There was a train strike on Friday. Affecting the last leg of my journey. Unfortunately this came to light AFTER the booking, the non-refundable booking. The benefit was that I had to rent a car, and therefore was able to drive all over the Lake District.
This meant that I had to return to Manchester.

Luckily I found accommodation in a pub 😉

Enterprise were kind enough to drop me off at the pub. Which meant that I was too early for check-in. What could I occupy my time with, in a pub ?

My thanks to the hospitable Dutch from Rotterdam, NOT from Amsterdam ! And the nice Polish barmaid from Wroclaw.

Check-in time came around soon enough, and the landlady showed me to my room.
Whilst unpacking, I let Ivan know that I was back and available.

Ivan came down, and we went for supper, then back home for a pint.

A very nice evening. Included a chat with a karate disciple, and a collection of our favourite hits. I love technology when it works.
Better still in a pub serving real ale from Holts.


On Tuesday morning, up and out for a recce to Piccadilly rail station.

One of the waypoints is called Manchester Police Museum. Only open Tuesday. Is free. Staffed by ex-police-officers, so good chat.
Here is me in an old-style police cell……

Luckily, they let me out 😉

Arrived at the Piccadilly railway station. Will be using platform 14, which is as far to the right-hand side as one can go, and at the end of the travelators (2mins+). So much easier to do this without luggage. Even when I have wheels for my suitcase, they present other challenges. Surface smoothness, and kerb height are key considerations.

I walked back through the next-door car-park and with a bit of wandering around found a much quieter, simpler and smoother route.

Included a couple of coffee stops.
One at a posh hotel, right next door to the Police Museum. Tinniest lobby, but excellent chat from the general manager who is heading to the Lakes this weekend. A nice espresso and pain au chocolate later, I headed to the post office.

By now it was past lunchtime, and man cannot live on coffee and pastries alone.

Found This&That, which literally backs onto the pub, but is down a TINY alleyway, with a non-descript frontage. Well worth the visit. Rice and three curries for six pounds is good value. Better still. It is tasty, real food.
The communial tables meant I had a nice chat with a young lawyer, who works in the commercial world.

Back home for a pint of mild, and a chat with Paul-of-the-bad-left-knee. A ManU supporter.

Upstairs to my room to put in some updates into my diary.

Then out for a walk. Started with the route to the station to (a) have a realistic timing for Wednesday (b) help fix the route, so I did not go astray.

That done, I was free to hit a few more places.

First stop was Smithfields. A real ale pub, recommended to me. However, too much like a Weatherspoon pub, where you are required to place your order, and leave the bar. That is anathema to a solo traveller.

The next stop was a chippy, but no pickled onions. Second place that does not carry them. There was one in Leicester. Strange.

Found a supposedly cider place, but, only one, and that was on tap. The mixed reviews are well founded. I won’t be back.

Walked past the Bay Horse Tavern. I’d been here last year for a decent pie and pint. Needed a bite to eat, but not that much.

Stopped into the shawarma place next to the pub. Meh on the donner. Their chicken is supposed to be good, as per the new barmaid at home. A nightcap, chat ref joys of being raised as a “army brat”, and an early night.


Awoke this Wednesday morning to finish this blog.
Time to pack.
See you in Wales 🙂


ps: Thanks to Richard for letting me know that Leicester won a game. Hopefully normal service is resumed. And where would we be without Jamie Vardy?

Richard says:

At 37 years young Vardy is a force to be reckoned with. Will miss watching him when he hangs up his boots.

biker says:

Me too