Rock of Ages: A Music Tour Through London

I’m very pleased to share a special guest post by Simonetta Marino from Italy who tells us about her passion for music and travel. Enjoy!

Rock of Ages: A Music Tour Through London

Abbey Road in London

Abbey Road Sign in London

I do feel a particular love for the city of London. I would not say it is my favourite city in Europe, but London is definitely one of the places I am fonder of because of music. Most of the bands I loved when I was a teen (and I still do now, although in a different way) started their careers in the British capital. That’s why I turned all my trips to this city into a sort of pilgrimage to the spots associated with my beloved musicians. Here’s a guide to walking in the footsteps of some of the best rock bands:

The Chelsea Cloister

The Chelsea Cloister where Syd Lived

Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd

I am a great fan of the rock band Pink Floyd, but there is a dark side to the group (no pun intended). The band’s founder, Syd, had a premature death. People say he went crazy because of drug abuse, which sounds totally plausible, considering the era.

I visited two of the apartments he stayed in on Cromwell Road and on Earls Court, which he shared with painter Duggie Fields.Then he took a loft at Park Lane Hilton Hotel for a few months. Later, he stayed 8 years (allegedly) at the Chelsea Cloisters, a complex of serviced luxury apartments on Sloane Avenue, in the heart of Chelsea. Just around the corner from Chelsea Cloisters, the Marlborough Arms was the pub where he would go for a drink, always on his own.

Marlborough Arms Pub

Marlborough Arms Pub where Syd liked to have a drink

The Beatles

If someone told you “You could sleep in the same hotel where the Fab Four stayed back in the summer of 1963,” what would you say? It happened to me, and I said “Yes!” For a Beatles excursion in  London, check out:

  • The Abbey Road Crossing – Issued on 26 September, 1969, Abbey Road was the final Beatles album to be recorded but not their last to be released. Take a picture on the iconic crosswalk that is on the album cover
  • 57 Green Street in Mayfair, the only proper house the band shared together
  • The Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane, where they received the “Showbiz Personalities of 1963” and where some outrageous parties were thrown
  • The President Hotel in Bloomsbury, where the famous Norman Parkinson photographed the band in iconic behind-the-scene shots

I chose to stay at the President Hotel, although not a low-budget accommodation, I could not resist the temptation to say “I slept where the Beatles slept!” After a lot of research, I found a convenient price on

The Garden Lodge where Freddy lived

The Garden Lodge where Freddy lived

Freddie Mercury, Queen

Freddie was perhaps my first love: I used to like everything about him, from his music to his way of life. On my first trip to London in 1993, I visited Garden Lodge at 1 Logan Place, the Edwardian mansion he owned in the exclusive area of South Kensington (his final home).

Not far from there was the Kensington Market, a 3-story indoor market much appreciated by hippies where Freddie had a stall along with his friend Roger Taylor, Queen drummer. The market closed in 2000.

These are the three main reasons why I feel a particularly profound bond with London!



Simonetta Marino is an Italian blogger based in the wonderful city of Venice. In love with travel, food and dogs, when she is not busy writing, she thinks what she can write about next. Find me on Twitter at

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