Monday, 4 April 2016

The Fab 4 Liverpool weekend

We had a 2 part break, starting with the Easter weekend in Liverpool, I've wanted to do this for a while, and now I have! 

We hit some bad traffic on the way down so didn't arrive until just after lunch time, the traffic queuing for the City Centre car park was horrendous, at one point it seemed as if we would never get a parking space, but eventually we did although understandably we were both a bit frazzled by then.

We were stopping at the Hard Days Night hotel which was thankfully only a short walk from the Liverpool 1 parking, check-in wasn't until 2pm but we were able to drop our bags before then.

The Hard Days Night Hotel, in what was the financial district of the city.

Statues of the Beatles are all around, I think this one is Paul?

As you might guess from the name it's a Beatles themed hotel, we were in the Cynthia room.

The whole hotel is decorated with some fantastic Beatles photos.

We had tickets for the Beatles Story on the Albert Dock on the day we arrived so we headed straight over there.  It was a glorious day and the dock was crowded with people enjoying the weather.

Below:  How the Cavern Club used to look, so much smaller than you would have imagined.  They didn't serve alcohol, so people (and the bands) used to go and get a drink from the pub over the road.

I loved all the Lennon photos, (can you tell he's my favourite)


The Wall of Fame is on Mathew Street.
Hundreds of bricks inscribed with the names of bands that have played at the original Cavern Club from 1957 to 1973.

Here's a bit of useless information, but you never know, it might come up in a quiz some time....Liverpool has had more No. 1 singles than any other city in Britain, 54 since 1952, wow! there must be something in the water there!

Albert Dock
This was once a working dock of course, I think it's great that they have made it into something that people can come and enjoy, there are many shops and eateries as well as a couple of museums.  We visited the Maritime museum, well worth a visit with interesting stories, there is a section about the Lusitania and another about the Titanic, both of which we really enjoyed, although very sad.

There is a complete passenger list for the Titanic of all the classes and besides each name it says survived or died,  it's very emotional reading those names and very noticeable that in first class hardly any of the men survived at all, then there are the whole families that died, so so sad.

Albert Dock

Loved the mix of old and new and the interesting angles on the buildings
Seen from the dock

I think this skipper might have been taking a nap while waiting for customers :-)

This building is opposite the Albert Dock, it does a good impression of a ship, don't you think?

The Three Graces...
The Liver Building, (left) the Cunard Building (middle) and the Port of Liverpool Building (right) at Pier Head.  

The clock faces on the Liver Building are 25 feet in diameter, bigger than those on Big Ben, who knew!

You can read more about the Liver Building and the other 2 buildings HERE, there are some very interesting stories about the Liver Birds.


On the Friday night, (Good Friday) we had tickets for the Cavern Club to see a Who tribute band.
I was so excited to be going to the Cavern Club!!, although not the original one of course, (that's no longer there), but the atmosphere was fantastic all the same, we haven't been to see a live band in a while and I'd forgotten how good it is. 

I didn't take any photos in there, but take it from me the atmosphere is great!


 Easter Saturday we had a booked a tour of John and Paul's childhood homes.
The National Trust own these two houses, you can't just turn up and go inside, bookings are via the National Trust and there are mini bus pick-ups at a couple of locations.  They run about 4 trips per day with a maximum of 15 people on each tour, which is just about the right size group.  We are National Trust members so we got a big discount on the ticket price.

Unfortunately photography is not allowed in either of the houses, but they are both decorated as they would have been when both John and Paul lived there, complete with yellow formica worktops in the kitchen (John's house) and candlewick bedspreads in both :-)

Mendips, the home of John Lennon's aunt and uncle with whom he lived from when he was 5.

When this house came up for sale Yoko Ono bought it and gave it to the National Trust with a stipulation that it was to be decorated in the style it would have been when he was growing up.  They were able to recreate the inside from photos and from accounts of the students that his aunt took in as lodgers.
The house sits on a now quite busy road, which wouldn't have been so busy in Johns youth.

Paul's house is not far away, but sits on a council estate.
No. 20 Forthlin Road.

Again they have recreated the inside as it would have looked when Paul was growing up.  The windows were what would have been in place at the time, they were acquired from a house opposite when the owners where changing their windows.  The off white paintwork is the right colour for the time as is the 'council red' 

I really didn't know what to expect from this tour but we agreed that it was way better than we thought it would be, you got a real feel for them growing up there and what an exciting time it must have been, and a sense of how ordinary they were.  Well worth the money if you are thinking of visiting.


