Here Comes The Sun are words that were not often spoken in Liverpool. Luckily, Beatles fans aren’t visiting for the weather.
There’s no better place to get to know the band than their old stomping grounds.
Whether you’re a casual listener or the most ardent fan of the Fab Four, no trip to Liverpool is complete without ticking off a few landmarks of the city’s most famous export.
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If you’re not sure where to start, I’ve sorted a pretty comprehensive list of Liverpool’s best Beatles ‘Things to Do’.
Consider Taking a Tour
A considerable amount of Beatles attractions are some distance apart and not easily walkable. If you have more time then there are plenty of public transport but if you’re short one time it’s easier to let someone else take the reins. Take all the stress out of roaming the city and hop on a tour that will guide you to all of the most iconic Beatles locations.
I honestly can’t recommend fab4taxitours enough. Kevin was our wonderful tour guide, who grew up in Liverpool when the Beatles first started gave fascinating stories about the city and the Beatles. His passion, knowledge and own stories really made the tour! You travel to all the main attractions in a taxi – the tour takes over three hours to complete.
The taxis are limited to a maximum of six people per tour. It’s £130 per cab, so the more people on the tour, the cheaper it is. Book here.
Magical Mystery Tour
The Magical Mystery Tour takes you to all of the Beatles’ – including George and Ringo – childhood homes, their schools, and St Peter’s Church. You also get the chance to step off the colourful bus at Penny Lane and Strawberry Field.
The two-hour tour, organised by Cavern City Tours, costs £19.95 for adults and ends at the famous Cavern Club.
You’ll need a Ticket to Ride; Book one here.
Liverpool Beatles Walk
There is plenty of choices when it comes to Beatles walking tours in Liverpool. You can choose to explore different locations within the two-hour slot, as some tours focus on the waterfront, others on Woolton.
Prices vary quite a bit – some tours are free – but they all have one thing in common: you will be led around Liverpool by a passionate and knowledgeable guide, who will undoubtedly tell you something about the Beatles that you didn’t know before.
The Beatles Statue, Pier Head
Donated by the Cavern Club and designed by sculptor Andy Edwards, the Beatles have been cast in bronze on the waterfront since 2015.
The slightly larger-than-life statue captures the spirit and laid-back swagger of the group perfectly as they walk together along Pier Head. There’s an astonishing level of attention to detail from the sculptor.
Look carefully and you will discover little talismans that represent something significant for each member of the band.
- On Ringo, you can see a tiny 8 etched into his shoe, alluding to the L8 postcode of his childhood home in Liverpool.
- George has a Sanskrit inscription along his belt in a nod to his spiritual beliefs.
- Paul is holding a camera, which is likely a tribute to his marriage to photographer Linda McCartney.
- John holds two acorns cast from outside the Dakota Building in New York, where he lived with Yoko Ono.
It’s often used as a starting point for any Beatles pilgrimages across Liverpool. Other Beatles statues include:
The John Lennon Statue
Casually leaning against a wall close to the Cavern Club, this popular statue on Mathew Street just oozes cool.
The Eleanor Rigby Statue
Not far from the John Lennon statue, the morose and solitary figure of Eleanor Rigby is dedicated to “all the lonely people”.
The Beatles Story, Albert Dock
Walk 10 minutes along the waterfront from the Pier Head statue and you will find the largest permanent exhibition dedicated entirely to the band in the world; The Beatles Story.
The award-winning exhibition isn’t your average museum – it’s not just a collection of items locked away in glass cabinets. You can walk through replicas of the Casbah, Mathew Street, Abbey Road Studios and The Cavern, all built to look as if they were straight out of the 60s.
It’s an immersive experience seeing these iconic locations as the Beatles would have known them. The Beatles Story also contains an authentic replica of the Sgt Pepper suits, made by one of the original designers.
Tickets are £17 for adults. Book here.
Rock Out at the Cavern Club
This iconic venue is often cited as the birthplace of the Beatles. It’s certainly the place they honed their skills and became the Fab Four of John, Paul, George and Ringo.
The ‘most famous club in the world’ saw the rise of the Beatles from unknown rookies to local heroes. The club opened as a jazz club, but soon became the centre of Liverpool’s rock-and-roll scene. The Beatles performed at the Cavern Club over 290 times.
