Ever dreamed of walking in the footsteps of John, Paul, Ringo and George? You may say I’m a dreamer but when you visit Liverpool in the United Kingdom, you can do just that! The Beatles are arguably one of the most well-known and beloved music acts of all time. If you’re a fan, the chances are you already know a fair bit about the band and their Liverpool roots. Many of their famous hits were inspired by their hometown and visiting Liverpool will give you a unique insight into the Beatles’ history and creative process!
To honour their incredible contribution to music, 25 June has been named Global Beatles Day! To celebrate this special day, Expat Explore has put together a guide to the top must-see sights in Liverpool for Beatles fans. Get ready to twist and shout!
Let us whisper some words of wisdom… if you only get the chance to visit one place in Liverpool, go to the Beatles Story and Museum. This experience is not to be missed for fans of the Fab Four. Located at the historic Royal Albert Dock, the Beatles Story recreates the places that were integral to the band’s journey such as the Casbah and Abbey Road Studios. This museum will take you on a journey through the four lads’ childhoods, the band’s early days, their superstardom and their solo careers. See iconic memorabilia such as John Lennon’s glasses, hand-written lyrics and George Harrison’s first guitar! It’s an atmospheric journey through the Beatles’ fascinating history that will delight any music fan.
The Beatles Story and Museum offers complimentary multi-media guides in 12 languages narrated by John Lennon’s sister Julia Baird. The museum also houses a Beatles-themed café and offers a rolling programme of special exhibits allowing returning visitors to discover something new every time.
Related: Enjoy the option of visiting the Beatles Story and Museum when you join our Great Britain tour!
On Penny Lane, there is a barber showing photographs… Well, he may not be showing photographs but there most certainly is a barber shop in the same spot described in the hit song. The lively, nostalgic picture painted in the street’s eponymous song is not too far off from how Penny Lane is today. The song was primarily written by Paul McCartney about a place that held significance for both Paul and John Lennon during their childhoods and early years of the band. They would both pass through Penny Lane by bus to meet up with each other when writing songs and would often just hang out at the bus stop!
Stroll down Penny Lane to experience Liverpool through Paul and John’s rose-coloured glasses. Stop in at a cool café or restaurant, or wander around the beautiful Sefton Park for a break from the bustling city.
While this live music spot has gone through many changes over the years, it’s still a fabulous place to enjoy some tunes and soak up some music history. In 1961, Brian Epstein visited the Cavern Club during lunchtime and heard the Beatles playing. He decided to manage the band and the rest is history! Visit the Cavern Club any day of the week from 10am and listen to live music and admire the Beatles memorabilia dotted around the club.
There are a number of other pubs around Liverpool that contain a piece of Beatles history. The Grapes is the most notable and was actually said to be frequented by the band as much as the Cavern Club. For an authentic British pub experience, visit the White Star. Dating back to 1880, this traditional pub hasn’t lost its old-school charm. Back in the day, the Beatles would sit in the backroom and get paid for their shows at the Cavern Club. You can still visit this backroom today. Sit in the very spot where they sat and peruse the Beatles memorabilia on display!
The history of the site that inspired some of John Lennon’s dreamiest lyrics may surprise some fans. Strawberry Field was not, in fact, a luscious strawberry field but rather a Salvation Army children’s home. John Lennon would play on these grounds as a child and let his imagination run wild. Today, Strawberry Field is open to the public and features an interactive visitors’ centre that takes visitors on a journey through the history of the site and the song. In 2020, John Lennon’s piano which was used to compose Imagine was loaned to Strawberry Field.
Strawberry Field also facilitates a programme for young adults with learning difficulties. The Steps to Work programme aims to help these adults gain skills and find employment. When you visit the café, exhibition or gardens at Strawberry Field, know that you are contributing to a good cause.
An unassuming suburban residence in Liverpool played a very important role in the Beatles’ early years. 20 Forthlin Road was Paul McCartney’s family home. It is here where John and Paul wrote I saw her standing there, the opening track of the band’s debut album. The band would rehearse their early tunes in the living room of this very home.
You can also visit 251 Menlove Avenue, known as Mendips, the childhood home of John Lennon. Yoko Ono bought this house in 2002 and donated it to the National Trust to avoid it being demolished. Unlike 20 Forthlin and Mendips, the childhood homes of Ringo and George are not National Trust properties but you can still pop by. However, you may not be able to go inside. They are located at 10 Admiral Grove and 12 Arnold Grove respectively.
For some excellent photo opportunities, be sure to visit the Beatles statues at the Pier Head on Liverpool’s waterfront. These larger-than-life bronze statues are incredibly detailed and weigh 1.2 tonnes altogether! Sculpted by Andrew Edwards, these figures feature details such as a cinecamera in Paul’s hand, a Sanskrit inscription on George’s belt, an L8 (a reference to his solo album) on the sole of Ringo’s shoe and two acorns in John’s hands.
This may be the most impressive statue of the Beatles but it certainly isn’t the only one. You’ll find statues dedicated to the Fab Four dotted all over Liverpool. On Stanley Street, take a seat next to Eleanor Rigby. This bronze sculpture by Tommy Steele is dedicated to “all the lonely people” and contains what the artist calls “magical properties”. Inside the figure is a comic book (for adventure), a page from the Bible (for spiritual guidance), a four leaf clover (for luck), football boots (for fun) and a sonnet (for love).
Described as a “Fab Four” star hotel, the Hard Days Night Hotel is the world’s only Beatles-inspired hotel! Each room, as well as the hotel’s bars and restaurants, are adorned with Beatles-themed artwork. Even if you don’t get to spend a hard days night at the hotel, be sure to pop into Blake’s Restaurant or Bar Four. Named after Sir Peter Blake, who designed the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, Blake’s restaurant serves up British cuisine and is decorated with Blake’s colourful artworks. Bar Four is a stylish spot to grab a cocktail and hosts live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
Tick off these Beatles’ bucket-list spots when you visit Liverpool with Expat Explore! Our Great Britain and Best of UK & Ireland tours include time in Liverpool with an optional excursion to the Beatles Story & Museum! Book now because, as the Beatles say, there’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be!
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