If you’re having a cottage break in the north west this autumn, and feel like some city centre culture and shopping, bear in mind that Liverpool One – a new shopping, eating and leisure area in the city – will be fully opened by early October.

The new district has attracted big names like American Apparel (now open), the north west’s largest John Lewis, Urban Outfitters, and a number of independents as well. There are new bars and cafés, including Loch Fyne and Wagamama, many with outdoor terraces and views.

Liverpool seems to have learned a lot from being European Capital of Culture. It’s adopted European opening times so that people can shop until 8pm. And its 3,000 space car park is hidden underground and covered by greenery in a pleasant green space called Chavasse Park. French cities like Lyon have reaped the benefit of this arrangement of hidden vehicles under city centre oases for many years.

If the rest of your family or group can only take a limited amount of shopping, don’t forget that Liverpool has ferry rides on the Mersey, Beatle attractions, and apparently more museums and art galleries than any other city in the country. www.liverpool-one.com