Beatles Pub Crawl (Self Guided), Liverpool

You have lots of pubs in Liverpool, all different in character, with some claiming that the Beatles drank or played there at some point. The lads performed in many small venues in and around their hometown, but the venues they performed in were often not the places where they enjoyed their drinks. Take this self-guided walk to see some of the legendary pubs that John, Paul, George and Ringo either frequented or played in, have a pint and ask people questions – you'll get some very entertaining answers, and more than a few stories!
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Beatles Pub Crawl Map

Guide Name: Beatles Pub Crawl
Guide Location: England » Liverpool (See other walking tours in Liverpool)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Author: irenes
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • The Cavern Club
  • The Grapes Pub
  • The White Star Pub
  • The Jacaranda
  • The Blue Angel Nightclub (The Raz)
  • Ye Cracke Pub
  • The Philharmonic Dining Rooms
1
The Cavern Club

1) The Cavern Club (must see)

Opened on 16 January 1957 as a jazz club and later becoming a center of Liverpool's rock-and-roll scene in the early 1960s, the Cavern Club became closely associated with the Merseybeat music genre and, famously, regularly played host to The Beatles in their early years, initially as part of the weekday "beat sessions" at lunchtime.

The Beatles made their first appearance at the club after returning to Liverpool from Hamburg, Germany where they had been playing at the Indra and the Kaiserkeller clubs. There and then, on Tuesday, February 9, 1961, they were signed up as the club's resident lunchtime group, working in alternation with Gerry and the Pacemakers. Narrow, cobbled, uneventful Mathew Street thus began to lead an unexpected new life in daylight hours. At noon, Mondays to Fridays, a four-abreast line would begin to form at the Cavern's hatchlike entrance, growing by the minute until it stretched back past the warehouses and delivery trucks and piled-up fruit crates, eighty-odd yards to the junction with Whitechapel. Inside, there was no "security" whatsoever, and no alcohol was sold either at lunchtimes or at night, only coffee and soft drinks.

From 1961 to 1963, the Beatles made 292 appearances at The Cavern. By summer of 1963, "Beatlemania" was sprouting across England, and with girls demanding to see the Beatles and screaming just to get a glimpse of them, the group had to hide or sneak into concerts, and the small club could no longer satisfy audience demand. So on 3 August 1963, the Beatles made their final appearance at The Cavern.

In the decade that followed, a wide variety of popular acts appeared at the club, including The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, The Hollies, The Kinks, Elton John, Black Sabbath, Queen, The Who, and John Lee Hooker.

Even if you're not that bothered about the Beatles, The Cavern is a must-visit experience when in Liverpool. The live music is still brilliant, and the door charge of £2.50 per person after noon is not much to pay for such a historic place.

Why You Should Visit:
To check out the most legendary cellar club on the planet that has been the beating heart of Liverpool’s iconic music scene for over seven decades, visited by millions of people from all over the world passing down its famous stairway.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Wed: 10am–12pm: FREE; 12pm onward: £2.50
Thu: 10am–12pm: FREE; 12–7pm: £2.50; 7pm onward: £4
Fri, Sat: 10am–12pm: FREE; 12pm–8pm: £2.50 (no re-entry); 8pm–2am: £5 (no re-entry)
Sun: 10am–12pm: FREE; 12pm–8pm: £2.50 (no re-entry); 8pm–12am: £4 (no re-entry)
All Day / All Night ticket (re-entry allowed) from Fridays to Sundays: £6, £5 or £4 in advance
2
The Grapes Pub

2) The Grapes Pub

One of the main reasons why British pubs have such peculiar names is that the first pub signs were pictorial, as many of the customers could not read at the time. These were some of the earliest logos – a Roman taberna, for example, was marked by a vine or perhaps a bunch of grapes, and there are plenty of pubs called The Vines, the Grapes or the Bunch of Grapes around, especially in cities associated with the wine trade.

Liverpool has seemingly dozens of Grapes, the best-known probably being the one in Mathew Street, diagonally opposite the world-famous Cavern Club, where the Fab Four used to refresh themselves before or after a gig. They were joined by other bands just off their gigs, as well: Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Big Three, The Searchers and the Swinging Blue Jeans. When the queues of predominantly teenage fans stretched down the street, whatever the weather, The Grapes was guaranteed to be always crowded – particularly as the Cavern was an alcohol-free venue.

Although it doesn't look the same as it did in Beatle days, The Grapes on Mathew Street is clean, has sufficient amounts of comfortable seating available, as well as karaoke. One moment you can be listening to someone strangling animals with their voice and by the very next song feel like you've stumbled upon a singer who might be the next big thing. All the while, people out for the evening are content to just carry on supping their Guinnesses and catching up like it's no big deal.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Wed: 12pm–2am; Thu: 12pm–3am; Fri, Sat: 11am–3am; Sun: 11am–2am
3
The White Star Pub

3) The White Star Pub

No trip to Liverpool is complete without a visit to the backroom of The White Star, one of Matthew Street's longest-running pubs, traced back as far back as 1880 and named after the shipping company of Titanic fame. A crowded locals pub on matchdays, otherwise a quiet boozer housed in a traditional Victorian building, it features lots of Liverpool memorabilia and a connection, obviously, to The Beatles.

The pub is known as the place where the Fab Four played their first gig, also where Alan Williams and Bob Wooler (the original deejay of Cavern Club across the road) would pay their artists. Every once a while, the Beatles would come here to receive their money after their Cavern performances, and in that backroom, there is a wall decorated with Beatles memorabilia, known as the "Beatles back wall".

