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The Beatles

Beatlesmania was undoubtedly a worldwide phenomenon but it’s in the birthplace of the Fab Four where it reached its ultimate height. These days the Beatles' legacy lives on in Liverpool through a wealth of attractions dedicated to the world’s most famous boy band.

So if you’ve got a Ticket to Ride then this guide to the best Beatles attractions in the city should help you on your way to Here, There and Everywhere. Whether you want to see where the Beatles played their first gigs, discover John Lennon’s old haunts or live on the Yellow Submarine, you can do it all in Liverpool.

To relive the Beatles’ historic tale from the early flickers of fame to their superstardom, get along to the Beatles Story Exhibition Experience [map] on the Albert Dock.

Day Trippers
will begin their journey on the cobbled streets of Hamburg, where the muffled strains of the Beatles music can be heard from the nearby Star Club. Turn the corner and you’re in Mathew Street, home of the famous Cavern Club [map]. Take your seat near the tiny stage and the opening chords of Twist and Shout will send a tingle down your spine, just as they did for fans back in the 60s.

From there you’ll head out into the path of hundreds of screaming, sobbing, hysterical fans desperate for a glimpse of their favourite Beatle. Move on and the world becomes more colourful, as you discover how 'flower power' and Sgt Pepper influenced a whole new generation.

The exhibition also offers you the chance to live on the Yellow Submarine and walk down Abbey Road, but it’s the White Room that John Lennon fans will not want to miss.

If you want to see the areas of Liverpool made famous in the Beatles’ songs then ‘roll up-roll up’ because the Magical Mystery Tour ‘is waiting to take you away’. This daily two hour tour, which introduces you to the Beatles’ homes, schools, birthplaces and landmarks, starts from The Beatles Story Exhibition Experience and finishes at the world famous Cavern Club.

The Liverpool Beatles Tour offers a very similar service with the added luxury of tours at a time to suit you and pick ups from the train station, airport or hotel.

So read on for a run down of the stops on the tours – places that no Beatle fan should leave Liverpool without visiting.

See how much life has changed from days of the barber, banker, and fireman, with a trip to Penny Lane [map]. ‘Beneath the blue suburban skies’ you’ll see ordinary people rushing around and can enjoy a drink or bite to eat in one of the many pubs and restaurants dotted about the place. Among the eateries is Sgt Pepper’s Bistro, which was ‘a shelter in the middle of a roundabout’ in the 60s.

As the song suggests Strawberry Fields may well be ‘forever’ because the place where John Lennon spent his childhood days is still alive and well in Liverpool. Situated on Beaconsfield Road [map], not far from John’s old house, these days you can only get as far as the red gate, as the area borders the garden of a residential home.

Next on the list is Mathew Street, home to the world famous Cavern Club, and now also the Beatles Shop [map] and Mathew Street Gallery.

The Cavern Club played host to more than 300 performances by the Beatles and fans turn up in their droves to enjoy a Hard Day’s Night in the club where Beatlesmania began.

Nearby, the Beatles Shop sells an array of memorabilia, while upstairs the Mathew Street Gallery specialises in drawings by John Lennon and Beatles photography.

Mathew Street also plays host to Europe's largest free city centre music festival, held every year over the August bank holiday weekend. It began as a big Beatles celebration with tribute bands playing on stages in the city centre, but now it has broadened out to encompass tribute bands for Elvis, Rolling Stones, David Bowie, and many more.

Situated on nearby Stanley Street, you’ll find the Eleanor Rigby statue, pop singer Tommy Steele’s tribute to the Beatles and a gift for ‘all the lonely people’ of Liverpool.

Of course, the Eleanor Rigby is a fictional character dreamt up for the purpose of the band’s number one hit. However you may be interested to learn that a grave was found near St Peter's Church in Woolton, where Paul met John, with the name Eleanor Rigby on it.

In addition to all this, the National Trust tour, which operates from Speke Hall, gives you the chance to Get Back to the childhood homes of John and Paul.

Just an ordinary terraced house, 20 Forthlin Road was the McCartney family home right through the Beatles’ early years and is where the band composed and rehearsed their first songs.

Using the family’s personal collection of photographs, the house has been sympathetically restored to how it looked when they lived there, and the audio tour guides you through the home with music and memories from Paul himself.

Mendips, John’s childhood home, opened to the public in March 2003 after being donated to the National Trust by Yoko Ono Lennon, who had bought the three-bedroom semi in 2002. Mendips, built in 1933 near the corner of Menlove Avenue and Vale Road in Woolton, is where John lived with his Aunt Mimi from 1945 to 1963. Visitors are shown in through the back door to the kitchen, as this is how most of John’s friends and family would have entered the house.

Many of the 1950s features have been restored, including the black and white tiled floor, sink unit, Formica worktops, cooker and kitchen utensils.

Finally there is International Beatle Week, which runs alongside the Mathew Street Festival in August and provides forums, tours, art exhibitions, markets and auctions for fans from around the world.

If you want to comment on our choices or recommend somewhere, why not use our What You Recommend form to let us know.


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