Explore places associated with popular music from Baker Street to Soho and Waterloo on this music walk of London.
This is a “north-south” walk, and there are plenty of opportunities for eating, drinking and resting along the way.
This walk is new for 2015.
Map coming soon
From Baker Street tube, exit towards Marylebone Road and cross to Baker Street. Walk down Baker Street until you reach the junction with Dorset Street.
This street may be more well-known for Sherlock Holmes at 221B but Gerry Rafferty wrote his famous song about the street while staying in a flat nearby. The song contained the line, “Winding your way down on Baker Street, Light in your head and dead on your feet”.
Did you Know
As you crossed Marylebone Road, you may have noticed Marylebone Registry Office. This is where Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman got married in 1969, where Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr) and Barbara Goldbach got married in 1981 and where Oasis’ Liam Gallagher secretly married actress Patsy Kensit in 1997.
Turn right and walk along Dorset Street until you reach Montagu Square. Look for number 34, on the corner near Upper Montagu Street.
34 Montagu Square
34 Montagu Square in Marylebone has a colourful rock and roll history. Ringo Starr and his new wife Maureen moved into this apartment in 1965. Later, Paul McCartney recorded demos of Eleanor Rigby there with a portable recording studio. Jimi Hendrix also lived at this address with his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham and manager Chas Chandler, where he wrote The Wind Cries Mary.
However, the most famous occuants were John Lennon and Yoko Ono and the place became the location of their famous naked photo on the cover of their Two Virgins album.
Did you Know
It was here that John and Yoko were busted for drug possession.
Return to Dorset Street and turn right, then walk along Baker Street until you reach Oxford Street. Turn left on Oxford Street, then pass Bond Street tube and cross Oxford Circus. After crossing Oxford Circus, walk along Oxford Street until you reach number 100, on the left, near the corner with Berners Street.
This venue has been associated with music since 1941. The 100 Club’s roots are jazz and you’ll still find them playing it, but since the 1960s they’ve also been playing rock music. In fact, the name of the club came from its larger-than-life rock nights where The Kinks and the Animals played. In the late 70s they brought punk music into the venue with shows by The Sex Pistols and Siouxie; in the 1980s, the Rolling Stones took breaks from their huge stadium concerts and played smaller shows here.
The increase in rents threatened the existence of the club in 2010 but a fundraising campaign helped its doors stay open to today.
Did you Know
As you continue along Oxford Street, you can take a short diversion into Soho Square (turn right down Soho Street) to see the bench dedicated to Kirsty McColl, who recorded a song about it, and who was killed in a boating accident in Mexico.
The bench is near the ping pong tables and the equestrian statue. Every year since her death in 2000, Kirsty McColl’s fans have gathered near the bench in Soho Square on the Sunday nearest her birthday (10 October).
Continue along Oxford Street until you reach the junction with Tottenham Court Road. Stop facing the Dominion Theatre across the road.
This theatre was built over the former Horse Shoe Brewery, which was the site of the 1814 London Beer Flood. The Dominion opened in 1929 and became well known for hosting musical shows. It wasn’t until 6th February 1957 that the hall saw its first proper rock and roll concert. Bill Haley and the Comets opened their British tour here where they were met my thousands of screaming British fans.
Did you Know
In the 60’s, Gerry Rafferty used to be a busker on the London Underground.
turn right and walk along Tottenham Court Road until you reach Old Compton Street on the right. Walk along old Compton Street until you reach Frith Street on your right, and stop across the road from number 47.
Primarily a jazz club, Ronnie Scott’s club in Soho is also a hotspot for rock music. The Who deafened an audience of journalists when the band launched their album Tommy here in 1969. It’s also the location of a sad farewell as Jimi Hendrix gave his last live performance here in September 1970.
Did you Know
Bar Italia, on Frith Street (near the corner with Old Compton Street) is a legendary cafe, often visited by musicians. Jarvis Cocker, from Pulp, sang about it “There’s only one place we can go, it’s round the corner in Soho, where other broken people go – let’s go!” and Dave Stewart – the former front man of the Eurythmics – is apparently planning to write a whole musical about the place.
Return to Old Compton Street, then turn right and walk to the end (Wardour Street). Turn right along Wardour Street, then turn left along Broadwick Street until you reach the junction with Carnaby Street.
It became popular with the Mod crowd in the 60s. The Who and The Small Faces bought clothes there regularly. Carnaby Street was mentioned in The Kinks’ song Dedicated Follower of Fashion: “Everywhere the Carnabetian army marches on, Each one a dedicated follower of fashion”.
Did you Know
The most famous venue in rock and roll, The Marquee Club, was once located at number 90 Wardour Street. It moved there in 1964 from 165 Oxford Street, where the Rolling Stones played their first ever gig.
The club moved again in 1988, to Charing Cross Road and closed down in 1996.
During its time in Wardour Street, practically every band that was famous at the time played there at least once, including Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and the Sex Pistols.
turn right along Carnaby Street until you reach Foubert’s Place. Turn left along Foubert’s Place, cross Regent Street and walk down Conduit Street. Turn left along Savile Row.
Savile Row may be known for Georgian townhomes and upscale bespoke tailors but this Mayfair street housed the Beatles’ Apple Corps Ltd group of companies. On 30 January 1969, the roof of Apple headquarters (number 3) marked the group’s final performance and one of the all-time greatest moments in popular culture.
The Beatles got up onto their roof and had a set list of five songs. Their neighbours were no pleased with the surprise performance and called the police. When they arrived they stayed to watch the show. The performance was stopped after 42 minutes but the footage lives on. The building is now a branch of Abercrombie Kids.
At the end of Savile Row, turn left along Vigo Street and left again up Regent Street until you reach Heddon Street. Turn left along Heddon Street and stop outside number 23, where there should be a phone box.
David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust
David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust album cover was photographed outside 23 Heddon Street, near Regent Street. Stand by the phone booth where David Bowie once stood.
Walk back to Regent Street and turn right, to Piccadilly Circus. Walk along Haymarket, through Trafalgar Square and along the Strand until you reach the Savoy Hotel near Waterloo bridge. Or, get on the tube at Piccadilly Circus to Embankment, and walk up to the Strand then along to the Savoy Hotel near Waterloo Bridge.
Bob Dylan shot the video for Subterranean Homesick Blues at the back of the Savoy Hotel where he was staying during his 1965 UK tour.
Did you Know
Bob Dylan played his first UK concert at The Water Rats, a music venue at 328 Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross in 1962. Oasis also played their first London concert there, in 1994.
Walk along to, and then cross, Waterloo Bridge.
Inspired by Ray Davies walking over Waterloo Bridge when he saw ‘Millions of people swarming like flies ‘round Waterloo Underground’ – a daily occurrence that led to arguably the most evocative song about London, called Waterloo Sunset by The Kinks
Follow the signs to Waterloo Underground station. You have now finished this walk.