The Beatles Trail Tour in Liverpool, Part II (Self Guided), Liverpool

Here in Liverpool, the Beatles seem to be everywhere! There are so many places associated with them in the city: childhood homes, schools, and bars. This tour takes you to some of the more popular stops for Beatles fans:
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The Beatles Trail Tour in Liverpool, Part II Map

Guide Name: The Beatles Trail Tour in Liverpool, Part II
Guide Location: England » Liverpool (See other walking tours in Liverpool)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.4 km
Author: irenes
1
George Harrison's Birthplace

1) George Harrison's Birthplace

George Harrison, lead guitarist of legendary Liverpudlian rock band The Beatles, was born at 12 Arnold Grove, in the Wavertree area of the city. The modest two storey terraced house, tucked away in a suburban cul-de-sac, is a world away from the fame and fortune Harrison found with the Beatles’ astonishing trans-Atlantic success. Harrison’s parents first rented the house in 1930, and paid just ten shillings, or around a dollar, in rent per week. George was the fourth Harrison child, and was born in the house in 1943, at the height of German aerial attacks on the city.

The house at 12 Arnold Grove no longer houses members of the Harrison family. They moved to a new council property when George was seven years ago. In his autobiography, the famously spiritual guitarist has recalled a tough upbringing in the home, with only a coal fire for heating, an outside toilet and rooms measuring just ten feet squared. Harrison is quoted as saying that, despite the cramped, unglamorous surroundings, the house was a happy family home for him and his siblings. Despite remaining a private residence, 12 Arnold Grove draws hundreds of Beatles fans each year, particularly following Harrison’s untimely death in 2001.
2
Mosspits Infants School

2) Mosspits Infants School

Mosspits Infants School is the first school little John Lennon attended from November 1945 until May 1946. It is situated at Woolton Road in Wavertree. Julia Lennon, his mother, raised him alone, so she found a part-time job in the nearby cafe, to be able to take him to classes and pick up after. Among its pupils also were Len Garry, Pete Shotton and Nigel Walley, members of the Quarrymen band, which evolved into The Silver Beatles and later in the legendary Beatles.
3
The First Home of John Lennon

3) The First Home of John Lennon

The first home of John Lennon, Beatles singer, songwriter and guitarist, and one of the 20th century’s most respected musical figures, is found in the eastern suburb of Wavertree. 9 Newcastle Road, a red brick terraced house, is located just a fifteen minute walk from George Harrison’s childhood home on Arnold Grove. Lennon was not born at the house, but at the Liverpool Maternity Hospital, in October 1940. He lived here only as a very young child; his parents, Alfred and Julia Lennon moved to another home in the city in 1942.

John Lennon, his parents’ first and only child, suffered a difficult upbringing from his very first days at 9 Newcastle Road. His father was a merchant seaman, frequently away from the home, and his mother Julia struggled to cope when he went absent without leave, cutting the supply of pay cheques to the family home. Lennon’s aunt, Mimi Smith, ultimately raised concerns with the local Social Services department. Lennon eventually went to live with his aunt and uncle at the Mendips, a semi-detached suburban house he saw as his permanent childhood home. Lennon praised the role of his aunt and mother in his upbringing, and many consider his troubled mother to be one of the greatest influences on his work.
4
St. Barnabas Church

4) St. Barnabas Church

St. Barnabas Church is a church in the Liverpool suburbs, made famous by the street it stands on – Penny Lane, the inspiration for one of the Beatles’ best loved songs. The church was frequented by Beatles songwriter and bass player Paul McCartney, who was even a member of the choir here. The church once had a hall further down the lane, which once played host to a gig from the fledging Beatles. The church welcomes Beatles fans from all over the world each year, and includes a wry nod to the band even in their church services – the altar is emblazoned with the famous Beatles lyric “We Can Work It Out”.

St. Barnabas Church is an Anglican church, serving the Mossley Hill parish. It has existed in its current home since 1914, having previously been housed in a temporary iron church, of which there were many in the early 20th century. The church holds communion on Sundays at 8.30am, 10.30am and 6.30pm, and Thursdays at 10.00am. There is also a morning prayer service on Tuesdays at 7.15am. If you would like to tread in the footsteps of McCartney, and can hold a tune, the St Barnabas Choir is still in operation, and meets every Thursday evening at the church.
5
Penny Lane

5) Penny Lane

Penny Lane, a fairly typical suburban shopping street in the eastern suburb of Mossley Hill, has become world famous thanks to the Beatles hit that bears its name. It was written by Paul McCartney, who attended St Barnabas Church on the street, and often met his childhood friend and fellow Beatle John Lennon here, before catching a bus into Liverpool’s city centre. The many sights referenced in the lyrics can still be found on Penny Lane, including a bus shelter, a barber shop and a fire station. Street signs bearing the famous name were stolen so regularly that the council began painting the street name onto buildings instead.

