2019 is a big year for one of the world’s best groups as the legendary Beatles celebrate the 50th anniversary of their last performance and the release of their iconic Abbey Road album (the last time all of the ‘fab four’ would participate in recording sessions).
There are plenty of places worthy of a pilgrimage, but in this article we are going to focus on the five most iconic, special and celebratory settings that played a part in the incredible story of The Beatles.
Strawberry Fields, Beaconsfield Road, Liverpool
The iconic Strawberry Field home and gardens were gifted to The Salvation Army and later opened as a children’s home. John Lennon used to walk the gardens as a child, finding solace in the quiet scenery – and more than a little inspiration too.
In September 2019 the famous red gates re-opened, and it is now a charity visitor centre with interactive visitor exhibition, community café, shop and very tranquil gardens.
Apple Corps HQ, 3 Savile Row, London
While in London pay a visit to the former Apple Records building. It was here that the fab four played their last ever live performance on the rooftop on 30 January 1969 (though it is now a clothes shop).
This unscheduled gig was finally stopped when the police threatened to shut it down. Featured in the 1970 rock-doc, Let It Be, the concert will be seen again when the film is re-released in 2020. Film director Peter Jackson is also working on his own edit from 55 hours of original footage.
Bangor, Gwynedd, Wales
With a growing interest in Transcendental Meditation, the group boarded a train to Bangor for a ten day seminar in August 1967, cancelling a recording session in the process. However, they had to cut the trip short upon learning of the death of their former manager Brian Epstein.
The Bangor Normal College hosted the retreat, and it’s well-worth visiting this lively city – the oldest in Wales. Explore Snowdonia and the stunning surrounding; you will certainly have something to sing about.
Abbey Road, St. John’s Wood, London
50 years since the release of the album means five decades of people taking photos on the iconic crossing. Join the crowd and appear on the studio’s ‘Crossing Hall of Fame’. You can also write on the famous graffiti wall, take a photo of the iconic building and visit the official Abbey road shop.
Did you know that the original name for the album was Everest, and the artwork was going to feature a photo of the Himalayas? Thankfully, they chose a far more accessible setting.
Watergate Bay, Newquay, Cornwall
This lovely large golden beach is popular with families, while the large Atlantic waves make it something of a surfing hot-spot. Fans of The Beatles will love it even more for its connection to the fab-four’s history.
The group spent three days in Newquay filming the Magical Mystery Tour in September 1967, including scenes at Watergate Bay. They originally planned to spend only one night, but such is the beauty of Cornwall that they were there for three to take advantage of the stunning seaside scenery.