While the band's beginnings were in their hometown of Liverpool, that doesn't mean you can't find traces of their lives in London. In fact, once the band formed, the group headed to where the action was in the British capital, so there are plenty of places you can tour and photograph like a true fan.
In this article I'm going to tell you about all the Beatles-related tours and excursions you can do during your stay in London that you're sure to love. You have a lot to choose from, from walking tours, to tours that go all the way to Liverpool and of course the classic free tours and walks on your own. Also, I take the opportunity to recommend you the post what to see and do in London, so you can make a list of the best plans for your trip.
Shall we get into action?
1. Have fun with an amazing 100% private Beatles tour with a surprise guide
If you're looking for a great outing themed around your musical idols then this tour is perfect for you, as it combines the band's most iconic locations with drinks in 70s bars and a very special guide.
You will be able to appreciate the English capital as if you were one of the legendary members of the Beatles, and you will also learn about the history of the band and many curiosities that you probably didn't know.
I recommend you to look for souvenirs and distinctive gifts at Apple Records to remember his musical work forever, you will find hundreds of products, from t-shirts, pins, key rings and decorative objects! On the tour you will also visit Paul McCartney's old house to recreate in your mind how the members lived, their first steps and the rise to fame and world history.
You're probably a fan of the famous Abbey Road album and will want to recreate the iconic scene on its cover. You'll be able to cross the street like a real Beatle, and if you go in summer you can even do it barefoot like Paul did.
Are you up for it?
The tour also includes a stroll through Paddington Street Garden and a drink in a bar reminiscent of the 60's so you can feel like you've travelled back in time.
- Price: this experience can cost up to 230 euros, but as there are many companies offering similar tours you may find prices vary.
- Duration: the entire tour takes approximately three (3) hours from the meeting point with the guide to the end of the tour.
- Means of transport: the tour is mostly on foot, as you will be able to go from one neighbourhood to another without having to walk a long distance, but you are always asked to bring a metro card because some of the routes are done by public transport.
Advantages of this option
- Being able to tour the most emblematic sites with a famous and knowledgeable guide who has the best information is always a great advantage to learn about the history of the most popular band in the world.
- You'll save time as you'll have everything organised in advance and you'll only have to enjoy yourself to the fullest with your best Beatles playlist.
- The private tour gives you more freedom to ask questions and have a friendly chat with the guide.
Disadvantages of this option
- The tour is entirely in English so if you are not bilingual or your command of English is more of a beginner you may not be able to take full advantage of this activity.
- The tour is not wheelchair friendly.
- The cost of the tour is a major drawback, especially considering that most of the sites are free and accessible on foot.
2. Experience the magic of London with a Beatles-themed walking tour
If you want to see all the most famous Beatles landmarks in one amazing guided tour then you'll love this tour.
You'll be guided by an expert to all the key London landmarks that were part of the famous rock band's history. You'll see where they recorded, played and met the people who helped shape their lives and careers.
The tour will also take you to lesser known places, such as the house where John Lennon lived with his wife Yoko Ono and where the lyrics and music of 'Yesterday' came from. You'll also see Ringo's home and the Marylebone Record Office.
You'll visit the site of the famous rooftop concert at the band's old venue, and get a wealth of valuable information to get a real feel for Beatlemania.
Thinking of Abbey Road? You'll pass by and get your portrait taken on the legendary street - yeah!
- Price: the tour costs approximately 19 euros.
- Duration: in a total of two hours and thirty minutes (2:30) you will get to see all the Fab Four sights.
- Means of transport: you'll get from one place to another on foot but you may need a metro card.
Advantages of this option
- You will be with many other Beatles fans like yourself and will be able to swap stories and anecdotes with them.
- It's very affordable and you'll have plenty of time to take the best pictures and discover the highlights of the band's life.
Disadvantages of this optionIf you want to spend more time at each location, this tour might be a bit too short for you, as you'll spend about 20 minutes at each stop.
3. Have fun on an amazing private Beatles tour of London through Soho and Mayfair
Although, as I've told you before, the Beatles originated in their native Liverpool, it was in London that they began to dazzle the masses and the undisputed and most influential rock phenomenon in history was born.
It was in the famous The Cavern that they took their first steps to stardom and it was in the Abbey Road studio that they began their artistic career.
This tour will take you to all the sites mentioned above while an expert guide will tell you all the details of the Liverpool Four's career.
This tour is your chance to discover the places associated with the four fabulous musicians. The pubs, the clubs, the theatres, the recording studios, the filming locations and the houses will all come together in a tour full of Beatles memorabilia that will simply make you long for yesterday.
You will see:
- The birthplace of Beatlemania.
We start at the London Palladium where, after their appearance on Val Parnell's Sunday Night at the London Palladium on Sunday 13 October 1963, England as a whole sat up and took notice that this new group would be simply wonderful. It was time for the world to surrender to them! And so it happened.
