Lonely Planet review for Speke Hall
This diagonally patterned Tudor home dates from 1490-1612, and is filled with gorgeously timbered and plastered rooms. The house contains several 'priest's holes', where the hall's sympathetic owners hid Roman Catholic priests during the anti-Catholic 16th and 17th centuries.
A marvellous example of an Elizabethan half-timbered hall, Speke Hall was formerly surrounded by thousands of acres of land, but these days all that remains is the drive and an oasis of meticulously maintained gardens; the hall's Chapel Farm became the nucleus of nearby Liverpool Airport. A bus runs from Lime St to Speke Hall, but the walk from the bus stop is about a kilometre and a half.
Tours to Paul McCartney's childhood home at 20 Forthlin Rd leave from Speke Hall, as well as from Albert Dock. The modest housing estate home is now a National Trust property and has been evocatively restored to its 1950s appearance, complete with assorted McCartney memorabilia. A particular highlight is the lounge room where John and Paul wrote early songs like 'Love Me Do' and 'I Saw Her Standing There'.