UK rail trip – 2022
Day 44 – 16th May, 2022
I was up by 07:00. The earliest I’d been up for a while (with the exception of overnight trains). I checked out of the Castle Rock Hostel and made my way to Edinburgh Waverley. Today, I’m off to Liverpool. But I will be going via Manchester to meet up with my friend Gary.
I hopped on my class 802 Transpennine Express service to Manchester Piccadilly. Despite not being tilt-capable, the train still moved along fairly comfortably. Would have been nice to tilt through the curves, though. After crossing the English/Scottish border, then with a stop at Carlisle, some rather rowdy passengers started to make some noise. I chose to get off at Preston after hoping they’ll get off at the next station.
I didn’t have to wait long for the next train to Manchester Piccadilly. In fact, it turned up just a couple of minutes later across the platform. This was a Northern class 331 – the electric version of the class 195. This will be the first time on one of these trains.
This train was much quieter! No rowdy passengers. I’m glad I changed trains. I always like trying out new trains and the class 331 wasn’t too bad at all. It was a slower service, though, since it stopped at several more stations than my previous train. But it was still less than an hour to reach Manchester Piccadilly.
I still had just over another hour to meet Gary at St. Peter’s Square, so I grabbed something to eat and sat down by the wonderful Piccadilly Gardens (a little sarcasm there!). After eating lunch, I put the rubbish in the bin and walked down to St. Peter’s Square.
Gary was running a little behind, so I just sat and people watched. It then started to rain, so I sought cover at the entrance to Manchester Central Library. Thankfully, it didn’t last for too long. Soon enough, Gary turned up. We dropped into a coffee shop and grabbed a coffee. After a while of chatting, we decided to go walking around by the Rochdale Canal. I decided to take some photos.
After several hours of walking and chatting, plus another coffee shop later, it was time for me to move on to Liverpool. We agreed to meet up next week, which will probably be the last time for this trip. We bid farewell and I headed off to Manchester Piccadilly and on to platform 14.
My Northern train to Liverpool Lime Street was a class 323. Nice to see them still going strong. Always liked them, despite them being fairly basic. They were, after all, just a local commuter train. But I liked the sound they made. 🙂 The trip to Liverpool took just over an hour. Again, it was a local stopping service.
On arrival at Liverpool Lime Street, it was raining again. There was pretty much no cover all the way to the hostel. As I had a suitcase in tow, I didn’t really have the luxury to run – not that I run much anyhow! So I just sucked it up and walked. It was just short of a ten minute walk to YHA Liverpool Central. Upon entry, first impressions were quite ordinary. Still, it was just a room I was after for a night (maybe a few more). I checked in and went up to my room. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get a bottom bunk. So, I had to settle for a top one. Outside the dorm window, it was quite noisy. Not surprising, as the hostel was in the Cavern Quarter – the birth place of the Beatles. Hopefully it will quieten down later tonight. After plugging in my phone charger, I found the power point was not working. Neither was the personal light. No matter I had a power board with a long enough cord to reach it.
After setting myself up, I decided to go out and have a wander around. I wanted to pop over to Birkenhead to take a photo of the Liverpool city skyline. On the way out of the hostel, I stopped off my the reception and decided to book another few days. I decided to use Liverpool as a base to travel from. I paid up and then went out.
I made my way to one of Liverpool’s underground suburban stations and caught a train over to Birkenhead. I walked down to the edge of the River Mersey and took a photo of Liverpool’s skyline.
After taking the photograph I wanted, I walked back to the station and caught the train back to Liverpool. I then tried to find somewhere to eat. It was barely 21:00 and just about all the pubs had stopped serving food. Seemed a little early, I thought! Pub after pub said that food had stopped for the evening. After almost giving up, I found a Slug & Lettuce that was still serving food. So, I ordered a steak and a pint of cider. Maybe everything closes early in Liverpool. Not what I would have thought from a world-famous city.
After dinner, I walked back to the hostel and went back up to my dorm room. It was noisy. VERY noisy. The loud music kept going until after midnight. I eventually dropped off after deciding I’ll visit Scarborough tomorrow.