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Liverpool/Beatles

Hey folks: Big Mike from Boone County here.

Anyone have any experience or suggestions regarding the Fab Four and relevant tours, sites worth visiting, etc? I Googled a day trip from London but wondered if spending the night in Liverpool might be a better idea. Maybe there are places in London? We have been to the Abbey Road crosswalk and darn near got run over!

Any Beatles fans out there? Advice welcome, my friends.

Posted by
4660 posts

We have been to the Abbey Road crosswalk and darn near got run over!

I'm not surprised! Have you any idea how frustrating it is to drive along Abbey Road and hit that crossing? If people stopped to allow everyone to cross and pose for that iconic photo nobody would get anywhere. Locals have become so pissed off that barely anyone stops to allow pedestrians to cross there anymore.

Posted by
1822 posts

JC yeah wife and I did that back in 1990 and we were polite about it. Even back then I don't recall cars slowing down for us, but then again we waited for a gap in the traffic, took a pic, and then got the hell outta Dodge! Maybe it's crazier at that intersection now?

Posted by
11286 posts

Rick's England and Great Britain books have a great Liverpool chapter (same chapter in each book). He has lots of details about Beatles and non-Beatles sights in Liverpool.

I didn't do a "Beatles tour" (there are some by taxi as well as by big bus). I did see the Beatles Story exhibit, which is in two locations and well done (except for the inane Fab 4D Experience). It's particularly strong on their early pre-fame years, so unless you've studied these extensively, you're bound to learn something new. I also made sure to pre-book the National Trust tour of John's and Paul's childhood homes. Other tours go past these, but only this tour gets you inside. In addition to learning about their specific childhoods, it's fascinating to see how people lived in that time and place.

I spent four nights in Liverpool and didn't run out of things to do. Here's my trip report; just skip the Glasgow and Manchester sections: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/uk-trip-report-glasgow-manchester-liverpool-in-september-2016

Posted by
4930 posts

I haven't made it to Liverpool yet - someday! I am a Beatles fan. When I first visited London years ago, I did a "Beatles walking tour" and really enjoyed it. Yes, of course I had to get someone to photograph me walking across that famous crosswalk in front of the EMI studios on Abbey Road...

Posted by
6338 posts

Might check out the London Walks tour.
http://www.walks.com/popular-walks/beatles

I also always recommend at stop at the Sir John C Ritblat gallery at the British Library. There you can see hand written m lyrics to Hard Days Nights, Yesterday, Michelle and Ticket to Ride. Can also view
Photos of Peter Best and Stuart Sutcliffe with John, Paul, George and Ringo. It’s free but no photography allowed.

Posted by
1220 posts

I’ve had 5 trips to Liverpool, hope this helps.
I wouldn’t do it as a day trip, it’s slightly over two hours on the train each way, plus the time to and from the train stations as well as waiting for the train.

The National Trust tour is excellent , that gets you inside John and Paul’s childhood homes. Very fascinating and if you’ve got someone who isn’t a fanatic, it’s a great glimpse into post World War II Britain. This isn’t Leave it to Beaver nostalgia. Booking in advance is a must

The Magical Mystery Tour is fun and good for a casual fan, there’s Beatles music playing throughout the trip and stops at Penny Lane, Strawberry Field, and George Harrison’s house. It can be booked on the day of departure, maybe a day or so in advance during peak tourist season.

The Beatles Story is a bit overpriced but fun. Halfway though the tour, sit down in the replica plane that took the Beatles to America, the audio tour fills in a lot of the gaps as the museum kinda jumps from Beatlemania to Sgt Pepper.

Mathew Street is also worth a visit, the Cavern is a replica, but it’s loads of fun.

Respond back for more ideas if you’re interested. I’m a fanatic and I had the time of my life showing a fellow American around Liverpool last trip.

Posted by
267 posts

Abbey Road webcam will let you re-play your own crossing, just choose the hour it happened. Or you can watch it LIVE now.
https://www.abbeyroad.com/crossing#

But yeah, it's not at the same angle as having a friend nearly get hit by a car so they can take your photo :) which you can see people doing on the webcam :)

If you search #PaulMcCartney on Twitter, you'll see that he and James Cordon were just popping around Liverpool to film Carpool Karaoke :) on Saturday! :) A bunch of tourists were visiting Paul's childhood home, and out he came! The tour driver was stunned. Can you imagine giving that tour every day, and suddenly Paul shows up? So cool.

https://twitter.com/beatlesnumber9/status/1005509122492690432

https://twitter.com/davidlubel/status/1005455169470025728

https://twitter.com/scousescene/status/1005457432032808960

So it's quite possible those sights will become more popular after the TV show airs :)

Have fun,
-Alison

Posted by
139 posts

Yes, to me the childhood homes are a MUST, and you have to reserve ahead of time. If you do book them, would suggest a taxi tour of the rest of Liverpool Beatles sites, and you can have the driver skip the homes that you will see on the other tour.

Posted by
1220 posts

How many people are you traveling with? The Taxi tours become affordable with a larger number of people. The Magical Mystery Tour is a good alternative, it’s less than £20 per person and includes free admission to the Cavern if they’re charging the day you’re there.

There’s not much around Ringo’s home unless something has changed over the past couple of years, a lot of the area is boarded up awaiting redevelopment. The Empress pub has been closed, that’s featured on Ringo’s first solo album.

Posted by
82 posts

Hi Mike

I have been going to Liverpool 3-4 times a year on business for over 15 years now and I've done the Beatles tour several times with other colleagues who have traveled on business with me. The tour is a bit cheesy but still worth doing, especially if you are a Beatles fan. It takes you a number of places associated with the Beatles (including Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, Eleanor Rigby's grave, the houses that the Fab 4 lived in, etc.) and I think it takes a couple of hours. Then there is the Beatles Museum which is in Albert Docks, opposite the Hilton Hotel. It can be a fun museum to go to as well. The other place that people visit is the Cavern Club on Matthew Street where the Beatles used to play but not everyone realizes that the current Cavern Club is not the original place (the original place was on the other side of the street!). IMHO, the current Cavern Club is just a tourist trap and I tell people to avoid it. It sells overpriced beer to unsuspecting tourists! Just wander around Matthew Street and take pictures of some of the statues lining the street. If you feel the need for a beer, just go to one of the other pubs on the street (I can recommend Flanagan's which has live Irish music in the basement on some nights).

There are lots of other things to do in Liverpool as well, so enjoy yourself and have a great trip.

Penn

Posted by
1822 posts

Very much appreciate the advice; that's helpfu!. I wonder if some Liverpudlians resent the Beatles for partly overshadowing their fine city

Edit: I see a 4 hour taxi tour is only 65 pounds, which isn't bad. We could take the train from London and pick up the taxi at the station. I just hope making two connections enroute isn't complicated. There's three of us but of course I'm paying.