The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour

Liverpool Travel Blog

 › entry 8 of 16 › view all entries
Whee!
There are places I remember...

The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour wasn't until 2pm.  I thought the timing was perfect as it gave us this morning to check out the other places I had planned to visit, particularly the Liverpool Football Club Souvenir Shop (no, I'm not into football), Liverpool Cathedral (Anglican) and the Metropolitan Cathedral (Roman Catholic).  I may have failed to mention that aside from train stations, I also have a thing for churches.  Old churches.  Not that I'm religious.  It's about on their aesthetic appeal than anything else.  So we set out to catch the hop-on, hop-off City Sightseeing bus which seemed to be the most practical way to go about our plans provided we were at the bus stop on time.
World Museum


Back at Albert Dock, we made it just in time for the bus which comes every half hour.  We passed a lot of landmarks - the Town Hall, Queen Victoria Statue, the World Musseum, Lime St., among others and got off at the Queens Square station at the city center and made for the football club merch store for some gift shopping.  Conscious of the time we could take, we did a quick run through the store and paid up right away.  As we exited the store, a man stopped us to do a quick survey on smoking.  We figured we had enough time so why the hell not.   In no time, we were back at the bus stop and waited for the bus.  And we waited.  And waited.  And waited.  We kept checking our watches as we knew the bus comes every half hour and surely, we didn't take that much time in the store and doing the survey.
Metropolitan Cathedral
..did we?  Well, we obviously did as it was almost an hour since we got there when the red double decker finally drove up!  Time lost, but no matter, 2 more stops should't take all morning.

Next stop was the Metropolitan Cathedral.  Prior to the mid 1800s, Catholicism was only practiced in secret, but as the Catholic population increased dramatically due to the migration of the Irish following a potato famine in 1847 (this is too funny!), the need for a cathedral arose. Construction began a few years after.  There was much contention and delay thoughout the ages and what we find today at Hope Street is the fourth and modern reincarnation, completed in the 1960s.  Took a number of shots of both the and interior, said a quick prayer and we were off.
Altar
  But alas, not quickly enough as we found the bus driving away as we approached the bus stop.  Well, the Anglican Cathedral didn't seem too far away.  It's just on the other end of the street and we had a good view of it from the Met.

So off on Hope Steet we go, passing what we didn't know to be landmarks such as the Liverpool University, the Philharmonic Hall, the nursing home where Florence Nightingale once worked, and the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts which had a rather interesting outdoor sculpture of cases and things.  On one side was a mound of guitar cases where Paul and John's names are inscribed.  Hmmm....ok, time to get cracking.

The Anglican Cathedral was now just across the street and boy is it HUUUUUGE.  The gargantuan structure is the third largest cathedral in the world, with the Vesty Tower hovering 101m above sea level.
Liverpool Anglican Cathedral
  It's so massive it made me feel like a midget ant standing right in front of it.  Constructed in the 1800s, it was designed by a 22year old.  Swit Jisus.  As we were debating the location of the entrance, propped up right there to direct us.  But because M and I are illiterate, instead of turning right where the main entrance was, we walked left round the entire block and entered through the St. Peters Gardens entrance.  It was a ways off, yes, taking us back all the way to the other side where we originated (only this time were we inside the premises!), but at the same time, we were at least able to admire the sunken gardens and the gravestones that line it from ground level.  Had we zigged instead of zagged, we would've used up all our time inside the cathedral and completely missed walking down the garden path below.
Garden entrance


The morning has so far been quite tiring and whimsical (if this blog had a soundtrack it'd be something you'd hear at the circus), yet full of blessings in disguise.  Now, if we could only catch that damn bus back to Albert Dock.  And what do you know, we walk out the gates and it's there!!  It's there, driving off in the other direction...WTF.  I was so tired at this point I don't even remember if we walked or cabbed it back to Albert Dock.  I don't even remember if we had lunch.

In any case, we made it in the nick of time.  Halleluiah.  Must've been all those church visits that saved our day, hahaha.

