Although Liverpool is famous for many things - from football rivalry to European cultural capital status - the prime thing people think of this city is that it gave birth to the most popular rock band in the history: The Beatles.
Virtually everyone knows who John, Paul, George and Ringo were, and today there are dozens of fun, interesting ways to learn more about them here. Planning a nostalgic Beatles-themed holiday is easy, since there are always great deals to be had at various Liverpool hotels and so many fun ways to see the sights. You can embark on a journey down your very own Penny Lane, to a simpler time when the Fab Four first made their mark on the world.
The Cavern Club
The Beatles gave some of their first public performances here; in fact, they played more than 300 shows at this very spot back in their earliest days. Located in the basement of an old Victorian warehouse and used as an air-raid shelter during the last war, it's incredible to think that the band that took the world by storm started here. Finding the Cavern Club is not difficult, or at least where it used to be. The original club closed in March 1973, and was filled in during construction work on the Merseyrail underground rail loop. Today's Cavern is the end result of the dream of former Liverpool FC player Tommy Smith and occupies about half the original site, re-built with many of the bricks from the original club. Staff at most hotels in Liverpool can direct you there, and it's an absolute must-see while in the city.
20 Forthlin Road
History buffs -- and, perhaps, die hard fans of the "Cute Beatle" -- shouldn't miss out on 20 Forthlin Road. This is the childhood home of Paul McCartney -- now Sir Paul, and it's a fascinating way to find out more about this talented artist. It's truly fascinating to think that this legendary music star came from such humble beginnings.
The other half of the Lennon-McCartney song-writing duo, John Lennon's childhood home is also on the Beatles Trail. Mendips is located on Menlove Avenue and was donated to the National Trust by John's widow Yoko Ono in 2003: it's been charming and educating visitors ever since. Lennon's enduring message of peace and love lives on here, and it is easy to see that this charismatic man had a genuine love of the world and everyone in it.
John and Paul used to meet at Penny Lane junction in Liverpool's Mossley Hill district to catch the bus into the centre of town. The fact that the street has it's own song makes Penny Lane an important Liverpool landmark and one spot most Beatles fans make a point of visiting. Local street signs soon became the must-have souvenir for dedicated fans with broader definitions of "public ownership", so much so that Liverpool City Council eventually gave up replacing the boards and painted the sign directly on to the sides of local buildings instead. Penny Lane got its street names back in 2007 when more theft-resistant versions were installed. Even so, some still go missing.
The Magical Mystery Tour
To get a wonderful overview of the Beatles' experiences in Liverpool -- including the places that set them on their path of fame and their childhood haunts -- sign up for the Magical Mystery Tour, which embarks from the Cavern Club. Most Liverpool hotels will happily provide information about this nostalgic excursion, and you and your travelling companions will delight in its engaging, entertaining sights.