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Best Beatles Tour in Liverpool?

Hello,

At some point this year, I'm heading off to Liverpool to visit the Beatles' sites. In the estimation of forum visitors who have done this, which is the best tour company for a guided tour of those glorious days of the 1960s?

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
205 posts

I enjoyed the Magical Mystery Tour and the National Trust Tour (which actually lets you go into John’s and Paul’s boyhood homes. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/beatles-childhood-homes

The guides for both were excellent, and the participants varied in age and backgrounds, but were all good company.

Check out this older post.

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/england/beatles-tours-in-liverpool

All the best,

Raymond

Posted by
2365 posts

I was in Liverpool over new year ,I travel there at least once a year as my sister has lived there for 35 years, can't help with the tours as I have done a bit of the Beatles stuff over the year but I will mention Strawberry Fields.
I was there on the 2nd January, I had been visiting the nearby Claderstone Park which is well worth a visit and was at the reader Café there to see my niece who works there,the park and the café are well worth a visit. it is only a short walk from there to Strawberry fields that has just opened to the public recently.It used to be a children's home run buy the Salvation Army, no longer a home the old building has been demolished and a new building that has workshops, exhibitions , café and a superb shop is now there .The gardens will be nice once they are established and they are even growing strawberries there, but of course not available in January.The grounds are very nice and there are plaques with exerts from Beatle songs all over the place.The Old gates were stolen many years ago probably for scrap but beautiful replacement gates have been made and the usual grafitti all over them.Some tours stop off there and when I was there certainly one bus dropped a load of folk off there.
worth a visit just for the shop and café but I think once the warmer weather comes in then the place is going to look great and certainly a place I will head to next time I am in the city.Oh and I got the T-Shirt.

https://www.strawberryfieldliverpool.com/visit

Posted by
901 posts

We will be in Liverpool from 9/2 - 9/5/20, and will be booking the National Trust tour. Hopefully, the crowds from International Beatles Week will have gone by then.

Posted by
38 posts

Thanks for posting this question, Mike, because I’m also looking for feedback from those who have taken any of these tours. I’m now thinking that I might take a taxi tour even though it would be somewhat expensive for one person. However I like the idea of being able to get out at different stops and take photos (instead of having to take them through a bus window).

Posted by
5 posts

The taxi tour was the BEST!! Book thru the tourist office over near the Beatles "museum at the waterfront.

Posted by
949 posts

The Magical Mystery tour has 4 photo opportunities where you get off the bus. Strawberry Field, Penny Lane, George Harrison’s house and Paul McCartney’s house.

One thing I’ve done is listen to appropriate song while everyone is getting their selfies. I’ll stream Strawberry Fields Forever at Strawberry Field and Penny Lane while we’re there.

The National Trust tour does not allow any photos inside the houses.

Posted by
49 posts

Mop Top Tour company. You can pick the length of tour that interests you. My mum and I did the four hour Mop Top tour in December 2017. We had the van to ourselves and it was very personalized and informative. I noticed other tours would drive by significant spots whereas we would get out at each stop. Check out the ratings on TripAdvisor.

Posted by
38 posts

Andrea, thanks for your feedback re the Mop Top tours. I want to be able to get out and take photos at the sights. So it may just be worth the extra money (I’ll be traveling solo) to book one of these private, customized tours.

Posted by
750 posts

I did the magical mystery tour and the national trust visit of the homes on the same day last summer. It was a great way to see an overview then in depth of the two most important members. (No offense to George, lol.)
Paul's home was especially moving to me.
I recommend both tours if you have the time. Neither is terribly expensive.

Posted by
35 posts

We did the "Magical Mystery Tour" in 2013. Loved it. The guide had a small part in the movie "Nowhere Boy". Youngish fellow but knew all about The Beatles. The bus provides a great background photo op. The only point for improvement I could offer was that they should have played MMT when we entered the bus.

Posted by
32 posts

We spent 28 hours in Liverpool last June, at the end of a North Wales excursion. We'd recommend 2 days there, so we will return.

I hastily misread Rick's England guidebook and booked the National Trust tour (of Paul's and John's homes) in the middle of our one day there. I worried that I'd made a mistake, like we should have done one of the larger broader tours first. Maybe we should have ... But we really enjoyed the tour and learned a lot that we remembered and repeated. The National Trust tour is a small group of 16 and most of the time is spent inside the homes. You do not need to buy the guidebook.
Whether or not you take this tour, do watch James Corden's Carpool Karaoke with Paul, and Paul's 2019 guest spot with Steven Colbert. And spend a night clubbing on Mathew Street. People in Liverpool are very friendly.