Weather wise, Saturday was a complete wash-out from around lunchtime onwards, we walked back towards Albert Dock after the tour as our Beatles Story ticket included entrance to another part on the Pier Head.
If you do  go to this part don't bother going to the little animated film they show, total waste of time with no significance.  But it did pass a bit of time as the weather was so bad. 


I would have liked to had a ferry across the Mersey but there was no way I was venturing out on the water, the rain was lashing down by this time and it was hard to walk in the wind, such a contrast to the day before.

There was so much to see that we couldn't manage it all in the couple days we were there but it's only about a 2 hour drive so I would definitely love to go again.
On Easter Sunday after a late breakfast we started out on our second journey.  Mark would be at work but I had a leisurely week planned.
I'll tell you all about that later in the week :-)



Chocolates4Breakfast (Terri Malinovich) said...

Oh, Maggie! What a fun trip! Rob was reading over my shoulder when I started oohing and aaahing over your pics. We are both Beatles fans and would love to do that tour, one day. The hotel was amazing! Love all the pics of John. I'm so glad you had a great time, in spite of the rainy day. No way you'd have gotten me on any kind of boat, in that weather!

butterfly said...

Lovely trip around Liverpool thank you for sharing.
I was lucky enough to meet the Beatles when I was 15 , just before they hit it big .
At a singing contest with my friend who could sing . Great fun .

Carolien said...

Wow, what a great tour, thanks for sharing!

Have a nice day! xxx Carolien

Julie said...

A great way to spend the Easter holidays, I bet the inside of the houses was fun to see, I do like to see old homes and their contents.

Mary - Lecoeurceltique said...

What a brilliant weekend in Liverpool. I've only been there once about 20 years ago and remember very little about it. Your post puts me in the notion of going again.

Jo said...

What a great weekend. I enjoyed reading about everything you did and seeing all your wonderful photos. I've never been to Liverpool but it's somewhere I'd live to visit, and I'd like to do at least some of the Beatles tours. What a great place you stayed too, I didn't know there was a themed hotel. Looking forward to hearing about the next part of your trip.

Brigitte said...

Maggie, this trip must have been so much fun. Thanks for sharing all these pictures and for telling us all about them. One of my stitching friends is also Beatles fan and she has been in Liverpool at least twice to make all these tours. From what you say about your hotel she seems to have spent the nights in exactly the same hotel.

Vickie said...

Oh wow! I shared this post with our 17 year old daughter. She was smiling ear to ear. :D

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

Such a great place to visit--love the stairs with all the Beatles hits. A ride in that boat with those conditions--no way

Carol said...

What a fun trip to Liverpool, Maggie! If I ever make it to England, this will definitely be s place to visit :)

Barb said...

This was a very fascinating post. I loved the pictures of both the old and newer buildings together. That was a wonderful hotel with such a great collection of Beatles memorabilia! Thanks for sharing these interesting pictures.

Miriam said...

Ooh...very nice! It sounds that you have had a nice trip there. Thank you for sharing the pictures!
Miriam from Italy

Sally said...

It looks like you had a great trip Maggie. Fantastic photos.

Clare-Aimetu said...

What a lovely trip you had, great hotel. I love Liverpool, it is certainly a city full of interest in many ways.

Diana Stitching said...

Wow, you've certainly whetted my appetite for a Beatles themed trip to Liverpool. It's not that far from me, but I've never done any of the Beatles stuff, although I have been to the Albert Dock - nice place. I'm going to look up that hotel too.

Thanks for sharing.

Crazee4books said...

Gosh Maggie ... I'm a wee bit jealous here. What a fantastic opportunity to spend time
exploring the world of the Beatles. And I love exploring cities and seeing the history
and the architecture. The Liver Building with it's clock tower is stunning. What a
stately, classic place. The Cunard Building may be less ... um .... flashy (?) but has it's
own grace and style. And the Port of Liverpool Building has it's own impressive domes
and cupolas. The modern buildings may come in all kinds of shapes and may be
somewhat impressive but they don't hold my attention and take my breath away like
the old ones do. Love your hotel room, though I'm not sure how well I'd sleep with
John pondering over my head like that. Thanks for sharing. Cheers!