Finally, the highlight of Liverpool - the Magical Mystery Tour - the very reason for making the trip in the first place.  It takes you to the various landmarks in the Beatles' lives and early career, around the city and in the suburbs where the boys grew up.
Here comes the bus!
  And again, the bus! I just HAD to ride that psychedelic bus!!  It starts out at Albert Dock by the bus stop near the Beatles Story.  I had been warned the day before while buying our tickets that the usual vintage bus may not be in service for the day's tour, so imagine my delight when I saw it driving up the road!  So like the dork that I am, I literally jumped, yelped, whipped out my camera and snapped away.

We hopped on and strangely enough, Waiting for a Star to Fall by Boy Meets Girl was playing.  Funny, I didn't remember signing up for the "One Hit Wonder Tour," and this is the right bus...Thankfully, Ticket to Ride started to play as we headed off into the suburbs.  Though there are only 4 stops on the tour, we drove past a lot of landmarks as entry to these places was not permitted -- The Dingle - the area where Ringo grew up & fronted by the Empress Pub, Dovedale Primary School (where John and George went), St.
The Empress Pub
Peter's Church -- where Eleanor Rigby is burried and where John and Paul met at a 1957 fete, Sefton Park, etc.  First stop was George Harrison's home.  It's lived in now so viewing is limited only from the outside.  Not much else to see or do there but get a photo by the door.  It's interesting to note that the owners refused to have a blue heritage plaque placed on their wall by the Liverpool City Council.  It's obvious they have their reasons, and if it's to keep tourists like us at bay, it certainly isn't working.

From here we drove to Beaconsfield Road in Woolton, to the site of the Salvation Army orphanage round the block from where John lived, more famously known as Strawberry Field.  John used to attend the summer fetes they had annually and loved to hang around and play in the woods behind the building.
Strawberry Field
  His Aunt Mimi would always question all the time he spent there to which he would reply (and later used in the song), "it's nothing to get hung about."  Strawberry Field remained a childrens' home until 2005.  The City Council has yet to decide what to do with the property, but they have confirmed that the original red gates and painted sign will remain as they are, literally making it Strawberry Fields Forever.  Awww...

Moving on, we made our way to the homes of John Lennon at Mendips (the name given to the house by its previous owners, and in this lower middle-class part of town the houses had names, not numbers) and Paul McCartney at 20 Forthlin Road.  Both properties are now owned by the National Trust and are the exclusive operators of the homes' tours.
Mendips - John Lennon's house
  As with a lot of places, no photography is allowed inside.  Since we were only able to drive by John's and view Paul's from the outside on the Magical Mystery Tour, we decided to book the National Trust tour for the following day.

Driving up to Smithdown Road we found ourselves going round the famous roundabout where the barber shop, the bank and the firestation were located back in the day. They're completely different establishments now and are not exactly on Penny Lane (it's a few kilometers down the road). Their hometown was obviously an endearing part of John's and Paul's childhood that they drew upon the places they frequented for inspiration.

After a quick stop at the actual Penny Lane, we head back to the city center, driving by places the band used to roam and seem strangely familiar - Hope Street, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Anglican Cathedral.
20 Forthlin Road - Paul McCartney's house
  Grrrrr.  But ok, frustrating as it may seem, I'm glad at the turn out of day's events, which would've otherwise prevented us from doing any thorough exploriation and documentation.  Other landmarks included the Empire Theatre where the band had their first major gig, the Odeon where A Hard Days Night was premiered and other sites along the way. The tour ends at Matthew Street (also called Beatles Street).  It's really narrow, resembling more of an alley.  This is where the Cavern Club is located and is now lined with Beatles-inspired pubs, bars, shops, walls of fame and various other memorials.  And finally, right off the other end of Matthew Street is where you'll find the statue of Eleanor Rigby sitting on a bench.  We capped off our day shopping for more Beatles merch and dined at The Grapes, where the band would hang out pre and post Cavern Club gigs.
Penny Lane