- ** The place where Paul met Linda**
Take a nostalgic stroll down Carnaby Street, the epicentre of London swing in the 1960s, to see the club that was once a haunt of the Beatles after late night recording sessions and where Paul McCartney met Linda Eastman on 15 May 1967.
- The Great Oxford Street
The walk then meanders down Oxford Street to walk along a thoroughfare lined with fashion and luxury shops to reach the former offices of the Beatles' Apple Corps company.
- The rock band's last public performance
It was in the recording studios, then located in the basement of this magnificent Georgian house, that much of the last recordings of their film Let It Be were filmed. It was also from the roof of the building, in that same film, on 30 January 1969, that the Beatles gave their last public performance and brought traffic to a standstill.
- Price: This tour can cost up to around 37 euros, but remember that you can search online among many companies offering various rates and this number can vary .
- Duration: The average duration of the tour is four (4) hours.
- Means of transport: It is advisable to bring your own Oyster card or similar as you will be taking the underground but most of the tour will be walking.
4. Get rocking with a full day trip to Liverpool from London by train
You'll leave London early in the morning and make your way to the train station you've been assigned on your tour to get to the city of Liverpool, north of London.
Once there you'll get a slice of history of the city where the Beatles were born and visit The Beatles Story, an incredible activity designed exclusively for rock fans.
On the tour you'll enjoy the sights on top of the Magical Mystery Tour bus and discover all the sites that make sense of the band's story.
- Penny Lane and the Cavern Club where you can stop for a drink in the famous concert hall and soak up the energy of the place.
- Tate Liverpool and Merseyside Maritime Museum
- The Beatles Story, the world's largest permanent exhibition dedicated exclusively to the life and times of The Beatles. Located in the Fab Four's home city of Liverpool on the stunning Albert Dock, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Details of interest
- Price: the attraction costs approximately 190 euros.
- Duration: as the tour involves travelling to and from another city, the tour is a full day excursion and takes around 13:30 hours.
- Means of transport: to get to Liverpool you will have to take the train and then a tourist bus into the city.
5. Free tour to learn all about the history of The Beatles in London.
On this free tour you can enjoy the main Beatles related sites in London so you can follow in the footsteps of the fab four.
- Abbey Road, the most famous pedestrian crossing in the world.
Abbey Road was the eleventh studio album the Beatles recorded in 1969 at EMI Studios in North London at Abbey Road. London police blocked the road for 10 minutes, enough time for photographer Ian Macmillan to climb a ladder to capture the iconic image. As I was saying, it's probably one of the most famous pedestrian crossings in the world. It's a great place to take photos, even if it might generate some annoyance from local drivers.
- Abbey Road Studio
This is the studio where the album was recorded in 1969, and is actually the last album to feature all 4 members of the band. In fact, most of The Beatles' albums were recorded there throughout their career.
Abbey Roads Studio is still a working studio and is sometimes open to the public for tours and lectures. On the studio door you will find graffiti honouring the band, filled with song lyrics and words of love left by fans.
- London Palladium Theatre
The London Palladium Theatre is where the Beatles played on 13 October 1963. Their Sunday night appearance at the London Palladium caused quite a stir and the Daily Mail newspaper coined the term 'Beatlemania' for the fan reaction.
The last public performance was on the roof of their office building. On 30 January 1969 they performed on the roof and complaints of noise led to the police being called.
The free tour will take you to many places of interest and promises a guaranteed dose of fun.
Details of interest
- Price: Free tours usually have a donation at the end of the tour to donate to the tour leader.
- Duration: The tour lasts approximately two hours and thirty minutes (2:30) of walking.
- Means of transport: On foot
As you can see there are many tours and excursions dedicated to visiting the most emblematic places of the famous band and discovering all the secrets and anecdotes surrounding their growth and worldwide fame.
How to book a Beatles tour in London
All tours and excursions can be booked online. Remember that different companies have different cancellation policies and even weather policies as some attractions are the same on rainy days while others can be rescheduled.
Can I do other Beatles activities on my own?
The answer is yes! And not only can you do it, but it is also highly recommended to take a guided tour with a visit to some not so well known places that will take you to walk around the beautiful London and learn more about the history of the band.
Here are a few examples for you to discover:
A Hard Day's Night was the Beatles' first feature film and was released in 1964. It was filmed in and around London. A British musical comedy film that starts with John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr running towards the train station followed by a crowd of fans. This location is Boston Place on the east side of Marylebone station in London NW1.
The scene where the boys escape from a fire escape can be found at the back of the Hammersmith Odeon in W6.
The second film the Beatles starred in was Help. A British musical comedy adventure film from 1965. The story sees the boys struggle to record their new album while trying to protect Ringo from a sinister cult and a couple of mad scientists who are obsessed with trying to get one of his rings.
The locations of the boys' house in the film can be found at 5, 7, 9 and 11 Ailsa Avenue in Twickenham, Greater London, TW1 1NF. The jewellery shops where Ringo attempts to remove the ring can be found at 165-169 New Bond Street, W1.