Tag: Liverpool

How a Liverpool children’s home inspired a Beatles classic

Strawberry Field, the childhood refuge of John Lennon, re-opened to the public last weekend.

I attended a preview a few days before, writing an article for iTravel.

Here’s a preview of my feature:

The former Salvation Army children’s home, made famous in the 1967 Beatles song, has re-opened with a new permanent exhibition about Lennon’s early life [pictured above], a community garden and café.

The young Lennon would often play in the garden after he moved to live nearby with his aunt Mimi when his mother started a new relationship.

He would meet Paul McCartney at a local church fete in the late Fifties.

But Strawberry Field remained, as Lennon later expressed in the song’s lyrics, a place where, “Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about”.

“John always said Strawberry Field was his favourite song and he referred to it as his psychoanalytic poem,” says Julia Baird, Lennon’s younger, half-sister and the Honorary President of the Strawberry Field project.

Read the full story in iTravel here.

The ultimate Beatles day out in Liverpool for #AbbeyRoad50

It was 50 years ago today. Well, this year anyway.

I spent yesterday in Liverpool finding out about events to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the album Abbey Road, the recording sessions for which were the last in which all four members of the Beatles participated.

The front cover image of Abbey Road, taken in August 1969 on the zebra crossing near the entrance to the London recording studios, is one of the most copied images in popular culture.

A new mural by the street artist Paul Curtis on a wall in Liverpool’s modern-day Baltic Triangle is currently the city’s favourite photo opportunity.

I visited the new Magical Beatles Museum, The Cavern and caught the Double Fantasy exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool.

I also had a behind-the-scenes preview of the August re-opening of Strawberry Field, the former Salvation Army children’s home, which was made famous in 1967 Beatles song.

The famous red gates [pictured above] will be open again for a new generation of dreamers looking for a place where:

“Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about.”

Look out for the full story in the June-July issue of Discover Britain magazine.

Meeting the Terracotta Warriors on an escorted tour of Liverpool

Just out: my story from Liverpool, where I joined a group tour last summer for Boundless magazine.

It offered a chance to get up close to some 2000-year-old warriors [pictured above] and a cruise through Merseyside’s industrial heritage.

Here’s a flavour of the feature:

Bill is facing down a ninja. The latter may have spent some 2,000 years underground, and it’s built of stone, but it still looks pretty handy with its fists.

Each one of these statues has its own character, whether it’s a facial expression, or the stance,” says Bill, one of the organisers of the Liverpool trip. “They feel alive to me.”

The city has a rich heritage and cultural scene but the highlight for many is, of course, a chance to get up close and personal with the visiting Terracotta Warriors exhibition at the World Museum.

The underground army of life-sized warriors was first discovered in 1974 and this blockbuster exhibition has drawing the crowds all summer, featuring many objects never seen before in the UK.

Read more in the March-April issue.

 

The best hotels in Liverpool to see the Giants

Image: istock

My latest article for Independent Travel is a guide to the best hotels in Liverpool.

It’s a timely piece to plan a visit to the area for the forthcoming Liverpool Dreams event, the street performance by French giant-puppet troupe Royal de Luxe over the weekend of October 4-7.

Featuring the likes of the Hope Street Hotel and 2 Blackburn Terrace, here’s a preview:

The city on the Mersey is celebrating 10 years since its successful tenure as the European Capital of Culture and has continued to boom since. Based in the Northwest, I’ve seen Liverpool’s fortunes ebb and flow with the tides of the Mersey estuary. Today, it’s a vibrant city with a strong cultural scene and a hedonistic nightlife. But it also has a rich heritage of classical architecture, notably the Unesco World Heritage-listed sweep of the waterfront.

Read the whole story, Liverpool hotels: 10 of the best places to stay.

See also the follow-up article: Liverpool – 7 best places to stay for value for money.

And plan your Giants itinerary here.