I'm looking for comments regarding the various Beatles tours in Liverpool-from those who have been there recently-specifically the Magical Mystery Tour bus vs taxi tours like FaB 4, Mad Day Out, Phil Hughes,etc. Thank you.
We took the Magical Mystery Tour in May 2015 and absolutely loved it. I consider myself very knowledgeable about the Beatles in their early career, and this tour did not disappoint. The guide and bus driver were both full of information and very pleasant and friendly too. Everyone on the bus -- people of all ages from all over the world -- seemed to be having a great time.
Your bus ticket gets you free entry to the rebuilt Cavern Club, which is just down the block from where the bus lets you off. Around the corner is the Hard Day's Night Hotel, where we had a late lunch from the "Any Time At All" menu before driving onward to our night's booking up nearer to the Lake District.
Also, the tour's starting point at the Albert Dock (where there's a helpful TI office) gives you a convenient opportunity to see the Beatles Story museum, which I also highly recommend. Allow at least an hour for that, especially since there can be a line at the ticket desk.
Hi Jeff, still highly recommend the Mop Top Tour company. We used this company a few months ago (Dec 2017) and absolutely loved our personalized tour. Our host was a local and answered all of our burning questions about anything and everything Beatle related. It was easy to book; we selected a four hour tour and paid via the website and received a personal pick up at our hotel! Our guide was good natured, very interesting, and provided excellent commentary along the way. As Mop Top Tours isn’t a crowded bus tour (it was just my mum and I in a van), we enjoyed being able to get out at ALL the sights, including the church where John and Paul first met at a fete. We supplemented the tour with The Beatles Story at the Albert Dock. We were really pleased with Mop Top and came away with some lovely photos taken of us by our guide. In my opinion, you can’t beat this tour in terms of a personalized experience with a local guide.
I didn't take a "Beatles Tour" (either by bus or taxi), but I did two specific Beatles things that I highly recommend.
One was the Beatles Story Museum. It focuses mostly on their early years, so unless you've studied these in detail, you're bound to learn something. For instance, did you know that before they played the Cavern Club, they played the Casbah Coffee House (aka Pete Best's mother's basement)? You can even visit it: http://www.petebest.com/casbah-coffee-club.aspx
Beware, however, the inane "Fab 4D Experience" in the museum annex. That's 12 minutes of my life I'll never get back.
The other was the National Trust tour of John's and Paul's childhood homes. Other tours go past these, but only this tour actually gets you inside the houses. It's not only interesting to see where and how they grew up, but also how people lived in that time and place. Since only a few tours run a day and each tour only holds about 12 people, pre-booking is a must. Here's where: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/beatles-childhood-homes
Rick's Liverpool chapter in his Great Britain or England books (exact same chapter in both books) is excellent. He has a lot of details about these Beatles sights, as well as many of the non-Beatles sights which are also very worthwhile. As a bonus, most of the non-Beatles sights are free!
If you're interested in more details about my Liverpool trip in September 2016 (along with Glasgow and Manchester), here's my trip report: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/uk-trip-report-glasgow-manchester-liverpool-in-september-2016
Thanks, Harold, for the correct name of the museum at the Albert Dock -- it is Beatles Story, not Beatles Experience. I've edited my post to reflect that correction. And yeah, it's great for those of us who love to focus on the early years.