Beatles and Britpop: A Backstage Music Tour of London

Abbey Road in St Johns Wood is home to one of the most famous recording studios in the capital, Abbey Road Studios
Abbey Road in St John's Wood is home to one of the most famous recording studios in the capital, Abbey Road Studios | © Aleksandr Faustov / Alamy Stock Photo

Few cities can claim a musical heritage as prestigious as that of London, and on this insider-led experience you’ll sound out the best of it.

Tapping a rich vein of homegrown talent, as well as pulling in tonnes of artists from around Britain and beyond, London has long been one of the most electrifying and prolific cities in the world for music. From the Swinging Sixties through to Britpop and present-day indie bands, the English capital has fostered and fuelled a music scene like no other.

“London’s large multicultural population and cosmopolitan attitude have paved the way for the rich and diverse programme of music that sweeps stages across the city’s venues, large and small,” explains Emily Waller of Rough Trade, a top independent record label in London, which opened in 1976 in Ladbroke Grove but has since added an East End outpost, just off Brick Lane, where the likes of Blur have performed.

“London’s music scene is hugely exciting, and the regular gig-goer will find themselves trying to arrange their schedule to avoid as many calendar clashes as possible – there’s just so much to enjoy,” adds Waller.

Together with an abundance of live shows, there are many stellar experiences to connect you with the musical heritage of the capital. Here, we’ve fine-tuned tours that explore the haunts of old rock legends and the musical theatreland of the West End, and added an encore-worthy hotel – all bookable right here on Culture Trip.

 Queens Theatre in the heart of Londons buzzing West End |
 Youll find little pieces of Beatles history all over the capital |
 The city has loads of great record shops, like Rough Trade East |

Where To Stay: the Hotel…

1. The Megaro Hotel

Boutique Hotel

The Megaro
Courtesy of the Megaro /

Thanks to the angular New Rave-inspired mural splashed across the facade, The Megaro has become one of the most eye-catching landmarks in King’s Cross. But it’s what’s inside that counts. Many of the hotel rooms riff on British music scenes from punk rock to pop diva. The Diesel Living Suites are the most rock ‘n’ roll, with flight-case furnishings, Union Flag cushions and a mohawked Churchill bust to tease out your inner punk. The reception doubles as a steampunk-themed bar, while downstairs a second underground bar is all crushed red velvet, vintage cocktails and regular live jams. Step out of the hotel and you’re within skipping distance of Camden, a historic haven of counter culture, where you’ll discover hallowed venues the Roundhouse and the Jazz Cafe. Also nearby is live music venue, Scala, with a busy programme showcasing the hottest up-and-coming acts.

What To Do: the Experiences…

2. London Rock Legends Small Group Tour

Activities, Tours

Hop on the London Rock Legends bus for a riveting tour around the best rock-related landmarks in the capital. You’ll be regaled with fascinating stories about the stars as you pass through their former stomping grounds: from the famous homes and film locations of Notting Hill to King’s Road in Chelsea – once the heart of the Swinging Sixties and still home to Vivienne Westwood shop, Worlds End, which became a centrepiece for the punk scene in the 1970s. There’ll be loads of photo ops, too, including time at the Abbey Road crossing, made famous by the Beatles.

3. Beatles Evening Tour of Central London

Tours, Activities

When Beatlemania was taking the world by storm, Swinging London was at the centre of it all. This two-hour walking tour takes Fab Four fans to more than 35 sites around the capital that played a part in the Beatles’ meteoric rise and extraordinary success. Visit the likes of Abbey Road, Apple Records HQ, and Beatles’ homes past and present, while enjoying fun facts and insider stories about the four lads from Liverpool from your Beatles-expert guide.

4. West End Musicals Silent Disco Tour

Tours, Activities

Lovers of musicals and show tunes have been giving this tour of West End theatres a standing ovation – and it’s easy to see why. It’s a fabulous guided journey around the best of the London theatreland, visiting more than 20 of the top venues in the capital and learning fascinating facts and history about each. Individual headphones mean you won’t miss a thing, plus you’ll be kept entertained with songs from your favourite shows. Annnd… jazz hands!

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article