Okay, I hold my hands up. I admit it. I am a bit of a Beatles nut. Yes, I may be a little too young to remember their music first time around, but my Mum was a huge fan and her passion for their music just seemed to rub off on me. Let’s face it, when you spend your childhood listening to ‘Please Please Me’ on repeat, it starts grow on you.
It’s understandable then, that the Beatles tour of Liverpool has a pretty firm place on my bucket list. With the current economic climate making foreign travel less financially attractive by the second, 2012 seems like an ideal time to hit up the Beatle’s iconic haunts.
So I’ve been looking up some decent Liverpool hotels, trying to source the cheapest train tickets I can muster and looking up the top places to see to get my Beatles fix.
I’ve whittled it down to these places – is there anywhere I’ve missed?
251 Menlove Avenue (named ‘Mendips’) was the childhood home of John Lennon.
Lennon lived there until he was 22 with his Aunt Mimi and her husband George Smith. While no Beatles songs were actually written here, the property still holds a great deal of significance for Lennon and Beatles fans the world over.
The house was donated to the National Trust by Yoko Ono, and it was opened to the public in 2003. It has been renovated especially to look like Aunt Mimi’s original home, so you can get a really good feel of the place where Lennon grew up.
20 Forthlin Road
The childhood home of Paul McCartney, 20 Forthlin Road is often marketed as “The Birthplace of the Beatles” as this is where the band wrote and rehearsed some of their earliest songs.
The place is now a hive for Beatles-mad tourists, who can have a look inside for £20 per adult / £5 per child. For more information, see the National Trust site.
The Casbah Coffee Club
The Casbah was a regular spot for The Quarrymen – a band that consisted of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Ken Brown, which would eventually evolve into the Beatles.
The group wanted to play the venue so badly that they helped the owners paint it so that it could be opened sooner. A lot of the murals the band painted – consisting of spiders, rainbows, and other doodles – are still intact today.
The inspiration for one of the Beatle’s most well-known songs, Penny Lane is near Lennon’s childhood home of Mendips, where he and McCartney would meet to catch the bus into town.
The lyrics mention “the shelter in the middle of the roundabout”, which refers to the old bus shelter. While the shelter was initially transformed into an exciting Beatles-themed cafe, it is now in a sad state of disrepair.
Strawberry Field was a Salvation Army Children’s home near Lennon’s childhood home. Lennon spent much of his childhood playing in the wooded area behind the home with his friends, which served as the inspiration for the Beatle’s 1967 hit “Strawberry Fields Forever”.
These are definitely on my ‘to see’ list, but are there any other places I should hit up for the true Beatles experience? Tell me about them in the comments below!