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Guides agree London ties Liverpool for Beatles sightseeing

by Katie Hickox
at the NYC Fest for Beatles Fans

At the NYC Fest for Beatles Fans last weekend, on the panel discussion "Touring the Beatles & Liverpool," London Walks tour guide and author Richard Porter, Liverpudlian Beatles author David Bedford who wrote "LiddyPool," and Liverpudlian BeatleGuide Jackie Spencer, all just arrived from England, debated whether Liverpool or London is more important for Beatles sightseeing.

If you're planning a Beatles fan trip to England, David Bedford recommended prebooking your tour guide when planning a trip to Liverpool for Beatles sightseeing because landmarks such as Paul McCartney's childhood home on Forthlin Road and John Lennon's Mendips home on Menlove Avenue can be seen only by appointment. Richard Porter said tour Liverpool first then come to London because Liverpool is where the Beatles grew up has many places that are referenced in their songs such as Penny Lane or Strawberry Fields.

David Bedford, Jackie Spencer and Richard Porter

During the discussion, each of the guest speakers shared wonderful stories about the Beatles places they've come to know.

Jackie Spencer, who also is a Liverpool BlueBadge Guide, said there was nothing in Liverpool about the Beatles for tourists until the 1980s, but that now there is so much for Beatles fans and non-Beatles to see and do in Liverpool that one needs several days for a visit.

She recommends, "Be sure to set aside a day for National Trust visits to the Beatles childhood homes for Paul and John, and also for the Beatles Story which is at Albert Dock, which is also near where the pickup and dropoff for the visits to Paul and John's houses is. A visit to each place can take several hours each, so that's one day. Then spend a second day with your tour guide to go around and visit the many Liverpool Beatles places of interest."

Jackie says there are many Beatle themed Taxi Tours in addition to the Cavern Club's "Magical Mystery Tour" daily bus tours, and also private tour guides like Jackie that visitors can book.

A highlight of the talk was Richard Porter's story about Sir Paul McCartney when Porter just happened to be nearby visiting Abbey Road Studios on his regular scheduled tour for London Beatles Walks. About a year ago, walking from nearby St. John's tube station to Abbey Road Studio, Macca offered to help some tourists take some photos outside Abbey Road Studios. The fans were so preoccupied that they didn't even lookup to see that the kind gentleman who offered help was in fact Paul McCartney. Paul left laughing and shared the story with EMI staff at Abbey Road.

For more information about visiting Liverpool and London, check out David Bedford's Beatles Shop, Jackie Spencer Liverpool BeatleGuide, and Richard Porter's London Beatles Walks.

Related articles:

• NYC Fest for Beatles Fans highest attendance ever (2/12/14)

Published February 10, 2014

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