left. Turn right at Anchor Courtyard and walk along the front of the Atlantic Pavilion – there are plenty of barges to snap in the Salthouse Dock to your right, which marks the end of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. At 127 miles, it’s Britain’s longest canal. On your left you’ll notice these chunky red ship’s funnels – these are a public art piece, but they’re also one of the constant reminders you get of the Dock’s bustling past.

The funnels
The funnels
The bridge

The bridge linking Salthouse Dock to the Albert Dock gives you a great sweep of the Dock’s longest side. On a calm day, you’ll get perfect reflections of the Dock’s iconic red columns in the water here…

A bit of history...

As you look at the Dock, walk along the left ramp onto the Dock’s internal quay. As you walk around Revolution, looking across towards Revolution de Cuba. You’ll notice a depth gauge carved into the Dock’s wall in Roman numerals. The old gates’ weathered wood is a lovely detail to capture, alongside the carving…

Walking the Dock

As you walk round into the Dock itself, you’ve got plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from. Round the corner and head up towards PanAm and What’s Cooking – pop in for a coffee with sweeping views of the Dock, as you look up towards the Pier Head and Liver Building. This the money shot.

Look up!

As you head along the Colonnades, don’t forget to look up. There are still lots of details of the Dock’s working past around you, when this was the busiest port in the British Empire. You’ll see this red metal pulley as you walk along, but there are cranes, pulleys and cogs to spot as you walk around – see what you can spot.

A Dock photo walk
A Dock photo walk

The Tate and Liverpool

Carry on towards the Tate, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Tate and Lyle has a long history in Liverpool stretching back 150 years – its sugar refinery on Love Lane produced 400 tons of sugar a week when it opened in 1872. You’ll get some great pop shots of the Tate’s round signage, and bold blue and orange branding here. 

Through the rigging

Outside the Tate, turn around and look back across the Dock towards the Maritime Museum. The Glaciere is moored in the Dock here – one of the world’s oldest ships, this Baltic trader from 1899 used to ferry stone between England and Denmark. She was recovered from the Collingwood Dock and restored by a team of volunteers in 2003, and is used now to support young unemployed people to progress into the maritime world.

Tate Liverpool
A Dock photo walk

Towards the river

As you approach the corner here, you’ll see a bridge that takes you towards the Museum of Liverpool, adjacent to the waterfront. From here, look across Canning Half Tide Dock towards the Pier Head and Dazzle Ship. The Dazzle Ship was painted for the Biennial’s commemoration of the start of WWI in 2014. If you head over to the river, you’ll also see the Dazzle Ferry, painted by pop artist Peter Blake. He’s also decorated the inside of the Tate Cafe, if it looks familiar.


Hartley’s Bridge and the Maritime Museum

Turning the corner towards the PumpHouse, you’ll cross Hartley’s Bridge. Joseph Hartley was the Dock’s architect and maritime pioneer, who created this unique vision for an enclosed Dock and warehouse system. As you approach the Merseyside Maritime Museum, you’ll notice the tram tracks set into the cobbles, which would fetch cargoes from the Dock and transport them to a vast warehouse for storage. The huge anchor you’ll see outside the museum belonged to the HMS Conway, a Merchant Navy training ship. It was was moored in the Mersey for more than 80 years from 1859 onwards.

Tram Tracks

The Pump House

Looking past the museum, you’ll see the imposing chimney of the Dock’s pump house – now a cosy pub. A hydraulic pumping station was built at the Dock in 1878, creating a power supply of the loading and unloading of cargoes.

The One O’Clock Gun

On your right after the Maritime Museum, you’ll notice a narrow entrance that takes you back into the Dock – there are some lovely pics round here. Behind the Maritime Museum you’ll get some great shots through the metal cross-hatch, and find another Dock classic – the life ring. There’s also the Port of Liverpool’s first One O’Clock Gun – in a traditional lasting more than a century, this this cannon was fired from the other side of the Mersey, in Birkenhead’s Morpeth Dock to announce the time every afternoon. Ships used its mighty boom to set their chronometers, until as recently as 1969.

Gun Plaque

While you’re on the inside of the Dock, you’ll see some great abstract shots – depending on the weather, the Dock can be still as a sheet of glass, or ripple in the wind. The stripes of the decking also make a good contrast to the dapple of the water.