Coming from the city of Liverpool, we have known about the influence of the ‘Fab Four’ all our lives. But the reality is we didn’t really know the specifics of The Beatles, from their childhood, through to their careers and of course the later years. The older we’re getting the more interested we are in our local history, so it would make sense to include one of the greatest bands of all time.
We headed to The Beatles Story which is a museum located on Albert Dock in Liverpool. There are two Beatles museums, the ‘Story’ and an actual Beatles Museum which can be found on Matthew Street. This is where the famous Cavern Club was located and where you can find replica clubs today.
If you’re looking for more memorabilia, then we’re told The Beatles Museum is the place to visit, but for an all-round interactive experience then head to The Beatles Story, which is the one we chose. Of course, if you have the time you can always do both.
Who Are The Beatles
We’re writing this section knowing the likelihood is that everyone knows who The Beatles are, if not then you may have been that rare person who has lived under a rock for the past few decades. The Beatles was a band formed in 60’s who shot to fame all over the world, generating the phenomenon ‘Beatlemania’. There were four members of the band including John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison.
During their eight years as a band, they produced some of the most beloved songs on the planet, including ‘Hey Jude’, ‘Let it Be’, ‘Yesterday’ and ‘All You Need is Love’. They are seen as being integral to the development of music and pop culture in the 60’s and 70’s. Plus they had two of the greatest song writers in Lennon and McCartney, who created music which resonated with so many.
We’re not going to delve too much further into their back story, because that’s the reason you’re going to the museum in the first place. We considered ourselves quite knowledgeable on all things Beatles, and yet found ourselves taken aback by different aspects of their lives we had no idea about.
Parking for The Beatles Story
There isn’t a specific car park for The Beatles Museum, but you will find plenty of parking around Albert Dock and within a short distance. Liverpool One which is the main shopping centre isn’t too far away and that has a huge car park. You can head there and then walk towards the docks past the Hilton which only takes about 10 minutes. We found the price of parking in Albert Dock to not be too expensive, especially compared to other city centre car parks, but spaces are limited.
Booking Tickets and Prices
We chose to purchase on the day because it was a Monday morning, but if you can we would always recommend pre-booking. The site is incredibly simple to manoeuvre, and you should find all the information you are after in the ‘Plan your Visit’ section.
At the time we visited which was April 2023 the prices were as follows (obviously they may have increased so we would recommend that you check the website).
- Adults (16+ years) £19.00
- Child (5 to 15) £10.50
- Concession (Senior and Students) £15.00
- Family (2 Adults and 2 Children) £50.00
You may think that this is quite expensive for a museum, but we found that we spent longer than expected walking around and the interactive element made it worth the money for us. Another option would be to book with Viator, as they offer a buy now pay later option with free cancellation.
Opening times will vary, but they tend to be from 9am to 4pm or 5pm, so always check the site before you book if you’re visiting later in the day.
Visiting The Beatles Story
The Beatles Story consists of the main exhibition, a Discovery Zone, the FAB4 Café and the FAB4 Store. The store is available for anyone to enter, whether you have a ticket or not, but the rest are only for ticket holders.
When you arrive at the sign of The Beatles Story you will need to make your way down the stairs. You will see to the right there is a ticket desk, and this is where you will purchase your tickets, or validate any online tickets.
You will then be directed to the start of the main exhibition, but before that you will be given a multimedia guide and headphones. These will be used to guide you along the exhibition and help to provide you with everything you need to know about each section.
Throughout the museum you will see a blue and white sign with an image of the multimedia guide and a number. There will be a corresponding number on the device which will explain to you the area you’re standing in and pertinent facts about The Beatles.
Not far from the ticket desk is the start of The Beatles Story tour, which is self-guided using the multimedia guides. You’ll begin in a section which details a little about the four members of The Beatles as children and a little about their family. This area includes how they met and their early start in a band called the Quarrymen, which was formed by John Lennon and later evolved into the legendary Beatles.
