Calling all music fans and those interested in pop music history – this AAA EXCLUSIVE vacation is for you! Accompanied by expert guides and a small group of fellow travelers, visit sites and venues in London, Liverpool and Manchester that have been important to the development of British music in the last 60 years. Explore iconic memorabilia at London’s British Music Experience, take a special "Beatles" tour of Liverpool and much more.
• Enjoy a "flight" on the London Eye Millennium Wheel.
• Have your picture taken on the famous Abbey Road crosswalk.
• Visit Liverpool, where The Beatles began playing at various nightspots, including The Cavern Club.
Since The Beatles’ meteoric rise in the early 1960s, Britain has been at the forefront of contemporary music. To this day, musical acts from Liverpool have had more Number One hits than any city in the world while London has been at the forefront of every musical movement in the last 60 years, whether it be Rock 'n' Roll, Punk, Glam Rock or Britpop. Delve into this rich history on this rockin’ itinerary that includes musical hotspots in London, Liverpool and Manchester.
In London, stroll the famous crosswalk on Abbey Road made famous on The Beatles album of the same name. Visit other Fab Four locales including the former head office of the Beatles recording label Apple; on the roof of this same building, The Beatles gave their last public performance. Stop by Britain's "Tin Pan Alley" where many famous bands recorded in the '60s, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Kinks. And relive the British music scene at London’s British Music Experience. Here you'll explore great British music moments throughout history and learn how rock, pop, dance and other genres were formed and have influenced the last 60 years of British culture.
In Liverpool, the “Capital of Pop," a specialist guide will take you on a tour of important Beatles sites such as Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, the Cavern Club and many other landmarks associated with the Fab Four and their music, including visits to their childhood homes! Also stop at The Beatles Story, the definitive Beatles museum featuring superb memorabilia and exhibits. In Manchester, learn about rock musicians the city nurtured such as The Smiths and Stone Roses, as well as its renowned soccer club, Manchester United, which also seriously rocks. Other highlights include a panoramic tour of London, a full-day excursion to Brighton, a river cruise in Liverpool and a shopping expedition to the city of Chester.
• 9 nights in 4-star hotels: 4 nights in London and 5 nights in Liverpool
• Daily breakfast and 4 dinners
• All on-tour transportation and full-time tour manager
• Local specialist guide on the Beatles Tour of Liverpool
• Admission fees for: The British Music Experience and ride on London Eye in London; Royal Pavilion in Brighton; Mersey River Explorer Cruise, The Beatles Story and Beatles sites in Liverpool; Old Trafford Museum and Stadium tour in Manchester
• Hotel to hotel luggage handling, local taxes and service charges
Note: Additional hotel nights can be requested for London plus tickets for a London show or Shakespeare performance in Stratford-Upon-Avon can be arranged at an additional charge. AAA Sojourns European City Stay packages can also be requested for other major cities in Europe such as Paris. Inquire at time of booking.
Day 1 – Arrive in London
London is one of the world's most popular cities. People have flocked here for tourism and business alike for over two thousand years. Today London has the greatest concentration of major attractions in Britain, boasting four UNESCO World Heritage Sites and renowned throughout the world for its shops, museums, parks and cosmopolitan life. After a panoramic tour to acquaint ourselves with the city, enjoy a relaxing afternoon and evening to unwind.
Accommodation: Sol Melia White House – 4 nights
Day 2 – Musical London
London has been at the forefront of every musical movement, be it Rock 'n' Roll, Punk, Glam Rock or Britpop. The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Queen, T-Rex, The Who, Elvis Costello, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, Fleetwood Mac, Spandau Ballet, The Police and The Jam all made their mark here before conquering the world.
Highlights of our exploration today include Abbey Road, London's most famous Rock 'n' Roll landmark. In August 1969, The Beatles stepped outside the Abbey Road Studios in St John's Wood for a 10-minute photo shoot and created one of music's most iconic images which Beatles fans have tried to recreate ever since by walking across the famous zebra crossing.
Other visits include Carnaby Street, the Kings Road in Chelsea and Denmark Street near Covent Garden in London became known as ''Britain's Tin Pan Alley'' in the 1920s due to the large number of music shops, a title it holds to this day. The Tin Pan Alley Festival is held there each July. The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and The Kinks all recorded in basements here in the 1960s. We also drive along Savile Row past #3 which was the head office of the Beatles recording label Apple. The roof of the office became the venue for their last public performance. Tonight, enjoy a Welcome Dinner in Covent Garden.
Day 3 – London Eye & British Music Experience
This morning enjoy a flight on the London Eye, or Millennium Wheel, a giant Ferris wheel situated on the banks of the River Thames and the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe. Rising to a height of 450 feet, the 30-minute ride on the Eye offers unrivalled views over London's historic skyline.
