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“I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.”

UK rail trip – 2022

Day 46 – 18th May, 2022

Today I’m off to Stratford-upon-Avon. After buying my customary litre bottle of orange juice at Tesco, I walked across the road to Liverpool Lime Street. My first train of the day would be a London Northwestern Railway class 350. This will take me as far as Birmingham New Street.

A London Northwestern Railway class 350/4.
A Northern Trains class 195.
Liverpool Lime Street (09:07)
London Northwestern Railway
1:46 (179:34)
Birmingham New Street (10:53)
142 km (16314 km)

It was a nice, quiet service to Birmingham New Street. Not all that many on the train. Well, not until it reached Crewe. Then it became much busier. I could have changed trains a few stations order, but I decided to remain on this train all the way to Birmingham New Street, where this service terminates.

It was then a short walk to Birmingham Moor Street. Once there, I still had about 20 minutes to spare, so I wandered around the station for a little. I wish I had taken some photographs. Maybe next time!

Birmingham Moor Street (11:32)
West Midlands Railway
0:50 (180:24)
Stratford-upon-Avon (12:22)
39.3 km (16353.3 km)

I hopped on my West Midlands Railway class 172/3. Once it was in motion, I noticed it changed through gears like you’d expect from a car with automatic transmission. The trip to Stratford-upon-Avon took about 50 minutes. As always, the countryside was fantastic.

A West Midlands Railway class 172/2.

After arriving at Stratford-upon-Avon, I checked Google Maps, to see which way to go. It was very straight forward – leave via the Station Approach Road and then keep on walking for about 500 metres and then take a turn to the left.

The Old Thatch Tavern.
The Shakespeare Memorial Fountain.
William Shakespeare’s birthplace.
The man himself!

After popping into Tesco and picking up some chicken (no orange juice, this time!) for lunch, I made my way to Bancroft Basin to eat and watch narrowboats.

A narrowboat in the lock.

I then walked around to the shore of the River Avon. Of course, this ia different River Avon to the one that runs through Salisbury. There are actually a few of them.

The River Avon.
The River Avon.
Bancroft Gardens.
Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

After wandering around Bancroft Gardens, I walked along the edge of the river. I came along an old chain ferry. Apparently, it’s the only one left of its kind. Maybe the chains are old. The boat certainly wasn’t.

Chain ferry.
Chain ferry.

It seemed a little touristy, but I decided to pay the £1 fair and take a ride across the river. I made a short video of it. It was pretty cool!

Chain ferry.

After crossing the river, I walked through a grassy field called The Recreation Ground. Along the way, I saw a swan.

A swan.

On the other side of the river was Holy Trinity Church. I tried to find out how to get there. There was a bridge a decent way along the river.

Holy Trinity Church.
A boat and Holy Trinity Church.
A narrowboat emerging from a lock.
The other end of the Colin P. Witter lock.

I found the bridge to cross to get back to the other side and get to Holy Trinity Church.

The River Avon.

I eventually came to the church. Due to other trees around, it was a little difficult to get a good photo. But I think I managed enough.

Holy Trinity Church.

Just around from the chuch, in The Dell Forest, was a display called Room for the Soul. It comprised of furniture that you’d expect to see in someone’s lounge room. Quite cool, I thought!

Room for the Soul.
Welcome to Room for the Soul“.

I made my way back out to the street and walked back to Bancroft Park, to stop by the river one more time.

The River Avon.

Before making my way back to the station, I stopped for a pint of cider at a pub near Bancroft Basin. Quite pricey, but it is Stratford! It was a 15 minute walk back to the station. Set into the Station Approach Road were a series of picture stones.

Stratford-upon-Avon station.

I wondered whether Shakespeare would use trains, had he been around today. Or would he own a car? One can only guess. For me, I’d be moving on by train.

Stratford-upon-Avon (16:03)
West Midlands Railway
0:47 (181:11)
Birmingham Moor Street (16:50)
41 km (16394.3 km)

On the way back, the train took a slightly different route. Even though it was a couple of kilometres longer, it was also a few minutes faster. It wasn’t long before the train pulled in at Birmingham Moor Street. Again, I decided to change here, rather than further up the line (where I also could have changed this morning). I wanted a better choice of seating.

I made the walk back up to Birmingham New Street. I could have caught the same kind of local service back to Liverpool, like the one I caught down. But I decided upon something different this time.

Birmingham New Street (17:31)
Cross Country
1:21 (182:32)
Stockport (18:52)
122.9 km (16517.2 km)

I decided to catch a Cross Country class 221 Super Voyager which was going to Manchester Piccadilly. Lots of people on the train, though, but I still managed to get a seat – just not by the window. I’d also forgotten how cramped the Voyagers could be, with little room to move if someone else is sitting next to you. Thankfully, the passenger next to me got out further up the line. To make matters easier, I decided to change at Stockport rather than Manchester Piccadilly. This would eliminate a platform change.

I had about 40 minutes to wait at Stockport for an onward connection to Liverpool Lime Street. By this time, it had started to rain a little. Along with it came a bit of wind. My last train finally came into the station and I was on my way again.

Stockport (19:28)
East Midlands Railway
1:03 (183:35)
Liverpool Lime Street (20:31)
65.2 km (16582.4 km)

It had been a long day and I was looking forward to getting back to Liverpool for the evening. As the service was an express, it was only an hour’s trip. Once again, there was a bit of rain as the train arrived at Liverpool Lime Street. I hung around the station for a few minutes, hoping it would slow down a little.

I made a dash (well, quick walk!) out of the station and went back to the hostel. Once again, my access card did not work. I buzzed the door and was let in. I advised the reception that the card was not working again. They reactivated it. Thankfully, it worked to get into my room – all of my stuff was where it was supposed to be, this time. I dropped off my belongings and went back out to the pub where I ate last night. Tonight, instead of a steak, I ordered a pizza. And a pint of cider, of course! I hadn’t decided what I’m doing tomorrow, yet.

YHA Liverpool Central

“I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.”

Shakespeare’s As you like it. Act II, Scene IV

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