Visitors look at the gates to Strawberry Field in Liverpool, northwest England on September 18, 2019. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

LIVERPOOL, –┬áBeatles fans can now take a trip through the childhood sanctuary of John Lennon that inspired seminal song “Strawberry Fields Forever”, with the former children’s home opening its doors to the public.

Lennon used to climb over the fence from his aunt’s house, where he grew up, and play with other children at the Strawberry Field orphanage.

Its importance in shaping Lennon’s personality was laid bare in the classic 1967 psychedelic hit.

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Around 60,000 fans flock each year to the site to have their photographs taken outside the famous red gates, but until now have never been allowed beyond.

“The gates are open for good,” Major Allister Versfeld, mission development officer of the Salvation Army charity, told AFP.

“This is a unique opportunity for people to come and explore the garden.. and just enjoy what many have said; there’s a real sense of calm and peace.”

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The site, in the city’s Woolton neighbourhood, was a Salvation Army children’s home up until 2005, when it became derelict.

But it has now been turned into a centre to help 18-25 year olds with learning disabilities find employment, partly funded by opening its doors to the public.

“We have got the visitor exhibition which tells the story of the Salvation Army, the children’s home and that connection with John Lennon,” explained Versfeld, in front of the gates. (AFP)

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