The Beatles in Nostalgic London
1) Abbey Road Studios
Thanks to that 1969 album, which featured all four band members walking across a zebra crossing on Abbey Road, this is probably the most famous Beatles location in the world. The crossing, outside Abbey Road Studios, where the band recorded most of their music, is now a mecca for music fans (and an obstacle for local drivers!). Visit to walk across the road and leave a message on the wall outside the studio.
2) 34 Montagu Square
A basement flat a little over a mile away from Abbey Road Studios, 34 Montagu Square was leased by Ringo Starr during the mid-1960s. Paul McCartney rented it from him and is said to have worked on I’m Looking Through You and Eleanor Rigby there, while another of Ringo’s renters, Jimi Hendrix, composed The Wind Cries Mary within its walls. John Lennon and Yoko Ono also posed for the nude artwork for their Two Virgins album while staying in the flat. Lennon’s stay in the property, which is now privately owned and not open to the public, is marked with a blue plaque. Oh, to be a fly on those walls…
3) The London Palladium
When was the start of ‘Beatlemania’? It’s said to have been in October 1963, when The Beatles performed at the Palladium, one of London’s most famous theatres. Appearing as part of Sunday Night at the London Palladium, a show which was broadcast on telly and watched by millions, the Fab Four played She Loves You and Twist and Shout before leaving the building to be greeted by heaving crowds of screaming fans. Stand outside on Argyll Street, just off Oxford Street, and imagine the mayhem.
4) The British Library
The largest national library in the world, The British Library’s collection is made up of more than 170 million items, including some priceless Beatles material. Head to the Treasures Gallery to find early drafts of lyrics to Strawberry Fields Forever, She Said She Said and In My Life handwritten by Lennon, alongside other unique treasures like the Magna Carta and original Shakespeare folios.
5) The City Barge
This pub in Chiswick is teeming with history – there’s been a riverside boozer on this spot since the 14th century – but it’s more famous for its recent past. The pub was used as a filming location in The Beatles’ 1965 film Help!. Pop inside to order “Two lagers and lime and two lagers and lime”, Ringo-style. Then, grab one of the benches on the path out front and enjoy this pub’s pretty, Thames-side setting.
Buy the books
Discover London off the beaten path with The 500 Hidden Secrets of London and explore the city's historic treasures with Nostalgic London.
Already a member? Log in.
New here? Sign up.