Seeing The Rock ‘n’ Roll Highlights Of London

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The UK has long punched above its weight when it comes to pop and rock music, and some of the biggest acts in music history have written, recorded and performed in London. Even in the digital age, London is still where wannabe pop stars go to make their mark on the world, and for anyone with a passion for music, London is top of their list of tourist destinations. One of the best ways to see the sights is on a self-guided walking tour of the highlights.

Getting Started

The first thing to do before you even leave home is to invest in a good map which will show you in detail the city centre. Get one which you don’t mind drawing on as it will be easier to plot your route with a pen. Using the internet and some reference books, mark on the map sites you wish to see, whether that is recording studios, the famous Abbey Road zebra crossing, streets or houses where you favourite acts lived or performance venues. Then work out a route taking in as many of your preferred locations as possible, bearing in mind that as well as walking, the London Underground is a quick and efficient way to travel around.

Houses of the Stars

We all love to see how the other half lives, and with so many rock and roll stars living in the London area, there are many maps available to show you where to go. Some of the stars whose homes feature are Madonna, Paul McCartney, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix. Many of the “star maps” will also direct you to locations in films or celebrity favoured pubs, so it’s easy to spend a day seeing the city and living the life of the rich and famous.

Soho

As a starting point, Soho has some of the best music related sites in London. Soho is the area that stretches between Trafalgar Square and Oxford Street, and is well known for its nightlife and music venues, such as Ronnie Scott’s, which is one of the best jazz venues in the country. London is also home to The Marquee Club, which was originally located in Oxford Street, and where the Rolling Stones played their first gig. You can also visit Denmark Street which is the best place for a central London guitar shop spending spree and also the former home of the Sex Pistols, who lived in flat above number 6.

The Beatles

A music lover’s trip to London isn’t complete without a picture on that famous zebra crossing outsife the Abbey Road recording studios but there are other places in the capital connected with the Fab Four too. Although Savile Row is more closely associated with the tailoring industry, the Beatles performed their last ever concert here in 1969, and there is also lots of Beatles memorabilia on display at the nearby Hard Rock Café. There’s a dedicated Beatles store in Baker Street which is the perfect place to pick up some souvenirs to take home.

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Morag Peers enjoys blogging about UK pop culture.

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