As we only had a few hours to spend in Liverpool, we decided to book a private Beatles aka Fab Four tour that was recommended by a friend of ours who had gone on the trip the year before.
The guide Terry, who turns out was the also the owner, met us at the port as we came off the cruise ship and did a great job of introducing our kids to the Fab Four through entertaining stories and discussion of the lyrics to the well-known songs.
Over the span of the three hours, we visited John Lennon’s place of birth, Paul’s (still well kept), John’s and Ringo’s (tear down condition) childhood homes, Paul and John’s college and even John and Cynthia’s ‘honeymoon’ flat.
Our sons enjoyed a karaoke style ride down ‘Penny Lane’ with the obligatory stops at the barber’s shop.Other photo ops were the Strawberry fields and searching for Eleanor Rigby’s tombstone in the church’s graveyard which turns out was somewhat of a fictional character.
However, the tour highlight by far was chatting to the late Dave Peters and listening to his eyewitness account of John Lennon and Paul Mccartney’s first meeting outside the St Mary’s Church we were visiting. The older gentleman is a natural born storyteller who recounted the story so vividly he had our kids listening to him patiently for more than 30 minutes , asking for additional details
Our short detour.
We had no plans to stop anywhere else in the city as we wanted to get back to the ship for lunch but the guide insisted we couldn’t leave Liverpool without seeing the Cathedral with its magnificent stained glass ceiling.
Autism travel tips:
There are several companies that offer variations of the same tour; some are group tours while others cater to private groups. The group tours are more budget friendly while the private tours can be tailored to each family needs better.
Introduce your kid with autism to the Beatles music ahead of time so he or she can recognize the songs and follow the stories.
Our son who is temperature sensitive liked the fact he didn’t have to walk much and spent most of his time being driven to the various locations while listening to the guide’s stories.
Make sure you pack an umbrella or raincoat since in England the weather in England can be temperamental even in the summertime.
Closed shoes are recommended for walking in the cemetery as the terrain is slightly uneven and can be muddy.