Comprising the boroughs of Liverpool, Knowsley, Wirral, Sefton and St Helens, the county of Merseyside as the name suggests straddles the River Mersey. The county has been the birthplace of many famous names throughout its history, with Liverpool's bustling port at its heart Merseyside was always a cosmopolitan place for both artist and artisan.
From TV legends Cilla Black and Tom Baker, to sporting heroes like Wayne Rooney and Stephen Gerrard, the area has long been a cultural hotbed and no-one typifies this more than its biggest export: The Beatles. To this day a source for much of the area's tourism, The Beatles went from humble beginnings at The Cavern Club to global acclaim in the 60's and many favourite spots for tourists today owe their fame to The Fab Four: the original Cavern was demolished in the 70's but an exact replica was built in 1984 even using some of the bricks from its predecessor and this houses The Beatles museum; Strawberry Fields cemetery also lies within the city.
Historically Merseyside has grown from a rural community to a bustling urban sprawl, and much of this growth is down to the county's docks. The city of Liverpool, Birkenhead and Bootle docks were all massively enriched by the slave-trade in the 18th century and by ship-building until more recent times, as well as being the first step on the road to America in the 19th and early 20th centuries: the ill-fated Titanic was constructed in Liverpool's ship-yards.
With Liverpool's forthcoming Capital of Culture status the area has seen large investment recently, which can only add to its draw for tourists; although a county that can boast the biggest band in history, two of the nation's biggest football clubs, the world's largest Anglican cathedral, Tate Liverpool and Wayne Rooney probably needs little help.