The Beatles may have called Liverpool their home, but London played an important part in the band’s career that forever changed the course their history.
Growing up a long way from London, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr often dreamed of one day performing a show or two in the English capital. But little did they know just how much their music would be tied in with London’s thriving music scene and influence on pop culture.
Some of the most pinnacle and important events that forever changed the course of their careers happened in London. Not only did they have their last ever performance near Soho, John Lennon also met his future wife Yoko Ono in London as well.
If you’re a hardcore Beatles fan and want to see each and every Beatles-related attraction in London, or even if you want to do something a little different other than a visit to the usual monuments and landmarks in central London, here are some of the many places you could check out to get your Beatles’ fix in London.
First and foremost, if you only have time for one Beatles attraction in London, then make it Abbey Road. And obviously, getting a photo of you walking across the iconic Abbey Road crosswalk just like the Fab Four did for their 1969 album cover is a must.
It’s easy to spot the famous zebra cross walk as there’s usually a group of tourists gathering along either side of the street, snapping photos of their friends or loved ones as they cross Abbey Road; (not to mention lines of cars patiently waiting for them to finish as well).
Located just a stone’s throw away from the Abbey Road crosswalk is none other than Abbey Road Studios, which is also the location where the band recorded nearly all of their albums like 1962’s Love Me Do, and obviously 1969’s Abbey Road.
While you’re in the area, you could also take a 7-minute stroll to 7 Cavendish Avenue, which Paul McCartney bought in 1966, and he still owns to this day. Although he doesn’t live at the address, fans used to sleep outside this door hoping to catch a glimpse of him.
There’s also a Beatles souvenir shop located at the St. John’s Wood underground station if you want to pick up a few Beatles-related knick knacks as well.
Soho is essentially the birthplace of Beatlemania (as this is where the term was first created, after all), and given Soho’s ties with the rock ‘n roll culture of the 1960s, there’s obviously going to be a few Beatles sites scattered all throughout this glitzy neighbourhood.
Not only are the Fab Four featured in the famous mural titled The Spirit of Soho, you can also walk right up to the headquarters of McCartney Productions Ltd., Paul’s business organization. The quite average-looking tall brown building is located across the street from Soho Square (at 1 Soho Square, to be exact), is actually the key location for Paul’s business empire, which includes a recording studio in the cellar. Fans are not allowed to enter the building, however, but if you’re going to catch a glimpse of Macca himself during your visit in London, it will probably be here.
Also, nestled between Mayfair and Soho is another famous Beatles’ address, 3 Saville Row. Not only was it the location of the Beatles’ final performance in front of an audience which took place on January 30th, 1969, it’s also where the album recorded their 1970 Let It Be album (on the rooftop, to be exact). This also the location of the Apple Headquarters, and The Beatles once had offices here as well.
If you have time, you could also make a quick stop at the British Library, where you can gawk over some of the rarest Beatles artefacts in the world such as John Lennon’s hand-written lyrics for “In My Life,” “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “She Said She Said.” Here you can also find an original Beatles Fan Club Membership card, and a hand-written letter from Lennon to Stuart Sutcliffe, the original bassist of the band who passed away suddenly in 1962 when he was just 21.
Baker Street may be famous for its Sherlock Holmes’ ties, but it’s also the home of the “official” Beatles store located at 231-233 Baker Street, which sells a variety of different Beatles merchandise like coffee mugs, action figures, key chains and much more.
Baker Street was also once home to the famed Apple Boutique during the late 1960s, which was located on 94 Baker Street. This boutique was designed to be a sort of Beatles’ fashion shop and experiment, and although it shut down in 1968 after only being open for two years, you can still see psychedelic paintings on the outside walls today.
A few streets away from Baker Street, fans can also snap a photo of a John Lennon English Heritage Blue Plaque at 34 Montagu Square, which was bought by Ringo Starr in 1965. He rented out the address John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1968, and the couple lived in the basement and the ground floor of the property during this time. It’s also the same location where the couple took the famous nude photograph for the cover of their Two Virgins album, and the address was also rented out to Paul McCartney and Jimi Hendrix as well.