Liverpool Day 2 -The Beatles - Where it all Began
The Magical Mystery Tour - There are Places I Remember
I think a bus tour is always a relaxing thing to do on a city break? You just sit there, let someone else do all the navigating and driving and just drink in the atmosphere of the new place you are visiting.
The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour is a great way to visit all those places you heard about in the Beatles’ song lyrics. Their music accompanies you all the way and you can stop at all the right places for your must have photos.
Your Magical Mystery Tour departs from the Magical Mystery Tour Ticket Office, Anchor Courtyard, Albert Dock, Liverpool L3 4AS. We joined an early tour departing at 10am to give us more time to explore the rest of the city during the afternoon.
The two hour ride takes you around all the famous Beatles spots in the city. You will see all the Beatles childhood homes, stop at Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields. It is a good way of seeing the City’s suburbs too and getting more of a feel for the atmosphere of this city.
All the song lyrics will come back to you as you imagine the Beatles hanging out by the bus stop, writing about everyday life in Liverpool’s suburbs – watching the daily goings on at the Penny Lane barber shop, the fire station and the children’s home at Strawberry Fields.
Beatles Childhood Homes
Paul McCartney - Beneath Blue Suburban Skies
When they moved from a post war council estate in Speke to their lovely new home in Allerton, Paul McCartney’s Mum and Dad probably never dreamed it would one day boast a National Trust property sign – they would have been well chuffed?!
The council were keen to do a good job with the new housing estate. The doors in 20 Forthlin Road had ebony knobs and brass fittings. The inside toilet was a real boon after the freezing outdoor privy in Speke. Paul’s Dad had a little garden to grow dahlias snapdragons in too – Heavenly!
The best acoustics were in the bathroom. Many of those lovely songs that you’ve always known all the words too were written right here, in this neat and unassuming little family home.
Two thirds of Liverpool’s homes were destroyed or badly damaged during the Liverpool blitz in 1941. The McCartneys lived in a post war prefab in the immediate aftermath of the war. Solid little houses built to give families some hope and a roof over their heads in the difficult times post war.
It’s no wonder that young people were more than ready to embrace a little Beatle mania when they hit the music scene 1960?
John Lennon - "Mendips"
Paul McCartney had a nice house – but John Lennon’s was (comparatively) “proper posh”. It was the sort of suburban semi that every working/middle class family dreamed of owning at the time. Why was it a “posh” house?
- It had a name as well as a number – Mendips
- It had bay windows – wow – all that extra space!-
- It had a porch – imagine that …
The acoustics were pretty good in that porch and many happy hours were spent rehearsing there.
George Harrison - From Humble Beginnings
George Harrison’s birthplace was an ordinary little terraced house on the sort of street you find everywhere in Northern Britain’s cities.
This street has a real community feel – being a good neighbour is really important to Liverpool’s friendly people.
Tips for Future Travellers
If you want to get a look inside Paul McCartney’s and John Lennon’s houses rather than just admire the outside walls, you need to pre book a tour with the National Trust. The Tour departs from Liverpool South Parkway Station and numbers are limited to 4 per visit at the moment, so you would need to book well ahead.
The tour costs £27 (at the time of writing) and lasts 2 hours.
We wouldn’t have had enough time to fit this into our 3 day itinerary – but it is a good reason to come back. You might want to allow longer if you are planning your own trip and want to incorporate this?
The Cavern Club - This is Where it All Began
Best of all, the tour finishes at the Cavern Club. Your ticket gives you free entrance to the Cavern Club (normally £5), so you can save that up for cocktail hour later!
In days gone by, walking down into the depths of this dark little basement room pub would have treated your nostrils to an unforgettably intoxicating mixture of disinfectant, smoke, sweat and hotdogs. The fans didn’t mind though – everyone was having a ball enjoying the freedom of the new music scene emerging and indulging in Beatles mania.
These days, it’s a warm and friendly place with open arms waiting to welcome you inside. So, allow yourself enough time to enjoy a bevvy or two and listen to some live music (11.30 am onwards). Live music has been playing every day here for the last 60 years – ever since it all began in fact.
Stop for a minute and take in all the famous names of the music world who have played at this the Cavern Club over the years. They adorn the Wall of Fame just opposite.
Lunch - Foodie First - Peawhack
Lunch time – a good time to try another good old Scouse favourite – Peawhack.
Peawhack is a hearty and very satisfying soup made with peas, leeks, ham and lentils. Click on the link opposite for the recipe.
Scousers always had a stockpot on the boil in the kitchen. Whack almost anything left over in and enjoy all the warmth and goodness of a home made soup/stew.
It is boss scran.
The Beatles Story
To explore the lives of The Beatles and learn all about their journey to world fame, a visit to The Beatles Story is definitely a “must do”.
Walk through The Cavern Club and The Yellow Submarine. Relive the fascinating story of how the iconic psychedelic Sergeant Pepper Album Cover was created. Follow them through India and the meditation journey they took there. Finally, pause by the famous White Room to Imagine and reflect for a while.
It struck me that The Beatles story is rather the opposite of The Titanic’s. For The Beatles, the time was right, the talent and determination was there and Lady Luck intervened so that everything fell into place and magic happened. The rest is history.
For the passengers and crew of The Titanic, no-one believed that that beautiful ship could ever sink. Tiny – but with hindsight – all important little details were overlooked. Lady Luck was asleep that night when the ship hot the iceberg and disaster followed. Sadly, the rest is also history.
As Winston Churchill wisely commented: “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
Cocktails - The Cosy Club
There are so many options for cocktails in Liverpool that you are spoiled for choice. The Cosy Club (37c Paradise Street, L13EU) accommodated us very well and was just a short step from our hotel.
If you like classic cocktails, they will gladly mix you a James Bond style vodka martini – shaken, not stirred – if you request.
Bistro Franc, 1 Hanover Street, Liverpool L1 3DN made a good choice for Dinner with French bistro inspired cuisine and w good menu choice on offer.
Glad I packed
My selfie stick.
Souvenir I am Glad I Bought
The psychedelic John Lennon bins – £3.50 a pair from The Beatles Story. Bargain!