Autism Friendly Trip To Liverpool

Travelling isn't something we do lightly as a family as it tends to be very difficult. We also never travel as a family of 6, which is a bit sad, but it's just how it works for us. Balancing all of the children's individual needs makes travelling all together too tricky, so we tend to split into 2 groups. The older boys together and the youngest 2 together, these groups work well. The older boys decided they would like to visit Liverpool in the summer, their Uncle lives up there and they wanted to see him at the same time, so I had to get a plan together.
Travel
We always travel by train, we don't drive and trains offer us a greater choice. We always travel from Manchester airport, as its the beginning of the line. This means we can be first on the train and not boarding at a busy station with lots of other people. We previously travelled from Piccadilly but the boys struggled with the sheer number of people. The trains at the airport are always on platform 15 minutes before departure (usually) and soon as they have been cleaned they allow you to board. This means we can board and get settled way before we are due to set off, this makes it easier for the boys. For our return journey we always opt for a train around lunchtime, this means we miss the early morning rush and the late afternoon scramble. We always purchase open tickets so we are not tied to a particular service, so if it is too bus we can come back later.
Accomodation
We need a hotel that's close by to the station as the boys aren't great at walking long distances. Liverpool is well serviced with plenty of hotels within a 5-minute walk. We opted for a Travelodge, who could provide us with an adjoining room. L likes his own room but as he isn't yet 18 he isn't allowed his own separate own room. The adjoining rooms give him the privacy he requires and us the peace of mind of being able to check on him. The best bit of Travelodge for us is you can customise your stay, opt for breakfast, early check-in, late checkout and the early booking deals save us a fortune.
Food
The fact we stayed right in the city centre meant we had a huge choice of food options. The boys, however, are extremely fussy when it comes to food. We arrived mid-afternoon and were meeting their Uncle at the docks before dinner, so they opted for a Subway sandwich, perfect option for fussy eaters. We wanted to go to the world buffet for dinner, but my brother said it gets very busy and wouldn't be suitable for the boys. He also thought there wouldn't be much choice for the boys as he knows their rigid eating habits. We actually ended up on the Wetherspoons near the shopping centre. Not my 1st choice of eatery, but a varied menu and also quiet corners you can sneak into. We found a corner near the back and thanks to the app we didn't need to move and our order was brought to us.
Stuff To Do
The boys and their Dad are massive Liverpool fans so a visit to Anfield was an absolute must. The website is very informative and I found that the day we were due to visit was a fun day, this started at 12, so we opted or the early morning 10am tour to miss the craziness. We also booked a table in the boot room cafe/restaurant for 12pm, which gave us a good 2 hour to look around. The ideal thing about the tour with it being summertime was it was self-guided with a headset and device. This meant we could take as much or as little time as we needed. There were certain areas the boys rushed through that were busy but the highlight for them all was getting to sit in the famous Kop!
We opted for the 2-course lunch option in the restaurant and the boys loved their hot dogs. You can pre-book this option as part of your package and they reserve you a table. David was beside himself when Liverpool legend Ian Rush came in for lunch and sat 3 tables away! We headed back into Liverpool centre for a wander around the docks.
The docks is a fab spot to walk around there is plenty to see, we loved the love lock bridge. We went into the museum, which is free to enter. It closed at 4pm and we headed inside at 3.30pm and it was very quiet. The boys love a good fact so it was right up their street. There are 3 floors to discover and each had different info, we found it fascinating. We ended our day by heading to Mattel Play to meet my brother as he finished his shift there and headed for a quiet evening in the hotel. The boys chose Burger King for dinner as they had 2 courses for lunch when we visited Anfield.
We always find the key to our trips is pre-planning and clever thinking, we are that family who you find in the park at 8am, the ones there just before your attraction closes and the ones who always request the quiet corner. Our trip to Liverpool was a success and went without any hitches. L has asked to go to Sheffield for his mini-break this year, as there is a gaming museum there he wants to see. You won't ever find us on a beach holiday as sand is their worst nightmare, I think we have found our niche in chilled hotel stays exploring new cities!
Thanks For Reading
Mandy

xx

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