This afternoon, visit the British Music Experience at the 02 Arena. Whether you’re more of a “Wannabe” than a “Living Doll,” prefer “Anarchy in the UK” to “Life on Mars” or you’re feeling “Supersonic” or like “Puppet on a String” from Trad Jazz to Happy Hardcore you can take your own trip through British music history. Using state-of-the-art effects and iconic memorabilia we show how rock, pop, dance and other genres were formed and have influenced the last sixty years of British culture. From the classic era-defining sounds of The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Dusty Springfield, and stadium filling giants like The Who and Queen to the irresistible anarchy of bands like The Specials and Sex Pistols and right up to recent crowd-pleasers such as Spice Girls, Oasis, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys and more, the British music scene continues to evolve and innovate. Along your journey you can step into interactive audio visual spaces that explore great British music moments throughout history, witness fascinating one-off interviews between the biggest stars, see an awe inspiring display of famous artifacts ''come to life,'' record songs, learn instruments, bust moves on the dance floor and even feel what it is like to perform at a virtual concert. Dinner tonight is at the London Hard Rock Café.
Day 4 – Brighton Excursion
Enjoy a full-day excursion to Brighton, Britain's favorite seaside city for decades. Nestled between the South Downs and the English Channel on England's south coast, Brighton is a rich mix of Regency heritage, specialist shopping, lively arts, beachfront fun and its very own royal palace, the exotic Royal Pavilion. Moreover, everything is within walking distance, making it a great place to spend time exploring. Brighton became notorious in the ‘60s for the running battles between the Mods and Rockers, which were immortalized in the film Quadrophenia. Contemporary bands from Brighton include Fatboy Slim and The Kooks. Dusty Springfield is buried in nearby Rottingdean and fans from around the world meet annually in nearby pubs to celebrate her life and music on ''Dusty Day,'' the closest Sunday to her birthday in April.
Day 5 – London / Liverpool
Depart London and head for the historic city of Liverpool which lies at the mouth of the River Mersey. Its historic port once saw great cruise liners sail for the New World, but today Liverpool is a city of culture, music and sport.
It witnessed the meteoric rise of the Beatles in the heady days of the 1960s, is home to one of Britain's most successful soccer teams, Liverpool Football Club, and in recent years has undergone major redevelopment with a number of excellent museums and attractions opening. This evening, like Gerry & The Pacemakers, we'll take the ''Ferry 'cross the Mersey'' and enjoy a cruise around the local area.
Accommodation: Radisson Blu – 5 nights
Day 6 – Liverpool’s Mersey Beat
Liverpool artists and bands have had more Number One records than any other city on the planet. After The Beatles took the music world by storm in the ‘60s and inspired millions with their tuneful songs, others followed suit. The Liverpool of the 1980s saw artists like Elvis Costello, Echo and the Bunnymen and Frankie Goes to Hollywood create diverse and new sounds. Nowadays the current scene is as vibrant as ever with bands like The Coral, the Sugababes and the Zutons once again proving Liverpool's status as the “Capital of Pop.”
Enjoy a tour of the Liverpool of the 1960s, a time when the city was bouncing to the beat of the incomparable Beatles. You’ll be introduced to the lives of the Fab Four, their homes, schools, birthplaces, Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields and many other landmarks associated with their music, including visits to their childhood homes. Also visit The Beatles Story at Albert Dock. Charting the rise of the world's most famous group from humble beginnings in Liverpool to worldwide superstardom, The Beatles Story is the definitive Beatles museum with superb memorabilia and interactive displays.
Our musical exploration continues this evening as we visit The Cavern Quarter which encircles world famous Mathew Street and is a vibrant city center area at the focus of Beatle history, but there's so much else on offer to people of all ages, whether Liverpudlians or tourists. For Fab Four fans there's the Cavern Club – where the lads played 292 times – Cavern pub and the actual pubs, The Grapes and White Star, where the lads drank during the early ‘60s. The most recent attraction is The Wall of Fame depicting Liverpool's rightful place as the origin of more Number One records than any other city. Conclude our day with a pub dinner in this vibrant area of Liverpool.
Day 7 – Manchester Excursion
Today we embark on a day trip to Manchester. Famous for its proud industrial heritage, high-profile music scene, world class football, prestigious theatres, historic architecture and influential artistic community, Manchester has entered the new millennium with vitality and confidence. Manchester remains one of Britain's key musical meccas, a city of diverse musical styles from Freddie and Dreamers, The Bee Gees, The Hollies and Joy Division to The Smiths, Happy Mondays, Stone Roses, New Order and The Chemical Brothers.
Enjoy some time at leisure to explore the great shopping opportunities that Manchester has to offer, including browsing the famous record shops! This afternoon, visit Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United and the second-largest football stadium in England after Wembley. Also visit the club museum, which is visited by more than 200,000 people every year. Young or old, United fan or not, it really is something to savor and tell your friends and family about.
Day 8 – Shopping Expedition in Chester
Enjoy a day shopping in Chester and soak in the atmosphere created by an abundance of black and white buildings set in a circuit of glorious city walls. The city’s delights include the enchanting Eastgate Clock and the 1000-year-old Cathedral, a haven of reflective tranquility in a lively, bustling, cosmopolitan center. Chester's crowning glory however is the 13th century Rows, two tiers of shops running along the main streets.
Day 9 – Leisure Time
Today enjoy a full day at leisure for last minute exploring and souvenir shopping. Tonight, attend a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 10 – Depart Liverpool / Manchester Airport
This morning after breakfast, depart for the Manchester Airport for your flight home or continue on your travels through Europe.
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