Strawberry Fields Forever

We caught an early train from London to Liverpool on Good Friday and planned to spend one night in this intriguing city.  With less than 48 hours to spend exploring we had to hit the ground running and that’s exactly what we did.

 As we walked from the train station to our hotel, we caught our first glimpse of Liverpool and liked what we saw. Modern buildings were scattered amongst historic buildings and icons, everyone who spoke had that recognisable northern accent completely different from the south and  even though it was cold the sun shone so brightly! It was completely different from London, just as we had heard.  After checking in at the hotel we decided to walk down to the Albert Docks: a complex of dock buildings and warehouses from the early 1800s.  This complex is known for being the first structure in Britain to be built from cast iron brick and stone without any structural wood. These days it is a well-known and visited tourist attraction, full of bars, restaurants and museums. We spent an hour wandering along the waterfront and taking in the sunshine before it was time to move on to our next tourist attraction.

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Matt at Albert Docks

Magical Mystery Tour

 Like many  tourists before us, our main reason for coming to  Liverpool was ‘The Beatles’.  Therefore, our visit would not be complete without a trip on the Magical Mystery Tour. The bus looked like it was preserved from ‘The Beatles’ era. How could we tell? Firstly, our  bus wouldn’t start and we had to wait for the mechanic to bring a new part before we could set off, plus it had terrible fabric seat covers, built-in ash trays and the smell of dust that had been collecting since the 1960s. Running a little late, we left the city centre and into the suburbs of Liverpool.  The first stop on the tour was the house in which Ringo Starr grew up. This was followed by a drive down Penny Lane, where we saw the bank and barber shop mentioned in the song, (and of course stopped for a photo with the famous street sign). We then continued on to see the childhood homes of the other 3 Beatles (George, Paul and John) and their manager, Brian Epstein’s family house.  Finally, the last stop on our tour was past the church where John and Paul met first, and at the back of the church  we saw the ‘Strawberry Field’ before heading back into the city centre.

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Ringo Starr's childhood home

Ringo Starr’s childhood home

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John Lennon's childhood home

John Lennon’s childhood home

Strawberry Field

Strawberry Field

The Cavern Club

After some dinner and a few beers, it was time to continue our Liverpool ‘Beatles experience’ by going to the famous Cavern Club. The foursome made this club famous by performing here 292 times from February 1961 to August 1963, but since then it has also played host to Queen, Elton John, The Kinks and The Rolling Stones. We had tickets to see a Beatles tribute band (obviously not as good as the real thing), but they were pretty convincing. They played all the well-known songs over a few hours, sounding very similar to the real band, with multiple wardrobe changes throughout the performance. After ‘The Cavern Club Beatles’ performed, we went upstairs to have a few more relaxing drinks and to watch another live band perform in the exact place where many well-known artists had performed many years before them.  Definitely a cracking night and well-worth the hangover we may have had the following morning!

SONY DSC The Cavern Club (39) The Cavern Club (55)

Exploring the City

 The next morning was dedicated to a ‘slow and easy’ walk around the city as we took in some of the well-known sites such as St George’s Hall, the Empire Theatre, Eleanor Rigby statue,  Arthur Dooley sculpture and many more.

Eleanor Rigby Statue

Eleanor Rigby Statue

Liverpool Cathedral, the second largest cathedral in the world was free to enter and have a look around, so we spent a bit of time taking in the high ceilings and large stained glass windows. We then continued onto the Metropolitan Cathedral, this architectural award-winning cathedral is located exactly opposite  the Liverpool Cathedral.  It’s unique design makes it the first cathedral built that has a circular altar in the centre of the cathedral with open 360 degree views of the alter.

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Then it was time to get back on the train and make our way back to London. Although it was a short visit to Liverpool, we were certainly able to include all the sights that we wanted to see.  Another weekend well spent.

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