London is a dream to visit for any keen music enthusiast, and there are countless stories about the legendary musicians who have lived, played and recorded here over the years. From much-loved venues and iconic gigs to former homes of iconic musicians, London hums with the memories of some of the most famous musicians ever. Here’s our guide to London tours for music lovers that you need to have on your bucket list.
(WA= Wheelchair Accessible)
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Book onto the Soho Music and Historic Pubs Experience
There are fewer things quite as British than a classic London boozer, and this Soho Music and Historic Pubs Tour takes it up a notch by taking you to visit four iconic Soho pubs where some of the most legendary musicians used to hang out. Hear the tales and tribulations of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Mozart, Marilyn Monroe, Jimi Hendrix, and many more as you make your way between four hidden London pubs. You’ll get to sample authentic English beers at each stop as you learn how Soho has been the city’s entertainment capital for over 300 years. There will be plenty of opportunities to snap photos along the way as your expert guide takes you off the beaten path to hidden alleyways and side streets, seeing the city through the eyes of a local music lover.
London: Soho Music and Historic Pubs Experience | Piccadilly Circus
Image Courtesy of Handel and Hendrix Museum
Visit the Handel & Hendrix Museum
First, on our list of London tours for music lovers, you will see how two of the world’s most famous musicians once lived at 25 and 23 Brook Street, now known as the Handel & Hendrix Museum. It’s where the British baroque composer George Frideric Handel and rock singer-guitarist Jimi Hendrix worked their magic, with just a wall and 200 years between them. Explore the homes of two musicians who changed the face of music, where you’ll get to see where many of Handel’s works were composed and partially rehearsed and recreations of both Jimi Hendrix’s and Handel’s bedrooms. The upper floors also contain galleries and videos showcasing Hendrix’s story, including an Epiphone acoustic guitar once owned by the man himself.
Handel & Hendrix Museum | Mayfair | WA
Go on the London Rock Music Tour
Take a trip back in time and explore London’s legendary rock music scene on this London Rock Music Tour of the capital’s rock ’n’ roll landmarks. Visit the eclectic neighbourhoods of Soho, Camden Town, Muswell Hill, Archway and Islington, all of which have played an essential part in the city’s rock ’n’ roll history. See the gig sites and former recording studios of The Beatles; swing by the homes of Ringo and Jimmy Page and visit the sites related to Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Queen and more. See where Amy Winehouse used to hang out in Camden and stroll across the famous Abbey Road crossing, recreating your own version of the iconic album cover. You’ll also explore the heart of the swinging’ 60s in Chelsea and retrace the footsteps of Freddie Mercury in Kensington. This is one of the best London tours for music lovers and a must for any rock ’n’ roll fan.
London Rock Music Tour | St James’s
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Do speakeasy cocktails and live music at Below Stone Nest
Below Stone Nest is a cosy basement bar hidden under a Welsh chapel on Shaftesbury Avenue. It was built in 1888 and now hosts everything from plays and dance performances to intimate gigs. The owners describe it as a beautiful old-fashioned dive bar that serves a short, concise menu of cocktails and a curated list of wine, cava and champagne. It offers a platform for emerging artists to showcase their talent and art, including everything from jazz and electronic to acoustic and more.
Below Stone Nest | Chinatown
Take the Beatles London Walking Tour
Beatles lovers cannot miss this Beatles-themed walking tour, retracing the footsteps of the fab four as you make your way around the London sites they once called home. Explore the band’s history by visiting Sir Paul McCartney’s London home and crossing the iconic Abbey Road crossing. Visit the filming spots for A Hard Day’s Night, see where Yesterday was first composed, and stand where John and Yoko first met. Explore London through the eyes of a Beatles fan alongside your knowledgeable guide, who will take you to under-the-radar Beatles locations with facts and trivia along the way.
The Beatles London Walking Tour | St. John’s Wood
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Visit Troy Bar for Caribbean eats and vibey live music
Troy Bar is a leading player on the music scene in London, bringing together live music enthusiasts and Caribbean food lovers to their vibrant space in Shoreditch. Aside from serving mouthwatering Caribbean fare (try the curry goat with sweet plantain and rice), they host an impressive roster of live performers, including open mic nights, jam sessions with emerging artists, and reggae, jazz and blues nights. Troy Bar was part of the Shoreditch community way before it became one of the most popular nightlife spots in the city and remains a vital place for music lovers to come together and enjoy live music in its most authentic form.
Troy Bar | Shoreditch
Follow in famous footsteps on the David Bowie Walking Tour
Last on our list of London tours for music lovers takes you to explore the life of David Bowie. This David Bowie Walking Tour is centred around the legendary Brixton boy who became one of the most famous musicians ever. You’ll get to explore his rise and fall, learning about his childhood growing up in Brixton and his rise to fame in Soho. The tour starts in Brixton, where Bowie spent much of his life – the area even has its own currency with David Bowie printed on £10 notes. Here you’ll get to see the house where he was born and where he went to school before hopping on the tube and making your way to Soho. This is where Bowie spent his teenage years and where he dreamt of making it big in the music industry. You’ll pass music venues where he once performed, visit pubs where he would hang out, and snap a photo of yourself standing in the same spot as Bowie on the album cover The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars. Get ready to hear anecdotes and trivia about Bowie along the way, all presented by a knowledgeable and keen Bowie guide.
London: David Bowie Walking Tour | Brixton | WA
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Experience an intimate music session with Sofar Sounds
Sofar Sounds has been built to connect artists and audiences through live music. It’s all about curated intimate performances at unique and secret venues around the city, aiming to bring back the magic of a live experience that’s been lost over the years. One of the main draws is that guests never know who they’re going to see beforehand, adding to the air of anticipation. Everyone is asked to put their phones away to ensure a great listening environment is respected and so that the experience is solely about the music. Although the venues remain a mystery, they are always cosy and intimate, adding to the memorable musical experience Sofar Sounds aims to create.
Sofar Sounds | Mystery location | WA