For any overseas visitors looking for a proper English pub, The White Star is still the absolute real thing. The bar staff are friendly and the ales on sale are top class, all well kept and promptly served. Oftentimes, there are visitors to Liverpool drinking alongside locals who want to share their personal experiences and memories of the Fab Four. The only downside is that food is not available.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 11:30am–11pm
4
The Jacaranda

4) The Jacaranda

A famed music bar founded by the first manager of the Beatles, Allan Williams, The Jacaranda – or simply Jac – has been an important part of the Liverpool music scene since 1958. Another must-see spot on any Beatles tour, it is the place where the band used to rehearse, play and hang out when they were called The Silver Beetles.

As soon as the four met Allan Williams, they hounded him for a chance to play at the venue. Allan agreed with one condition: they must paint the place. John and Stuart painted the lady's toilets, and the band would start rehearsing in the basement. Without those hours of rehearsal time, it is unlikely they would have become the stars we know today. After a dozen or so performances at Jacaranda, for which they were paid with free drinks, Allan became their manager and booked their first Hamburg tour.

Reopened and refurbished in 2014, The Jacaranda has once again put itself at the epicenter of unsigned music of the city. With the famous open mics on every Thursday and Sunday, there are live bands playing every Friday and Saturday from 8pm.

Upstairs is now home to Jacaranda Records – a distinctly unique concept that combines vinyl, coffee and cake! With vinyl record players sunk into the tables, you can listen to a huge range of music whilst enjoying an incredible range of cocktails and hot drinks selection. The club is also home to a 1948 voice-o-graph machine that records a track directly to vinyl; one of only two in the world open to the public!

Opening Hours:
Tue, Thu, Fri, Sun: 5pm–5am; Mon, Wed: 5pm–2am; Sat: 1pm–5am
5
The Blue Angel Nightclub (The Raz)

5) The Blue Angel Nightclub (The Raz)

Especially popular amongst university students, this Liverpool institution, known locally as The Raz, is revered by many as equally as it is feared and loathed. Historically a jazz club, it was at one point owned by the Beatles' first manager, Alan Williams, and served as setting for the band's first audition for a tour outside of Liverpool, but also for the band's original drummer, Pete Best. During his time managing the club, Williams refused entry to Bob Dylan and is said to have ejected Judy Garland.

Nowadays, Blue Angel is the type of place where you can have a good dance and enjoy a few drinks, granted you have a few hours and a reasonable number of friends. It is not the kind of club you spend your entire night in if you're planning to stay out for more than a few hours. In essence, The Raz works as either a starter club or an end-of-the-night, last resort kind of place, to enjoy a few drinks with friends as well as a guilt-ridden dance to cheesy pop music (the guilt-ridden dance is, of course, optional). Just make sure you don't wear anything white, or any pricey footwear!

Opening Hours:
Fri, Sat: 11pm–6am; Mon: 10pm–6am
6
Ye Cracke Pub

6) Ye Cracke Pub

A proper unspoiled back street pub, Ye Cracke trades on Beatles connections, like many other places in Liverpool. Actually, its artistic history goes a little further back; it was home to the Mersey Beat scene, a group of poets and artists who aimed to emulate the late 1950s New York Beat scene. That scene nurtured the Beatles and others but the only real Beatles connection is that as a louche, leather-jacketed student at the nearby Art College, John Lennon used to hang out here to sit at the feet of Adrian Henri, Arthur Dooley, and other poets and artists. His girlfriend Cynthia, who was also an art student, started joining him later.

Still full of unconventional arty types seeking inspiration in some local brew, Ye Cracke is much more than just Lennon's old hangout – it boasts a great jukebox to put some tunes on, a magnificent secluded beer garden, and one of the city's best-kept secrets – the historic and atmospheric War Room, which is a Grade II listed space where war veterans once sat and recited old war stories.

Grab a pint, walk around, absorb the old-world ambiance, and then talk to the locals who frequent here – you will be warmly accepted!

Opening Hours:
Mon-Thu: 12–11pm; Fri: 12pm–12am; Sat: 1pm–12am; Sun: 1–10:30pm
7
The Philharmonic Dining Rooms

7) The Philharmonic Dining Rooms

If you're looking for somewhere in Liverpool to grab a drink or a bite to eat, you won't find a more lavish setting for a quick pint than the Philharmonic Dining Rooms. Built in 1900 and a public house for its entire existence, the Phil (as it's known locally) is recognized as one of the most spectacular pubs in the UK. Specializing in fine wines and real ales from Scotland, it stands on the corner of Hope Street and Hardman Street, diagonally opposite Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall.

One of several public houses added to the city in Victorian times, the Phil stands out due to its unusual exterior, with an apparently random series of bay windows and lofts, all rendered in ashlar stone. The interior boasts wood paneling to rival any first-class saloon on the great transatlantic ships, while gentlemen's urinal stalls are carved from a very rare type of rose-colored Irish marble. The Grade II listed pub's main entrance is surrounded by a black and gold wrought iron gate, designed in the Art Nouveau style by H. Bloomfield Bare.

****BEATLES PUB CRAWL WALK****
Another of John Lennon's favorite pubs during his youth; in fact when asked about the price of fame, he once quipped, "Not being able to buy a pint at the Phil". As for Paul McCartney, he performed here both as a young musician and during an impromptu concert in 2018.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 11am–midnight; Sun: 11am–11pm

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