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Reference Library: London and Liverpool Guide

From: (LIMOH)
Subject: Places to see in London and Liverpool!
Date: 29 Jan 1996 18:50:39 -0500

Making a trip to England? While in London and Liverpool, be sure to see:

Abbey Road/EMI Studios - The building itself is so unimpressive, I walked right past it the first time I was there. But once you realize you're standing on the steps where so many famous photos were taken years ago and just a few feet away from where Love Me Do, I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "All You need Is Love" were recorded, you won't want to leave. Then, just up the road, you can walk the crossing used for the Abbey Road cover. Just be careful! It's a busy intersection!

You'll also want to see 3 Saville Row, the former home of Apple Records and the site of the famous "rooftop session" in 1969. When you see what a small, residential-type street this is, you'll realize why that "concert" was so special.

Also, stop by the former EMI building at 20 Manchester Square. This is where the cover shots for "Please Please Me" and the red and blue albums were shot. EMI was moving out when I visited there last, but the famous railing where the Beatles were photographed is still there. It's in front of the building, right above the entranceway, enclosed in glass now. Ask someone from the building and they'll tell you where to look.

(Update: Unfortunately, I believe the stairway is no longer there. -dh)

The London Palladium, The Royal Albert Hall, and The London Pavillion, all sights of major Beatle events. You'll be amazed at how "unimpressive" these places actually are to a regular tourist's eye. The magic for us Beatle people is what happened there 25- 30 years ago. In fact, much of London is that way. Don't be surprised to find that no one really cares much about the Beatles there. There are no signs that say "The Beatles played here" or John Lennon drank a Guiness here." It's basically a pretty depressed city, much like New York.

If you plan to travel to Liverpool, be sure to buy train tickets in advance. You'll save A LOT of money that way. I saved $70 with a $3.00 phone call from NY to Liverpool. Ask for the APEX special and be prepared to leave London by 9AM. The trip is about 3 hours. If you're lucky, you can get seats with a table for cards or to eat a boxed lunch. On the way, you'll see a lot of nice countryside. Just remember to suck it all in, because you may never go back!

Once at Liverpool's Lime Street Station, take a cab to The Albert Dock, sight of the Beatle Museum (it's good, but not great) then buy your tickets there for The Magical Mystery Tour, a bus trip that takes you through Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, and all the Beatle's Liverpool sights you've ever wanted to see. The only thing the tour misses is the Cavern Club and the little Beatle "shrine" that has been built around it. After the tour, you can walk or take a cab over to Mathew Street and spend as much time in front of the Cavern and all the other Beatle pubs and shops as you want. Pick up a copy of The Beatles Liverpool at the museum gift shop if you need to know where to find things. Also, if you're a real fanatic, try to find a copy of The Beatles London for a list of hundreds of Beatle sights in and around London. Most of these spots won't be of interest to casual fans, though.

PS: While you're in London, be sure to visit all the usual tourist sights as well. If you're from America, it's very interesting to see where we came from (and, perhaps, where we went wrong!)


From: (MemSale)
Subject: London & Liverpool Tips (long post)
Date: 16 Feb 1998 18:37:35 GMT

To All Prospective London/Liverpool Travelers:

I've been asked by so many people for tips on traveling to London & Liverpool that I've decided to post this for all to read:

First off, if you plan on making a trip to Beatle country, do it SOON! Both London and Liverpool are going through major changes and, sadly, a lot of the Beatle sights are disappearing. There's a great book called The Beatles' London that covers something like 1,000 Beatle sights in and around London, but, quite frankly, most of them are a waste of time. Keep in mind, it's been 30 years since we saw London in A Hard Day's Night. Does YOUR town or city look the same as it did 30 years ago? Neither do most of the sights highlighted in the book.

The three Beatle-related places I would visit if you go to London would be:

1. Abbey Road. The studio and the crossing make just such an amazing sight. It's NOTHING like you'd expect. The crossing seems about two feet long when you're standing on it. I guess the Beatles were just "larger than life" and that's what made the street look so wide on the Abbey Road album cover! Also, it's a rush to stand in front of the studio where virtually every major Beatle hit was recorded!

2. The EMI London headquarters in Manchester Square. EMI was moving out the day I was there the first time. But the last time I went (February) the EMI sign was still up and the building was vacant. Sadly, the original balcony rail where the photos for "Please, Please Me" and the red and blue albums were taken have been moved to the new EMI building, so you can no longer see the real thing. There's a new one there, though, and it's cool to see the photographer's perspective. Once again, it's nothing like you'd imagine!

3. #3 Saville Row, the former offices of Apple Records and the site of the famous rooftop concert in Let It Be. Walking down this street, you'd never know that this was the place you saw in the film. It's eery to stand in front of it, though.

While you're in London, be sure to visit Picadilly Circus, where you can't miss the London Pavillion, the site of all the Beatle film previews. The famous pictures of those Hard Day's Night and Yellow Submarine openings with the big banners hanging from the marquee were all shot right there. Again, it looks a lot smaller in real life. Don't bother with the London Pavillion's "Rock Circus" wax museum, though. It's a waste of time unless you're really bored.

And, of course, while you're in England, be sure to see Liverpool. But call Britrail WELL IN ADVANCE and ask about special "Apex" fares. The trip from London can cost as much as $96 pounds (about $150) or as little as $19 pounds (about $30). DON'T FORGET TO DO THIS WEEKS BEFORE YOU GO!!!!!

The trip to Liverpool is 3-hours long and pretty boring, but the place itself is really awesome. They're tearing down a lot of the old buildings you've seen in those old Beatle films and replacing them with modern shopping malls, but you can still get a feel for the place the Beatles and Gerry & The Pacemakers, etc. all grew up. Definitely take The Magical Mystery Tour (say hi to Eddy, the tour guide!) for the best overall look at the place. It'll take you to all the places you've ever heard about, including Strawberry Fields and even the barber shop on Penny Lane. Stay on 'til the last stop and visit the Cavern with Eddy. He knows all the locals there and will probably end up introducing you to a Quarryman or two! (The "Quarrymen" was the name of the band John, Paul, & George had before they were called The Beatles. Most of the original members still live and drink in Liverpool.)

If you're over 25, the Cavern CLUB, which is actually a replica of the original, now demolished, club next door, will really be a drag. It's a teenage disco now and most of the patrons don't give a damn about the club's history. But, across the way, there's a place called The Cavern PUB, which is where all the old Beatle-connected musicians, etc. hang out and reminisce about the old days. They LOVE talking to tourists about how this one helped Paul write "One After 909" and how that one got beat up by John once. Who knows if it's all BS or not, but who cares? Liverpool's a great place!

The Beatles Museum at the Albert Dock is OK, but nothing great. You see, the same company, "Cavern Tours, Ltd." owns the museum, the bus tour, and, basically, all of the clubs and shops on Mathew Street, where the Cavern Club is, so they've kind of commercialized it a bit. My advice is take the tour, then hang out at the Cavern Pub til closing time, which, by the way, is 11PM.

There's a great, inexpensive hotel in Liverpool called the Campanille. I'd recommend it highly. Also, don't worry too much about crime and all the stories you've heard. Liverpool is just like any other city. I live in New York, so it's like Disney Land to me. But if you live in Boston or New Hampshire or anyplace like that, you'll find Liverpool to be pretty much the same.

Finally, while you're in London, don't forget to visit the usual tourist sights like Parliament, Big Ben, and the British Museum. It's amazing stuff to see!

Hope you make the trip soon! Have fun!

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