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|This is the "Nameless Hotel" in Newton-le-Willows that I described on day N25|
|Days S33 - S43 North of England|
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North of England
English West Country
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Time of departure: 8.30 am
Time of arrival: 5.00 pm
Place departed: Charnock Richard, Lancashire
Place arrived: Warrington
Cum miles: 570.2
Percent complete: 58.7
Patten Arms Hotel, Warrington ***
Cost for bed and breakfast: £45 ($90)
| Overview of both hikes
What others say
After such wonderful hospitality in the recent past, it was hard to believe I'd be spoiled-rotten again. But, two days ago, my college chum and all-around fine bloke, John Tippetts, and his charming wife Andrea, arranged to drive over from Sheffield, to treat me to dinner.
John is an engineer like me - but unlike me is quite brilliant. After a distinguished career working on nuclear controls (among other things) on the faculty of Sheffield University, he retired to work for himself and industry on things like jet engine controls, and fountains which do wonderful water ballets without any moving parts to create the choreography. (Curious readers, think fluidic controls.)
Andrea and I are great friends also, perhaps because I am able to tell her tidbits about John's college years, such as his profound ability to repair car wings (fenders) with papier-maché, painted to look almost like the original - but better not sit on it.
For John and Andrea to meet me, I thought I should I should be showered and in my Sunday-best. (They have a GPS in their car, so there was no need for olfactory navigation with which to search for the great unwashed hiker.) This meant booking a hotel ahead of time so they would have an aiming point. With the darn Grand National steeplechase driving up prices and lessening availability, I booked in downtown Warrington a full 20 miles from my start-point, at a rather weird hotel called the Patten Arms. The Patten Arms does not cater to the horsie set, so it wasn't affected by the Grand National. It caters instead to small-company salesmen who haven't made a sale recently, and to people who step off the train at Warrington's Bank Quay station across the road, and aren't too discerning about where they sleep.
To hike to Warrington from Charnock Richard in a reasonable time, I looked for shortcuts. On unadopted roads (in this case, dirt tracks) that started at the Standish Cricket Club, I managed to steer around Wigan. Later, I passed through Newton-le-Willows where I'd stayed last year, but today I was walking five miles further. The so-called Nameless Hotel which I described on day N25 is pictured above with its real name.
It was a grueling day, but I checked in at the Patten Arms at 5 pm, washed myself and my clothes and had a brief rest, and was dressed and ready by 6 pm.
John and Andrea arrived cheerfully despite bad traffic, and we drove to Darebury where they'd located a Devere hotel and sports club and conference facility. Not quite the olde-worlde type of place that they'd hoped for, the food had been well-reviewed, and was quite excellent - for me, rump of lamb with all accompaniments. I do like lamb, and that's got nothing to do with having exchanged bleating noises with a few thousand of them over recent weeks. But, mostly, it was just terrific meeting up with John and Andrea again.
I didn't take many photographs today. So I'm taking the opportunity to display some library shots from my Benches of Britain series. See day S25, rest day 17, and day S62 for others in the series. I have sat on, or tried to sit on, all these benches. Though I don't give them comfort ratings, I can authoritatively state that they're not all equally comfortable. After two end-to-end walks, I think I'm a fair Judge of these things, though I haven't been formally appointed to the Bench.
|Day S40 © 2007 and 2008 Daryl May Day S42|