Posted by
1 posts

I did an all-day private tour through Liverpool Beatles Tours. It was fabulous...or should I say fab! To actually see the places I had read/heard about my entire life was beyond words. The tour covered so much, including the National Trust tours of John's and Paul's childhood homes, a tour of the Casbah club with Pete Best's brother Rory (I also briefly met their other brother Roag there), the Cavern, the church where John and Paul first met, Penny Lane, Strawberry Field, the Beatles Story, the Jacaranda, etc. We stopped by many other historic Beatles sites (Ringo's and George's childhood homes, the place where the Quarrymen recorded their first songs, and Eleanor Rigby's grave, among others). I would highly recommend them!

Posted by
1 posts

Thanks for mentioning the Mop Top tours. I had not yet heard of them. I am planning to go later this year, but not until early winter so I can be in Liverpool "When I'm 64!" I am tentatively planning to go at the end of December. Does anyone know if Mop Top, Magical Mystery, National Trust, or any of the sites have limited hours during the holidays? I am assuming they will all be closed on Christmas, but what about Boxing Day and Christmas Eve?

Posted by
6 posts

We did a free walking tour of the city which includes many of the Beatles sites as well as a great overview of the city and its history.

Posted by
1 posts

Jackie Spencer is highly recommended! We spent a half day with her last year, saw and learned a lot. She gives many options for formats...we rode with her on the bus that “the boys” used to take to school jackiespencerbeatleguide.com. To see the childhood homes of John and Paul, make a reservation through the National Trust. Don’t miss them!

Posted by
1 posts

We recently heard that Roag Best (Pete Best's little brother) has opened the Magical Beatles Museum on Matthew Street (magicalbeatlesmuseum.com). Roag is Mona Best and Neil Aspinall's son, so their home was used to store huge amounts of Beatles props over the years, and now he has put it all on display. We're looking forward to visiting this museum next time we're in Liverpool. We have taken a private tour with Roag of the Casbah Coffee Club (in Mona Best's basement) where he showed us some of the memorabilia stored there as well as the original wall and ceiling art painted by the Beatles before they made it big.

We've also taken the Magical Mystery Tour, which is a great overview with lots of information, but it only has four stops, so a private tour or one that made more stops such as the chance to get off the bus for a few photos at Penny Lane would have been nice. The National Trust Tour into John's and Paul's boyhood houses was a real treat - we did buy the postcards since you can't take photos inside the homes. We loved Mike McCartney's original photos of John and Paul before they were famous hung inside the McCartney house.

Posted by
949 posts

The Magical History Museum is quite interesting and it does have a lot of the very early Beatles memorabilia. It’s a nice way to see some of that without having to go to the Casbah. The Casbah is a bit of a pain to get to without a taxi or Uber. I’ll mention that a causal Beatles fan may not find it all that interesting and would probably enjoy the Beatles Story museum on Albert Dock more.

I’ve been on the Magical Mystery Tour several times. It’s always included a stop at Penny Lane. However, the tours are always subject to change. There may have been road construction near the area where the bus stops to let people off. Also, I know they modified the tour for a while to add a stop at the Philharmonic Dining Halls where Sir Paul did the carpool karaoke show. An insider tip, if you’re ever at the Philharmonic DIning Halls and you’re male, be sure to go to the bathroom. They have urinals made of solid marble and are listed as a historic sight!

Posted by
106 posts

Quite possibly my favorite “minor” city in Europe

The Beatles Experience at Prince Albert Dock is very good. They do a nice job of walking you through the lives of the members.

Going North from the Albert Dock is the large and beautiful Museum of Liverpool. The entire top floor is (was still as of October?) dedicated to John’s life. There is an Imagine board where visitors write down things they hope for and attach them to the board. The board is probably 10 feet tall by 30 feet wide. There’s also his New York City shirt, lots of of the Beatles original songbooks and never before seen home videos. They have a small theatre that tells the story of Imagine and plays the video on loop. Very moving.

Just to the North of the Museum of Liverpool is a very nice statue of the Fab Four.

Enjoy Liverpool. It’s a hidden gem and it’s on the rebound. Very parochial city with a weird accent but they’re wonderful people. Reminds me a lot of Boston. And the views looking over the River Mersey are some of the best in England.