Perhaps the most important connection the band would ever form was made here. The manager that helped launch the band to worldwide success, Brian Epstein, first saw the Beatles at the Cavern Club. It was through this relationship that the band secured their first record deal.
You can see some of Liverpool’s up and coming musicians at the club – there’s live music every night of the week.
If you want an exclusively Beatles-themed experience at the Cavern Club, join one of the behind-the-scenes tours.
Though the original building was demolished, many of the old bricks were used in the rebuild.
Four Lads Who Shook The World Sculpture
On the wall outside of the Cavern, Arthur Dooley’s sculpture is thought to be the first Beatles statue ever erected.
For years, Strawberry Field was a private property, inaccessible to fans. It was first and foremost a youth centre, acting as a children’s home for the Salvation Army.
The site is now an award-winning exhibition, though supporting youth is still at its heart.
Immortalised by John Lennon in Strawberry Fields Forever, the site has become a huge attraction for Beatles fans. John grew up close to the home and used to scale the walls to play with the children on the grounds. Posing in front of the iconic red gates is an inescapable necessity for any Beatles fan in Liverpool.
Inside, you will find John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ piano, on which the timeless song was composed and recorded. An early draft of the lyrics of Strawberry Fields Forever written in John’s handwriting is also part of the exhibit.
Adult tickets are £10.95
The year is 1967, and the Beatles are about to produce one of the single greatest years in music history. The list of hit songs written by the band this year is truly unprecedented – and that’s without even including the release of one of the most iconic albums of all time, in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Released on a double A-side single with Strawberry Fields Forever, Penny Lane quickly became another worldwide hit. The song saved the actual Penny Lane from being renamed. People flock to the street to pose with the street sign – and see lyrics like “the shelter in the middle of a roundabout” come to life.
The Beatles’ Childhood Homes, National Trust
Go back to where it all began for John and Paul, and explore the homes they grew up in.
Now in the care of the National Trust, both Mendips and 20 Forthlin Road – the childhood homes of John and Paul respectively – can be explored on a tour led by an official guide. Other tours will take you to the outside of the buildings, but if you want to venture inside it will be with a National Trust guide.
The houses are the kind of unassuming and humble homes typical of the average family in Liverpool. None of the Beatles came from places of privilege. John, who lived with his Aunt Mimi on Menlove Avenue, was the only one of the four who could arguably be called middle class.
Wandering their homes really puts into perspective the incredible achievement of the four lads who shook the world.
Both John and Paul had difficult childhoods, marred with tragedy – and the tour gives you some insight into their life before fame. Some of the Beatles earliest songs were written within these four walls, including Please Please Me and She Loves You.
Tickets for the tour, which runs from March to November, are priced at £29 for adults. This includes both homes and transportation between the two.
Ye Cracke – John Lennon’s Favourite Pub
Follow in the footsteps of the Beatles and down a pint at Ye Cracke, a strangely named but friendly 19th-Century pub.
Ye Cracke is one of Liverpool’s lesser-known Beatles spots – its connection to the history of the band is through only one member, John Lennon. This was one of John’s favoured local pubs – he was known to appear fairly regularly, sometimes bringing a date.
He formed a band called ‘The Dissenters’ with three local lads at the pub; Stuart Sutcliffe, Bill Harry and Rod Murray. The group of art students were unimpressed with a poetry reading they had just heard and decided to form a group that would put Liverpool on the map. This was all promised after at least a few drinks, however, and the impromptu band never played even a single note.
It’s strange to think: if ‘The Dissenters’ had taken off, The Beatles may have never existed.
Hard Days Night Hotel
If you want more than just a mere visit to a Beatles experience, you should try spending a night in one. The Hard Days Night Hotel opened in 2008 – much to the delight of hardcore fans everywhere – becoming the only Beatles inspired hotel in the world.
Each room of the luxury hotel features commissioned artwork of the Beatles. There are little nods to the band all over the building.
The Hard Days Night Hotel sits adjacent to the Cavern Club, making it the perfect place to round off a night of Beatles-themed revelry.
The Casbah Coffee Club
The Cavern Club might be the most famous venue associated with The Beatles, but according to Paul McCartney, the Casbah Coffee Club is the one they considered their “personal club”.
If you want to see the “place where all that started”, as McCartney phrased it, you have to visit this unique basement venue. Back before the Beatles, when John, Paul, George and Ken Brown were known as the Quarrymen, they used to perform here. The club was started by Mona Best, mother of Pete Best, as a members-only club for her sons.
