The Photo Edit: The Beatles Tour in Liverpool

“We’ve got two girls here from Dublin in Ireland, so we’ll be expecting them to lead the sing-song”. Paul, the tour guide had memorised everyone’s home cities. And suddenly, at that moment, it was a dangerous time to be Irish…

As the bus departed the Albert Dock it was as if our resident Beatles expert had hit the rewind button. Modern-day Liverpool rolled away and we were immersed into the history and sounds of the late 1950s when four local lads first joined musical forces…

First Stop: Penny Lane, L18

Travel Edits | The Photo Edit: The Beatles Tour in Liverpool

Penny Lane

This unassuming suburban road was immortalised in the 1967 song of the same name. Most of the locations named in the song are very much in evidence and still can be found at the top of Penny Lane in the area known as Smithdown Place. John, Paul and George passed through Penny Lane every day on their way to school which is why it was very much “in their ears and in their eyes”, as the song goes…

Strawberry Field

Travel Edits | The Photo Edit: The Beatles Tour in Liverpool

Strawberry Field

This was one of the most surprising revelations – I (and I assume I’m not alone here) always thought Strawberry Fields Forever was an abstract, trippy piece of whimsy dreamt up by John. But it’s an actual place. When John was a child, Strawberry Field was a Children’s Home that belonged to the Salvation Army. The old Victorian mansion used to host an annual summer fete and it was the highlight of the young John’s year. His unstable upbringing meant he empathised with the orphan children who lived there. When Yoko Ono visited Liverpool in 1984, Strawberry Field was one of the first places she took their son, Sean.

10 Admiral Grove L8, Toxteth/ Home of Ringo

Travel Edits | The Photo Edit: The Beatles Tour in Liverpool

Admiral Grove, Toxteth, Ringo Starr's former home

Richard (Ringo) Starkey lived here until his career as a Beatle catapulted him to London in 1963. Ringo’s mother and second husband continued to live in the house until 1965 but were forced to move to a quieter suburb when ‘Beatle Mania’ exploded and fans and press became increasingly intrusive.

12 Arnold Grove L15/Home of George

Travel Edits | The Photo Edit: The Beatles Tour in Liverpool

12 Arnold Grove

The youngest Beatle, George was born at 12 Arnold Grove and lived here until 1950 when the growing family relocated to a bigger house situated at 25 Upton Green, Speke. George’s father Harold was a bus driver and George got to know Paul when they both travelled on the same bus into school at the Liverpool Institute.

20 Forthlin Road L18/Home of Paul

Travel Edits | The Photo Edit: The Beatles Tour in Liverpool

20 Forthlin Road, former home of Sir Paul McCartney

The McCartney family moved to 20 Forthlin road in 1955. It was while living here that Paul formed a close friendship with John (who lived quite nearby) and the house became a venue for Paul and John to rehearse and write music. In November 1995, 20 Forthlin Road was bought by the National Trust. The house is only open to the public on set dates during the year.

251 Menlove Avenue L25 ‘Mendips’/Home of John

Travel Edits | The Photo Edit: The Beatles Tour in Liverpool

251 Menlove Avenue 'Mendips'

The house known as Mendips is where John Lennon lived with his aunt Mimi and uncle George between 1944 and 1963. In 1957, Mimi bought John his first guitar. However, she disapproved of his musical ambitions and only allowed him to play guitar in the porch of the house. John and his wife Cynthia lived here until after the birth of his son Julian. They moved to London in 1963. In 2002 Yoko Ono purchased the house and donated it to the National Trust.

The Cavern Club, 10 Mathew Street

Travel Edits | The Photo Edit: The Beatles Tour in Liverpool

Beatle Week, The Cavern Club

Finally, no trip to Liverpool (or indeed Beatles Tour) should be considered complete without a visit to the club where it all started, The Cavern. The Cavern first opened its doors as a jazz club in January 1957. In August 1957, John Lennon’s skiffle group, The Quarry Men first appeared here. The Beatles made their debut in The Cavern on February 9th, 1961 and last appeared together on stage in the club on August 3rd 1963. Over that period they performed an impressive 292 times. Their ‘lunchtime’ sessions were widely regarded as their best performances. It was during one of these shows that Brian Epstein witnessed them for the first time and approached them with the intent of becoming their manager. The rest as they say is history…

Listening to the tour guide reel off stories about their path to glory I couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if John had gotten a ‘proper job’ like his aunt always wanted or Paul and George had never met on the school bus or if Ringo hadn’t taken over those drums from Pete Best… it seems some things just happen for a reason.


  1. 26th June 2012 / 12:02 am

    oh my god, i am having flashbacks. the first time i ever traveled internationally was for a 10 day beatles tour of london & liverpool. it was called the magical mystery tour and as a 13 year old, it was both amazing and humiliating. looove this post. xo! the romantic

    • Fiona
      26th June 2012 / 7:07 am

      Haha! Yes same tour!! Fortunately we didn’t actually have to sing- great tour though, would recommend:)

    • Fiona
      26th June 2012 / 7:09 am

      Hi Sarah the tour is called The Magical Mystery Tour – a must do if you ever visit Liverpool and you’re interested in learning about the Beatles!

  2. 26th June 2012 / 11:27 am

    love this! all the pics are great. i REALLY need to spend more time discovering the UK.

  3. 26th June 2012 / 12:22 pm

    I enjoyed this.
    Incredible to see George’s house. I’d have thought it would have been turned into an exhibition centre or Beatles museum, not just left as an ordinary terraced house with (presumably) someone living in it . Fancy living in the house George Harrison was born in – how to impress your mates! 🙂

    • Fiona
      26th June 2012 / 12:40 pm

      Yes Andy – an elderly lady still lives in the house – has to be praised for her patience though with all the tourists (like moi) taking pics. Will be interesting to see what happens to the house in years to come, I’d imagine the National Trust might get involved, as was the case with Paul and John.

  4. 26th June 2012 / 2:45 pm

    Wonderful pictures! The tour seems to be an absolute must for Beatles fans, and for the rest a nice way to see another neighborhood. Nice write-up!

  5. 26th June 2012 / 4:39 pm

    Sometimes I feel like the only person in the world that isn’t a fan of The Beatles. Even so, I enjoyed this piece and the backstory of each band member. They are such a significant part of music history and that I can appreciate.

  6. 26th June 2012 / 9:39 pm

    Wow, what a cool tour! I had never wondered what their childhood homes were like but now I want to take the tour! Cheers!

  7. 27th June 2012 / 2:10 am

    Very cool. I don’t know if I could visit liverpool and NOT do this tour.

  8. 30th June 2012 / 12:59 pm

    I really love tours like this. It gives such insight to the author, musician, actor, or whatever, to know where they came from. It really makes things come together better in my mind. Thanks for taking me on this tour with you. 🙂

  9. 30th June 2012 / 1:36 pm

    I used to live near Penny Lane, and though I never took any Beatles tours, I do have a photo of myself with the street sign. 🙂 I’m glad the houses haven’t been turned into complete tourist traps and you can get a sense of what they were like to actually live in.

    Fiona, is there a U2 tour of Dublin? Hate to admit it, but I’d probably do one if there was. 😉

  10. 10th July 2012 / 12:32 pm

    I love this!! I can’t believe I’m from Liverpool and have never done this tour x

  11. 26th July 2012 / 5:04 am

    I went to university in Liverpool so your pictures have brought back wonderful memories for me.

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