Keep On Keeping On: Traversing the John Lennon Trail

The trail of John Lennon isn’t easy to map out. It will lead you 3,306 miles from Liverpool to New York, give or take a few extra thousand, with diversions along the way. As the man himself said, "Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans."

  • 1. Mendips

    United Kingdom
    The trail starts at this 1930s semi-detached property that belonged to Lennon’s Aunt Mimi and was John’s childhood home until the age of 22. If you like your mop-tops Mancunian, it’s also the image used on the cover of Oasis’ single "Live Forever."
  • 2. St Peter's Church Fete

    United Kingdom
    On the 6th of July 1957, John met Paul. John was playing with the The Quarry Men. Paul knew all the words to "Be-Bop-A-Lula." John was suitably impressed and a culture-shifting friendship began.
  • 3. Abbey Road Studios

    United Kingdom
    The Beatles found their recording home at Abbey Road, recording virtually all of their songs there. Be careful when driving round here: Tourists can often be found out front, recreating the famous cover on the zebra crossing.
  • 4. 34 Montagu Square

    United Kingdom
    The leafy Victorian terrace of Montagu Square is five minutes from Abbey Road. It’s unlikely they were prompt with the rent but in June 1968, the flat's owner, Ringo Starr, could hardly say no when John and Yoko asked to move in. They shot the famous nude cover for the "Two Virgins" album and became acquainted with the local constabulary. The flat now has a prestigious Blue Plaque outside commemorating their stay.
  • 5. Swarg Ashram

    Leaving the UK behind, John headed to Rishikesh in 1968 for some transcendental meditation in the foothills of the Himalayas with a Maharishi Yogi. Between vegetable curries, John wrote "Dear Prudence" for Mia Farrow’s reclusive sister who refused to leave her accommodation. Whilst John was over there, Ringo came to visit with a suitcase full of Heinz beans … and left after a week.
  • 6. Civil Status & Registration Office

    March 20th 1969 – On the Rock of Gibraltar, John and Yoko shipped up, got hitched and shipped out to Amsterdam for the start of a not-entirely-private honeymoon: their famous four-day bed-in with the world’s media. Each eyebrow arching detail is laid out in "The Ballad of John and Yoko," which is the only Beatles track that features just John and Paul playing. It was their last major recording together.
  • 7. Indica Gallery

    Back in London, the Indica Gallery was a counterculture art exhibition space owned in part by Paul McCartney. It was this connection that led Paul’s songwriting partner to come to an exhibition on the 7th of November,1966, by a then-unknown artist, Yoko Ono. That night, an affair was started that ended the first chapter of John’s life.
  • 8. The Dakota Building

    Settling in New York, John became a fanatic of the city, transfixed that the TV ran through the night and dinner was served round the clock. He felt born again in the Village. The last nine years of his life were spent torn between marital bliss and bread making with newborn son, Sean, while simultaneously fighting custody battles or deportation attempts by the U.S. government. Then, on the 8th of December 1980, on the doorstep of The Dakota, four gunshot wounds brought the trail of John Lennon to an untimely end.