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A narrowboat and a pint.

UK rail trip – 2022

Day 47 – 19th May, 2022

I woke up with still no idea as to where to go today, so I walked down to Liverpool Lime Street (and Tesco). I thought I may as well catch a train down to London. So, I hopped on my intercity train of choice, an Avanti West Coast class 390 Pendolino.

Liverpool Lime Street (09:47)
Avanti West Coast
2:16 (185:51)
London Euston (12:03)
311.4 km (16893.8 km)

The train pulled away on time. It was about half full, but that would change as it continued on its journey. For once, they had what I wanted in the shop – a bacon roll. I bought one, along with a black coffee. Not a bad way to spend a morning – a bacon roll, a coffee and a view from a train!

Once I got to London, I decided where I was going to go. I left the station, turned right, and walked towards London St. Pancras International. It was just after 12:00, so I picked up some lunch on the way. Arriving at London St. Pancras International, I made my way to the appropriate platform.

East Midlands Railway classes 222 (left) & 180 (centre) and Eurostar class 374 (e320).

Unfortunately, it was not a Eurostar class 374 / e320 that would take me to Paris, Brussels or Amsterdam. It was an East Midlands Railway class 180 that would take me to Nottingham. That wasn’t too bad, though, as Nottingham was the city I was born in. So I hopped on board after finishing my lunch.

London St. Pancras International (13:11)
East Midlands Railway
1:45 (187:36)
Nottingham (14:56)
203.3 km (17097.1 km)

I’d never been on a class 180 before, so was interested in finding out what they were like. Nothing overly special, but comfortable enough. I bought a coffee from the onboard trolley service along with a bag of crisps – salt and vinegar, of course. The last time I’d properly been to Nottingham (apart from a train change in the last couple of weeks) was in 2005. Apart from a few visits, between 2003 and 2007, I have no memory of Nottingham, as I left when I was a few months old. So, I didn’t have any special connection to it. But I guess that has grown a little over time.

After arriving at Nottingham, I checked Google Maps to see how I’d get to Trent Bridge. Nottingham’s major cricket ground. It was a little complicated to get there, so I decided to walk down to the Nottingham Canal instead.

Narrowboats on the canal.
Narrowboats on the canal.

As I walked further along the canal, I came across a pub – The Navigation Inn. I decided to pop in and buy a pint of cider. I then sat down by the canal to watch narrowboats enter and exit a lock.

A narrowboat and a pint.
A narrowboat exiting the lock.

After an hour and a half of watching boats, I headed back to the station and caught a train back to Liverpool Lime Street. It had been a nice afternoon, full of sunshine. I probably won’t get back to Nottingham again on this visit. Next time, it will be by bicycle some time in the next ten years or so.

Nottingham (17:50)
East Midlands Railway
2:40 (190:16)
Liverpool Lime Street (20:30)
189.5 km (17286.6 km)

Class 158s are the mainstay of the Norwich to Liverpool Lime Street service – my favourite diesel multiple unit (DMU). Previously, under the management of Central Trains, class 170s were mostly used. As far as comfort levels go, switching to class 158s were a step backwards. Sooner or later, the service will be split and probably the responsibility of two different train companies. Another step backwards, in my opinion.

It was just over a two and a half hour trip from Nottingham, making it 20:30 by the time I arrived in Liverpool. I dropped my stuff off in the hostel (the access card worked for both the street and doom room doors this time. I then proceeded to the pub and ordered a steak and cider. Tomorrow I’m off to Portsmouth!

YHA Liverpool Central

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