When the Quarrymen first arrived to book the venue, they even helped decorate the walls.
Like their childhood homes, the club shows the humble beginnings of the band. Before they were propelled into superstardom, this is all they were; just a young band playing in the basement.
Tickets are £15 for a tour. You can occasionally even catch some live music.
Liverpool Beatles Museum, formerly known as Magical Beatles Museum
If you’re looking for a huge collection of the Beatles’ personal items and memorabilia, head to the Liverpool Beatles Museum on Mathew Street.
The museum and collection is the work of Roag Aspinall-Best, brother of Pete Best, the “Fifth Beatle”.
You walk along the museum’s bright and colourful hallways on a journey through the bands’ history. As well as housing memorabilia, the museum gives a thorough breakdown of the Beatles story, year by year.
With over 1000 rare items housed under one roof, you could spend hours here.
A few of the items found in the Liverpool Beatles Museum:
- George Harrison’s Ukulele
- The Beatles’ first drum kit
- Stage clothes from the band’s time in Hamburg
- A pair of John Lennon’s glasses
Tickets are £15 for adults. You can book tickets on the website.
The Yellow Submarine(s)
For those arriving by plane, you will see the unmistakable sight of a yellow submarine soon after landing at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
The sculpture was built in 1984 for the International Garden Festival by a group of young apprentices – it was so popular that it’s been a fixture in Liverpool since then. It was retired from public view after its condition deteriorated, but the huge sculpture was eventually restored to its former glory in 2005.
It’s had pride of place at the airport ever since.
Yellow Submarine Hotel
After a hard days night, where better to lay back and relax than inside a yellow submarine. It’s certainly not the cheapest of overnight stays in Liverpool, but it is probably the most memorable.
Floating in Albert Dock, the fluorescent yellow sub is decked out in luxurious 1960s fashion, with gold discs lining the walls and furnishings imported from Paris and Italy. It’s a once in a lifetime kind of stay – where else could you be given the chance to live in a yellow submarine?
Wander Around Woolton Village
Woolton is yet another place that could claim to be the birthplace of The Beatles. The Church Hall is where John Lennon first met Paul McCartney; they were introduced to each other by mutual friend Ivan Vaughan, on July 6 1957.
John often performs as part of The Quarrymen in the hall, but on July 6 it was Paul’s turn to impress. He played a few songs to the group and a few weeks later was invited to join. The rest, as they say, is history.
Many places in Woolton have links to John – this is, after all, the neighbourhood he grew up in. You can walk from his Mendips home to Strawberry Field, or Reynolds Park, where he played as a child. The library, baths and picture house were all a feature of John’s childhood.
Just wandering around the street of Woolton will give you a sense of his upbringing, even if the neighbourhood has changed quite a bit since the 50s.
The Church Hall has the clearest connection with the band’s origin, but St Peter’s Church has its own piece of Beatles lore…
Find Eleanor Rigby’s Grave, St Peter’s Church
The desperately sad figure of one of the Beatles’ most famous songs, Eleanor Rigby is a name synonymous with loneliness.
But the possible inspiration behind the woman who “Died in the church and was buried along with her name” is located in the graveyard of St Peter’s Church. Paul McCartney used to cut across the church grounds with John Lennon to reach the hall behind it. Paul stated that the idea for the name came from the combination of an actress and a shop, though he later admitted the gravestone may have subconsciously played a part.
There is little to suggest any link between the real Eleanor Rigby and McCartney’s version – the character is fictional – but the gravestone is an interesting connection to the Beatles nonetheless.
You will find the gravestone in the section of the cemetery to the left of the church, in the second row closest to the road.
Let it Be
Speaking words of wisdom: any true Beatles fan has to visit Liverpool at some point in their lives. You don’t have to cram in everything I’ve mentioned here, but make sure to visit at least a few! They’re an unmissable part of the city’s culture.
If you’re looking for places to eat or non-Beatles related activities, check out my guide to A Day in Liverpool. Be careful though – after eating all that delicious food, listening to I Am the Walrus starts hitting a little too close to home.
Hi, I'm Kat, an Australian that moved to London in 2013 to start a new adventure. What a roller-coaster that was! I love helping others move to the UK and people explore the world! I’d be honoured if you’d say, “Thanks!” with a £3 coffee on Ko-fi.