The Beatles in London: Free, Self-Guided London Walking Tour With a Map

“I can’t believe the Beatles were real”

While the incredible story of John, Paul, George and Ringo began in other parts of the world (primarily in Liverpool and Hamburg) a significant portion of their eventful seven-year reign at the top the music charts unfolded in London.

Below, you’ll find The Beatles London walking tour that will guide you to 15 of London’s iconic landmarks, connected to the Fab Four.

All the locations described below you can see for free.

MAPs of this walking tour: part 1 & part 2

Distance to cover: 6.4 miles (10.3 km)

Before you go… If you’d like to shorten this walk a bit, you can use public transportation between points 2 and 3. However, I encourage you to walk the entire way. In addition to seeing The Beatles’ spots, you’ll also have the opportunity to experience two royal parks…

… and London’s beautiful architecture along the way.


In need of a private tour guide…?


The Beatles London walking tour

1. Abbey Road Studios

This walking tour begins at the world’s most famous recording studio, located at 3 Abbey Road.

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In June 1962, it was here that Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Pete Best had their breakthrough audition.

Prior to this, they had been rejected by most of the other important producers in London.

Despite their less-than-perfect performance of ‘Love Me Do’ and other songs, the entertaining personalities of these young musicians convinced the producer, George Martin, to sign a contract with The Beatles, who were relatively unknown in London at the time.

This recording session also played a significant role in the decision to replace Pete Best with Ringo Starr.

Since most of The Beatles’ songs were recorded here, fans have been visiting this site for over 60 years, leaving their writings on the regularly repainted wall outside Abbey Road Studios.

Although you cannot visit the studio as a tourist (it is still a working recording studio), you can certainly visit the Abbey Studio Shop located next door.

In addition to interesting music merchandise, you will be able to learn there more about the rich music history connected to this place.

Other big names who recorded their music here: Pink Floyd, Amy Winehouse, Oasis. The music for ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ by composer Nicholas Hooper was also recorded here.

2. Iconic zebra crossing in Abbey Road

Just outside Abbey Road Studios, you can find the zebra crossing that graced the cover of The Beatles’ 1969 album, ‘Abbey Road’.

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In the photograph, John, Paul, George, and Ringo are depicted as casual pedestrians strolling across the crossing.

This scene held a metaphorical significance as they were also departing from their EMI recording studios.

‘Abbey Road’ marked the final album recorded by The Beatles at this location, as the band soon break-up.

The iconic photo has since become one of the most imitated album covers in music history, with Beatles fans still today testing the patience of local drivers while recreating the iconic scene.

The association with The Beatles led to this crossing being listed as a Grade II heritage site in 2010.

3. A Beatle must not marry” (Marylebone Registry Office)

In August 1962, John Lennon married for the first time, just before the world witnessed the explosion of Beatlemania onto the music scene.

However, the band’s general marketing approach at the time was to keep the girlfriends and wives of Paul, John, George, and Ringo out of sight from their often hysterical fans.

This approach had two clear goals: to maintain the interest of the female part of their audience and to ensure the safety of these lucky individuals.

As time passed, all members of the band did eventually tie the knot.

The third location to see during this walking tour is the Marylebone Registry Office, which hosted three of The Beatles’ weddings.

Paul McCartney married here his first and third wife (Linda Eastman in March 1969 and Nancy Shevell in 2011) and Ringo Starr tied the knot here with his second wife Barbara Bach, in 1981.

Barbara Bach played a James Bond’s girl in the 1977 movie The Spy Who Loved Me.

The Marylebone Registry Office has been witness to the unions of other famous personalities as well, including Liam Gallagher and Patsy Kensit, as well as Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith.

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4. Flat where John and Yoko got arrested

Between 1965 and 1969, Ringo Starr owned flat no 1 at 34 Montagu Square (ground and basement levels).

During this relatively short period, the flat had quite a succession of famous tenants.

Initially, Ringo lived there briefly himself.

After he moved out, the list of tenants over the next four years included names such as Paul McCartney and Jimi Hendrix.

Jimi Hendrix composed here The Wind Cries Mary but got eventually evicted by Ringo for damaging the flat.

However, the flat is most famous for the eventful occupancy of John Lennon & Yoko Ono.

The famous couple got raided here in October 1968 by Scotland Yard’s Drug Squad and later charged with drug possession.

It was also at this location that they took the famous naked photo featured on their experimental album Two Virgins.

Despite all of this (or perhaps because of it!) the place earned a blue plaque in 2012, commemorating only John Lennon’s brief residence at this address in 1968.

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5. The house where Paul dreamed “Yesterday”

The melody of one of the most covered Beatles songs, Yesterday came to Paul in a dream.

When he woke up, he was convinced that it was someone else’s melody; he just couldn’t recall where he had heard it before.

After a while, when no one claimed it, he recorded the tune with a working title Scrambled Eggs.

The dream came to Paul when he slept in the top room at the back of 57 Wimpole Street, the next point on this walking tour.

In 1965, 57 Wimpole Street belonged to the family of his girlfriend at that time, Jane Asher.

