The Beatles Experience in Liverpool celebrates the Fab Four all year round. // © 2013 VisitBritain
Nobody could have predicted the impact The Beatles would have on the world when they debuted in October of 1962 but, 50 years later, nearly everyone on the globe has been touched by their music in some way. To mark the 50th Anniversary of the birth of the Beatles, Liverpool planned a year of celebrations and activities, all centered on its most famous residents. More than ever, a visit to Liverpool is certainly a must-do for Beatles fans traveling to London this year.
In an effort to attract Beatles fans from around the world, the Liverpool city council has organized a series of events commemorating the anniversary of the city’s most famous sons. Highlights of the celebration include International Beatle Week, which will mark the 50th anniversary with tribute concerts, guest speakers and what’s being called the world’s biggest Beatles convention. In addition, concerts will also take place during the “Love Me Do” weekend. In December, thousands are expected to attend a peace vigil to honor the 32nd anniversary of John Lennon’s tragic murder.
"This is a hugely significant year in the history of the Beatles and it is one Liverpool couldn't let pass by without a huge celebration,” said Anderson. “We should never underestimate the power of The Beatles to attract visitors to the city, and this year-long celebration will bring even more fans to Liverpool."
The Beatles influence on musicians and artists around the world will not only be recognized in Liverpool with exclusive anniversary concerts at the Cavern Club where the Beatles got their start, but also with performances from the renowned Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and a very special “50 Years of The Beatles” Mathew Street Festival.
What to Do
For fans who can’t make it to Liverpool this year, there are great The Beatles-themed attractions to visit at any time, including the award-winning The Beatles Story, a tour through the lives of The Beatles with fascinating memorabilia such as clothing worn by the Fab Four as well as some of the instruments they used. Tickets are approximately $25 for adults and $11 for children. Also, The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour takes visitors on a two-hour guided coach tour to see some of the sites in Liverpool made famous by The Beatles including Penny Lane and Strawberry Field. Tickets are about $25 per person. The Beatles Story is located at both Albert Dock and at the Pier Head Ferry Terminal, which is also home to an immersive “Fab 4D” theater experience. The Magical Mystery Tour conveniently concludes at the Cavern Club on Mathew Street, which is open seven days a week. Still a popular live music venue today, the Cavern Club is the perfect place to enjoy a pint after the tour.
Beatles fans will also want to visit Mendips and 20 Forthlin Road, the childhood homes of John Lennon and Sir Paul McCartney, respectively, now managed by the National Trust. A combined tour of the two homes takes visitors inside the places where The Beatles composed many of their early songs. Tours run from Wednesday through Sunday (and on Bank Holiday Mondays) and last about 2½ hours. Tickets are approximately $32 for adults and $10 for children.
Where to Stay
The world’s only The Beatles-inspired hotel, the Hard Days Night Hotel in Liverpool, is located adjacent to the Cavern Club in the heart of the Beatle’s Quarter of the city and boasts 110 Beatles-inspired rooms. The hotel’s restaurant, Blake’s, serves classic British fare and is named after celebrated artist Sir Peter Blake who designed the famous Sergeant Pepper album. Beatles fans won’t want to miss the experience of staying at this “Fab Four Star” property. Rates are approximately $360-$400 per night. Guests who really want to splurge should consider the McCartney and Lennon suites, which cost approximately $1,200 and $1,500 per night respectively.
One of the most famous The Beatles songs, “Yellow Submarine,” comes to life in all its psychedelic glory at The Fab4 Yellow Submarine Hotel Boat, located on Albert Dock. This 80-foot floating hotel painted to look like the band’s famous sub can accommodate eight guests. Rates at this unique hotel are approximately $230 per night Monday through Thursday, $460 on Friday and $540 on Saturday.