Beatlemania in Liverpool- Our Guide to the Magical Mystery Tour
The UK was my home for nearly two years and in that time, hubby and I were blessed to explore the countryside and discover all that England has to offer…so this of course included the home soil of the fab four – Liverpool. I was so excited to visit this town where the Beatles became an overnight sensation and see just where some of the most well-known songs were inspired. And how better than to take the “Magical Mystery Tour.”
What is the Magical Mystery Tour?
This bus tour is exclusive to Liverpool and takes guests on a 90-minute sightseeing trip pointing out various sites significant to the members of the Beatles.
Drivers get patrons in the mood by playing many a Beatles tune while offering informative commentary as we pass landmarks throughout town. The trivia and interesting information leaves guests entertained as well as educated.
The first stop of the tour was Ringo Starr’s childhood home.
We were able to get off the bus and grab a quick photograph and then continue along. We couldn’t get too close as new residents occupy the apartment. Sadly it was raining in the morning of our tour and photographs resulted in a somewhat blurry finish. As we snapped photos, Octopus’s Garden serenaded us through Ringo’s neighborhood and kept us entertained as we proceeded to George Harrison’s neck of the woods.
George Harrison’s childhood home was around a small corner, inaccessible by the bus; however, our driver was so kind to let us get off and walk around and take a discreet photo to respect the privacy of the current owner. It was amazing to see the very modest digs of these 4 superstars. As we approached the infamous home, “Here Comes the Sun” was the tune of choice. After a quick stop, the bus proceeds to the world famous Penny Lane.
I’m sure you are all familiar with this catchy tune. Strangely enough, it is the tiniest little street, that changes its name across an intersection. There was nothing really to this street except its notorious fame in the lyrics of the song. It’s crazy how musicians are inspired in their songwriting isn’t it!?
The bus stopped in front of the white street sign for everyone to get a photo proving they’d been there. It was explained to us that the boys captured this street in their music, though small and insignificant to the average visitor, as they met many a girl and had many a walk to the small cafe at the end. I am glad I got that important “been there” photo, but really, there was nothing worth mentioning on this street…heck, not even a Starbucks graced it.(hahaha.)
“Penny Lane was in my ears and in my eyes…” yep, really that’s all you can say about the importance of this street…the creation of an ever infectious earworm….
After Penny Lane, the bus takes you to another very iconic landmark in the Beatles musical history. An orphanage that John Lennon frequented. He would visit the orphanage and peer over its walls. It truly was a sanctuary for him full of trees and peace; acres of land as far as he could see that he truly became close to as a child. This legendary place you would know from the following song:
“Let me take you down, cuz I’m going to….Strawberry Fields….”
That’s right. There really is a Strawberry Fields in Liverpool. Nowadays it is photographed by beloved fans everyday, is the recipient of love notes by the thousands written upon its walls, and is currently on the list of restoration projects initiated by his widow, Yoko Ono, in an effort to keep John’s legacy alive. This landmark is so important, that in New York City, there is a dedicated area of Central Park set as a memorial for John and named appropriately”Strawberry Fields.”
I loved the Strawberry Fields stop. When you get out of the bus and set foot near the gates you cannot help but embrace the area and understand how it could inspire a song. You are allowed to write a note on the wall so we added a sentiment quoting his duet with Yoko, Give Peace a Chance. We continued on and until we arrived to Paul McCartney’s home, I could not stop singing “Strawberry Fields.”
Paul McCartney’s home was gated and on the outskirts of Liverpool. Now a National Trust site appropriately, his home had an official sign of tourism and ample space for a fan photo. The earworm associated with this landmark was none other than, “Hey Jude.”
The Magical Mystery Tour proceeds after Paul”s home to the church where John and Paul first met! It was an interesting landmark to say the least. When there, if you look hard at the gravestones within the cemetery across the street, you will see additional song lyric inspiration- The headstone of Eleanor Rigby!
Nobody knows 100% if the Beatles knew Eleanor Rigby personally, her significance to the band, or whether this grave was actually who inspired the song. However, it is definitely a coincidence that nobody can prove otherwise 😉
After seeing the church, you are returned to the starting station. This tour was exceptional for the die-hard Beatles fans that we are. When you go, be sure to bring some extra cash to buy those essential Beatles souvenirs. Everything from magnets, to old ticket stubs, to clothing and everything you could possibly want…it is the largest selection of Beatles memorabilia in the world!
Where to Stay?
To round up your Liverpool experience, be sure to stay at the Hard Days Night hotel. The rooms are beautiful with artwork above the bed and throughout the rooms, as well as rare Beatles artifacts scattered around the entire hotel.
For dinner, enjoy a delicious meal at the Hard Days Night Hotel’s restaurant. The food is great in the restaurant with exclusive hard days night wine and a menu with a large variety of choices.
Other Sites to see in Liverpool!
Besides the Magical Mystery Tour, Liverpool has lots to offer visitors.
Sculptures – Do check out the unique book sculpture located in the heart of the city centre. It was created in honour of the Beatles by a local artist.
Secondly, head further in the city centre and get a photo beside the Life-size photo of the Mop Tops. Bronze and beautiful, this statue is a must while in Liverpool.
Go to a Soccer Game- Enjoy a game watching the Liverpool Football Club play against one of the many competing teams! Grab a jersey prior to the game at the newly renovated open concept shopping mall!
Lastly, enjoy an evening of music and entertainment at the Cavern Club! Identifiable with the John Lennon statue at the door, this little club was the home of many early gigs performed by the Beatles prior to the British Invasion to North America. Sit in this nostalgic venue and enjoy a fun evening of drinks and tunes.
We hope you have the most memorable time in Liverpool! Although this city is mainly visited to relive Beatlemania, enjoy the town for everything that it is- a quaint and thriving beauty.
Enjoy Nostalgic Music Landmarks? Check out my Recommendations for London here.
Contemplating a Rock n roll tour in London? See our Top 5 sites here.