‘Penny Lane’ was released in 1967 as a double A-side single with ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, another song which references a Liverpool landmark. Beatles producer George Martin believed that it was collectively their finest single. It went to No.1 in the U.S., but only reached No.2 in the UK charts. The street has grown in stature as the result of its Beatles connections, and has become an attraction for tourists and locals alike. The street caused some embarrassment to council officials recently, when they proposed all Liverpool streets named after slave traders should be given new names, unaware that Penny Lane was named after local slave trader James Penny. The famous street kept its name, whilst others in the city were changed.
6
Dovedale School

6) Dovedale School

Dovedale School is an infant school located at Herondale Road, in the Dovedale suburb of Liverpool. It was founded in 1915 and has a good reputation due to its excellent staff. It became famous because John Lennon, George Harrison and Pete Shotton studied here. Additionally, it was Harrison's first school.
7
Quarry Bank Grammar School

7) Quarry Bank Grammar School

The young troublemaker John Lennon studied at the Quarry Bank Grammar School between 1952 and 1957. It is located in Mossley Hill, Liverpool, at Harthill Road and was founded in 1922. John's closest friend, Pete Shotton, also frequented Quarry Bank Grammar. Together, they broke all the rules: smoking, fighting, swearing, and so on. In 1956, a skiffle band called the Quarrymen formed. In the same year Ernest Pobjoy became the headmaster of the school. He allowed the band to play in the building's hall. He was the person who encouraged John in his interest in music and recommended him to the Liverpool College of Art.
8
Strawberry Field

8) Strawberry Field (must see)

Strawberry Field is a former Salvation Army children’s home in the Liverpool suburb of Woolton. Situated on Beaconsfield Road, a short walk from John Lennon’s childhood home, it closed in 2005 and is now a church and prayer centre. The building that existed during Lennon’s time in Liverpool opened in 1936, and was replaced in the 1970s. The name of the children’s home was used by Lennon in the single ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’. Released in 1967, it was the first song to be recorded for ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, considered by many to be the greatest album of all time. The song is regularly voted as one of the band’s five best.

The song does not directly reference the children’s home, but its hazy, summery melody is believed to be influenced by afternoons spent by the young Lennon in woodland behind the Strawberry Field grounds. Lennon also attended the home’s summer fête with his aunt each year; she has claimed that he would listen to the Salvation Army marching band warming up from his bedroom window. The gate post, featuring the words ‘Strawberry Field’ in red and white paint, is an attraction for Beatles fans visiting the city, and is covered in graffiti from fans that have visited from across the world.

The Salvation Army is planning to open Strawberry Field to the public for the first time, allowing visitors to explore the grounds. There will be a new centre featuring a training centre for young people with special educational needs, and a new exhibition space dedicated to the story of the place and the song ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’.

Why You Should Visit:
Not much more than a field with a bright red gate and sign, but it's a cool photo op!

Tip:
Try and do it as part of the whole Beatles 'experience' and/or dedicated tour.
9
Mendips – John Lennon Home

9) Mendips – John Lennon Home (must see)

251 Menlove Avenue, otherwise known as Mendips, was the childhood home of Beatles star John Lennon, one of the UK’s most renowned musicians. A 1930s semi detached property typical of the Liverpudlian suburbs, it is now preserved by the National Trust and features a blue plaque above the living room window. Lennon lived here with his aunt and uncle, Mimi and George Smith, between the ages of 5 and 22. He arrived here as an only child with an absent father and a troubled mother and left as the leader of one of the world’s most exciting rock and roll bands.

Despite the importance Lennon has placed on his stable childhood at Mendips, the National Trust did not wish to buy the property, as unlike Paul McCartney’s nearby childhood home, no Beatles songs had ever been composed here. Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, intervened, buying the house and then donating it to the National Trust. It was restored to its 1950s appearance and opened to the public in 2003. The National Trust allow access to Lennon’s childhood home as part of a minibus tour, running from Wednesday to Sunday each week. Visitors also visit Paul McCartney’s childhood home in Allerton and tour several other Beatles attractions in the local area.

Tip:
Don't just turn up, as there is no entry allowed to the house for casual visitors. You need to book – and book early!
You should also get to the pick-up point early so that you can get on the minibus first and take the front or middle seats.
10
St. Peter's Church

10) St. Peter's Church

St. Peter’s Church in Woolton, to the east of Liverpool city centre, is one of Liverpool’s largest parish churches. A neo-Gothic building first opened in 1887, it is most famous for its connections with the Beatles. A village chapel in the 19th century, the church built a new home for itself following Woolton’s expansion into a large suburb of Liverpool. It has a 90ft high bell tower which is the highest point in the entire city.

The church is famous as the first meeting place of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Lennon was performing at the church hall on a July evening in 1957, in his skiffle group The Quarrymen. He was introduced to McCartney during an interval, and soon afterwards asked him to join the band – who eventually became the four-piece Beatles. Lennon and McCartney went on to write numerous No.1 hits, and are almost indisputably seen as the greatest songwriting partnership in the history of rock music.

Lennon also sang occasionally in the church choir. His aunt was a regular attendee here, and his uncle, George Smith, is buried in the churchyard. The cemetery also houses the grave of one Eleanor Rigby, a scullery maid who died in 1939, and who is believed to be the inspiration for the song of the same name.

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