You’ll walk through to The Cashbah Club and spend some time in Hamburg, then there are interesting stops at Hessy’s Music shop and the Mersey Beat newsroom. The next area is a walk down Matthew Street to the legendary Cavern Club and we have to admit this was our favourite bit. You then walk into the club as if it still existed and the room is set up with a stage and chairs. It’s a dream come true for any Beatles fans because we so strongly associate the Cavern as being the beginning of Beatlemania. The next stop on the magical mystery tour is the famous Abbey Road studios where you can recreate the crosswalk album cover and see what the studio would have looked like at the time. It then moves on to the impact of The Beatles in America and their time in India, before heading into quite a trippy room which has a yellow submarine, an ode to Eleanor Rigby and Strawberry Fields. But it’s the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band which will have your toes tapping.
The last section revolves around the band splitting up and their lives (and sadly in some cases deaths) afterwards. It is a beautiful tribute to four incredible musicians and explores the other aspects of their careers aside from the famous band they’re known for.
Throughout the exhibit you’ll see original memorabilia from The Beatles, including a pair of John Lennon’s glasses in a room inspired by his incredible song ‘Imagine’.
We left feeling quite shocked at how little we knew about The Beatles and realising how much they had impacted so many people. For us they had always been there, but we didn’t realise their significance on the music of that generation and beyond. What we really enjoyed was the interactive elements of the main exhibition, because they brought the journey of the band to life in an extraordinary way. You left feeling like you knew each of them personally, which shows the level of depth the museum provides.
This area is more specifically for the kids, so that they can learn about The Beatles and discover the joy of music. They use interactive screens, a giant floor piano where you can compose your own songs, and there’s a mini–Cavern Club stage where the kids can sing their favourite Beatles songs on karaoke.
The FAB4 Café
The FAB4 Café is very Abbey Road inspired, with the black and white cross walk design. But because it’s underneath Albert Dock with the rest of the main exhibit, it is quite compact and cosy. We say this in a good way, because it is the perfect way to end your Beatles tour or your day in Liverpool.
If you’re looking for food then the menu has the usual sandwiches, paninis, cakes, and pastries. We are told that the slices of cake are huge, and they offer gluten free options. For something a little warmer than you could enjoy lasagne, a burger or scouse; well, you are in the city of the scouser.
There are plenty of hot and cold drink options including wine and beer, and we’ve read that you can have your cappuccino topped with a chocolate image of your favourite Beatle, which is a quirky extra.
The FAB4 Store
After you finish in the café, you’ll return back upstairs where you will come to the FAB4 Store. This shop is huge and has pretty much everything a Beatles fan would want. There’s a large range of t-shirts for men, women, and kids, lots of toys including children’s ukeleles, CD’s, books, posters, and key rings. But then there are the unique gifts and limited-edition merchandise such as guitars, and so much more. The site claims to offer the largest collection of official Beatles merchandise and souvenirs in the world and from seeing what they have available, we can imagine that to be true.
Should I Visit The Beatles Story Museum?
Your initial reaction to our guide will probably be that the price is quite expensive, because £19.00 for an adult is pretty steep. Especially if heading to the museum is only one part of your day in Liverpool. We personally felt that the price was good for the experience we had, but we went with an eagerness to learn about The Beatles. This is probably the key to your decision, because if you’re paying for a few people to go, especially kids, and they’re not interested then it can be a huge waste of money.
The good thing about The Beatles Story is that it’s very interactive which is entertaining for adults, and especially any kids. If you have teens, then this is the ideal way to immerse them into the music of the 60’s and why it was so impactful.
Overall, we spent about two and a half hours walking through the museum. The fact it was self-guided was great because you could spend as long as you wanted in each room and relisten to the information if needed. There were plenty of fun photo spots as well, which added an element of fun.
Are we glad we ticked it off our bucket list? That’s a resounding yes, but we don’t feel like we’d need to go back and do it again. Because each section of the exhibit is quite small, it can get busy at weekends, so if you can visit through the week then you’ll have a better chance of seeing it all.
If you do visit The Beatles Story, then please tag us to your pictures on Instagram, we love to see what our readers are up to.