Liverpool is famous for many things, its football clubs, famous historic buildings and Scousers’ legendary sense of humour. But more than anything, it was The Beatles that really put Liverpool on the cultural map in the 1960s. Their legacy continues to this day and there are plenty of places for Beatles fans to visit in Liverpool to get a taste of the group’s history and their impact on the city and the world! Here are just a few of the best mop top spots to take in during a short break in Liverpool…
The best place for any Fab Four fanatic to start is at The Beatles Story in Liverpool’s historic Albert Docks. Open since 1990, the exhibition has grown and evolved into a comprehensive walk through the life and music of John, Paul, George & Ringo.
The Beatles in India
© Paul Saltzman
2018 marks 50 years since The Beatles journeyed to Rishikesh in the foothills of the Himalayas to attend a meditative retreat hosted by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The Beatles Story have recently unveiled a new exhibition celebrating the Fab Four’s time in India and its influence on their music. Their stay in India was extremely productive from a song writing point of view, most of “The White Album” was written during their stay, as was the earliest version of what would become “Jealous Guy”; a hit for John Lennon after The Beatles disbanded. Highlights of the exhibition include rarely seen photographs and memorabilia from The Beatles time in India, a sitar used by Ravi Shankar and a recreation of one of Rishikesh’s bungalows which gives an idea of their living quarters.
The rest of The Beatles Story exhibition tells the story of the groups’ career from their early formation in Liverpool, to their residencies in Hamburg, a recreation of The Cavern Club, Abbey Road Studios and the Yellow Submarine. An informative audio guide gives some great insights from people who knew The Beatles and were connected to their music. There are also some great artefacts including John Lennon’s piano and George Harrison’s first guitar.
There’s then a great section about the four Beatles’ solo careers including a hilarious video from Rutland Weekend Television starring George Harrison as “Pirate Bob” – sound odd? You’ll have to go and see it for yourself. At the end of the exhibition, there’s time to pause and reflect in a brilliantly realised recreation of “the white room” in John Lennon’s Tittenhurst Park home while “Imagine” plays.
A Magical Mystery Tour
There are lots more Beatles sites outside the city centre; the best way to take them all in is on a Magical Mystery Tour which departs just around the corner from The Beatles Story. The tour, in a replica of the famous psychedelic-coloured coach from the film of the same name, takes in John, Paul, George & Ringo’s childhood homes, Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields and St Peter’s Church (where John Lennon met Paul McCartney for the first time). Best of all, the tour ends at the legendary Cavern Club. You can add a Magical Mystery Tour to your Super Break hotel booking in Liverpool.
The Cavern Club
The Cavern was the heartbeat of the Liverpool music scene in the late 50s & early 60s and The Beatles played there nearly 300 times during their early career. Unfortunately the original club was demolished during construction of Liverpool’s underground railway but the Cavern that exists today is a faithful reconstruction located very close to the original location. You can find live music in the Cavern most of the time and all day at the weekend; try and catch The Cavern Club Beatles on a Saturday night for a trip through all stages of The Beatles career, complete with authentic costumes and instruments.
The Beatles’ Liverpool
Hopefully after all that you’ll now be an expert on all things Beatles related. There are plenty more sights to see around Liverpool as well though – take a selfie with the statues of John, Paul, George and Ringo at the Pier Head, take a ferry ‘cross the Mersey, see some Beatles related memorabilia at the Museum of Liverpool or visit some of The Beatles early haunts such as the Jacaranda on Slater Street or the Casbah Coffee Club in the suburb of West Derby. Check out our blog Let Me Take You Down…to 50 Fab Beatles Sites! to find out more about Beatles sites in Liverpool and around the world.