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6. Place where Beatlemania began

When it comes to the Beatles, often it is hard to pinpoint accurate dates for some of the critical events in the band’s history (even the members of the group could not agree on some of them).

However, we do know for sure when and where the so-called Beatlemania started.

On October 13, 1963, the Beatles played at the London Palladium, and here, for the first time, they experienced the hysterical screaming of their fans.

The next day, while describing the atmosphere at the Sunday show watched on TV by some 15 million people, newspapers used the term Beatlemania for the first time.

The term has been used ever since.

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From 1966 the Beatles management offices were located next door to London Palladium, at no 5-6 Argyll Street.

7. The statue of John Lennon at Carnaby Street

Just around the corner from London Palladium and former Beatles’ offices you can find the seating statue of John Lennon.

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8. Where the Beatles bought their suits!

No. 63 Old Compton Street 60 years ago, it was the location of Millings, also known as the Beatles’ tailor.

Currently the site is occupied by restaurant.

Millings provided the Beatles with over 500 suits during the 1960s, including the suits they wore at Buckingham Palace (more on that in a moment).

Douglas Millings (the tailor) was featured in the 1964 movie A Hard Day’s Night.

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9. Where the Beatles logo was created (and Ringo bought his drum set!)

In April 1963, Ringo Starr and Brian Epstein arrived at Drum City, which was then located at 112A Shaftesbury Avenue, to purchase a new drum set for the Beatles.

The deal negotiated by Epstein at the shop included adding the iconic Beatles’ logo to the Ludwig drum set.

Unfortunately, the Drum City shop no longer exists but the building is still there!

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10. Where the Beatles entertained the royal family

On November 4, 1963, the Beatles took the stage at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London for the Royal Variety Show.

Among the audience were the 63-year-old Queen Mother and 33-year-old Princess Margaret.

However, the most memorable moment from this performance was John Lennon’s cheeky joke at the expense of the royal family, which he delivered just before their final number, Twist and Shout:

For our last number, I’d like to ask for your help. Those in the cheaper seats, clap your hands. And the rest of you, if you could just rattle your jewelry.

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11. The last live performance

The last the Beatles performance took place at the rooftop of 3 Savile Row in London and it lasted 42 minutes.

This was the location of Apple Corps – The Beatles Office at the time.

There was no tickets sold and no crowds, just random listeners at next door roofs and the passengers passing on the paving during their lunch break.

And of course couple of Metropolitan police officers who shut down the semi-spontaneous gig down.

The Beatles’ rooftop concert at Savile marked the end of an era and today the site is honored with the blue plaque commemorating that.

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12. Where John Lennon met Yoko Ono

In September 1965, in the basement of 6 Masons Yard, friends of Paul McCartney opened Indica Books and Gallery, an alternative space for art and books.

The name of the gallery was inspired by the type of cannabis, Indica.

McCartney, a strong supporter of the venue himself, encouraged John Lennon to visit the gallery. On November 7, 1966, Lennon attended an exhibition by the Japanese artist Yoko Ono here.

The rest is history.

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In Mason’s Yard, you can also find a Yoko Ono-inspired mural.

13. Buckingham Palace!

There are countless places connected to the Beatles in London, and perhaps Buckingham Palace is not the first one that comes to mind.

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However, two years after Beatlemania took the world by storm (and only three years since their last concerts at the infamous, shabby Hamburg clubs!), on October 26, 1965, John, Ringo, Paul, and George arrived at the Palace in Lennon’s black Rolls Royce to collect their MBEs from the Queen herself.

MBE stands for Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

According to John Lennon, the band smoked marijuana in the palace toilets!

Although The Beatles wore the medals on their 1967 album cover for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, John Lennon returned his MBE in November 1969 with a note:

“Your Majesty, I am returning my MBE as a protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra conflict, against our support of America in Vietnam, and against ‘Cold Turkey’ slipping down the charts. With love, John Lennon of Bag.”

Decades later, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were knighted here for their services in music (Paul in 1997 and Ringo in 2018). George Harrison declined the OBE honor in 2000.

14. The house where Beatles’ manager died

Just behind Buckingham Palace gardens, on the charming Chapel Street, you can find the former residence of Brian Epstein, the man often credited with the commercial success of The Beatles (No. 24).

This house hosted many joyful moments for The Beatles, including the release party for the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

But it also witnessed a very tragic one.

On August 27, 1967, Brian Epstein was found dead here.

The cause of death was ruled as an accidental overdose of sleeping pills combined with alcohol.

He was only 32 years old.

For some, this event marked the beginning of the end for The Beatles.

Out of respect for Epstein’s family’s privacy and to avoid attracting media attention, The Beatles did not attend his funeral.

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15. The Beatles’ Pub

In a small street behind Brian Epstein’s flat, you can find a pub called the Horse & Groom.

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This is your chance to experience a place that was frequently visited by The Beatles themselves between 1965 and 1967.

This charming and well-hidden pub provided the band members with a peaceful escape from the bustling streets of London and the loud screams of their fans.

Inside the pub, you can find a few photos commemorating their visits.

This is the final stop of this walking tour.

In need of a private tour guide…?