Liverpool certainly possess a charm of her own, but it's really those four young lads that breathed life into this charming little city, putting her on the map.  I love her, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Whee!
Whee!
World Museum
World Museum
Metropolitan Cathedral
Metropolitan Cathedral
Altar
Altar
Liverpool Anglican Cathedral
Liverpool Anglican Cathedral
Garden entrance
Garden entrance
Here comes the bus!
Here comes the bus!
The Empress Pub
The Empress Pub
Strawberry Field
Strawberry Field
Mendips - John Lennons house
Mendips - John Lennon's house
20 Forthlin Road - Paul McCartney…
20 Forthlin Road - Paul McCartney…
Penny Lane
Penny Lane
Where to now?
Where to now?
And down we go!
And down we go!
Exhibition sign
Exhibition sign
Metropolitan Cathedral
Metropolitan Cathedral
Metropolitan Cathedrals stained g…
Metropolitan Cathedral's stained …
Stained glass ceiling
Stained glass ceiling
Left side
Left side
Right side
Right side
Cathedral paintings
Cathedral paintings
Childrens Chapel
Childrens' Chapel
View from the Metropolitan Cathedr…
View from the Metropolitan Cathed…
Liverpool University
Liverpool University
Liverpool University
Liverpool University
On the way to the Anglican Cathedr…
On the way to the Anglican Cathed…
Philharmonic Hall
Philharmonic Hall
I forgot what this is, hee :D
I forgot what this is, hee :D
Liverpool Institute of Performing …
Liverpool Institute of Performing…
A Case History
"A Case History"
LIPA sculpture...
LIPA sculpture...
...of cases & things...
...of cases & things...
...about its famous past
...about its famous past
Maccas guitar case
Macca's guitar 'case'
Graveyard
Graveyard
St. James Gardens
St. James Gardens
Vesty Tower @ 101m
Vesty Tower @ 101m
Tunnel to the main entrance
Tunnel to the main entrance
Gravestones all along the way
Gravestones all along the way
Main entrance
Main entrance
Window above the main doors
Window above the main doors
Stairs
Stairs
Altar
Altar
Altar detail
Altar detail
Ceiling
Ceiling
Nave
Nave
Nave
Nave
Choir stall?
Choir stall?
Clergy seats
Clergy seats
Sorry its blurred
Sorry it's blurred
Those two are Ms & mine!
Those two are M's & mine!
Neil, our guide
Neil, our guide
Vintage interior
Vintage interior
Making our first stop
Making our first stop
No Lucy up there
No Lucy up there
Arnold Grove
Arnold Grove
No.12 - George Harrisons home
No.12 - George Harrison's home
Me at Strawberry Field
Me at Strawberry Field
Strawberry Field
Strawberry Field
Strawberry Field circa 1950
Strawberry Field circa 1950
The street where Julia died
The street where Julia died
Forthlin Road
Forthlin Road
Bus stop round Pauls house
Bus stop round Paul's house
Woolworths - where Cynthia Powell …
Woolworths - where Cynthia Powell…
Barbers, bank, fire station & rou…
Barber's, bank, fire station & ro…
There beneath the blue suburban sk…
There beneath the blue suburban s…
Empire Theatre
Empire Theatre
Lime St. Station
Lime St. Station
Making our final stop
Making our final stop
Matthew Street
Matthew Street
Matthew Street
Matthew Street
John Lennon statue
John Lennon statue
The Cavern Wall of Fame
The Cavern Wall of Fame
Wall of Fame plaque
Wall of Fame plaque
The Cavern Pub
The Cavern Pub
The Cavern Club
The Cavern Club
The Cavern doors
The Cavern doors
Coming down?
Coming down?
Inside the Cavern
Inside the Cavern
Stage
Stage
Liverpool Wall of Fame
Liverpool Wall of Fame
Beatles bench
Beatles bench
Writing on the wall - sPLaniff!
Writing on the wall - sPLaniff!
Liverpool Wall of Fame
Liverpool Wall of Fame
Plaque
Plaque
The Dooley Statue
The Dooley Statue
Beatles statue in the Cavern Quart…
Beatles statue in the Cavern Quar…
Beatles statue in the Cavern Quart…
Beatles statue in the Cavern Quar…
Plaque
Plaque
The Grapes
The Grapes
The opposite end of Matthew Street
The opposite end of Matthew Street
Eleanor Rigby statue
Eleanor Rigby statue
Eleanor & I
Eleanor & I
Liverpool
photo by: monkeymia79