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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Day trip to Manchester

As you probably know my Mum is in a nursing home which is in Eccles just outside Manchester. It is approx 250 miles away from where I live in the South East. Living nearby, my brother used to visit Mum most days and I would go and stay every 4 -5 weeks. Since his death in March it has been very difficult for Mum and I have been visiting weekly until Mum had got over the shock of Peter's death. Now I go and stay for a few days every month and in between go by train just for the day. Today I decided to photograph the journey.

I left early and caught the 6.30am train from my local station - Grove Park

 The journey only took about 18mins to London Bridge.

Down two long escalators to the underground.

Always like to check I'm on the right line. (In fact before I took this photo I had gone to the wrong line despite having done this trip on numerous occasions!) What is often confusing is that I needed to travel north on this line from London Bridge to Euston but looking at the map it looks as though I need to go south.

This is the one I want. Only 6 stops so won't take that long.

Here I am at Euston where you would generally catch a train going to the North West of Britain. .
This is the train I'll be travelling on to Manchester. It's a pendalino train and travels at high speed which means it sways as it goes round bends. Travelling backwards on these trains makes me feel very travel sick. Yuk!
It takes 2hrs and 5mins to travel from London to Manchester in these trains. Passing through the rolling, beautiful, greenery of the British countryside. Unfortunately I cannot do it justice with my camera - but you get the idea.

For whatever reason Manchester seems to be a big hit for hen and stag parties as in the next carriage were a large group of girls drinking champagne whilst in the buffet bar there was an even larger group of men also drinking and enjoying themselves and it wasn't even 9am!

We pulled into Manchester Piccadilly Station on time. A typical Victorian station.

The next part of the journey involves me getting a tram. These were reintroduced into Manchester in the early 90s running on disused railway tracks and then onto tram lines along the main roads. Manchester has steadily expanded the tram routes as they are a convenient way of travelling.

This is the one I need to take me out to Eccles. As they run above ground and not particularly fast you get to see some of the city.

I always know I'm in Manchester when I see the red bricked buildings. From the old to the new.

 After about 50 mins I arrive at Eccles which is part of Salford.

It has some quite quirky shops and some run down parts.

Although I never lived in Salford when I was growing up I remember it well as my Father was born here so I used to regularly visit relatives here. I clearly recall the  2 up and 2 down, back to back houses. On the walk from Eccles town centre to where Mum now lives I pass some of these houses so it's like a trip down memory lane for me.

But at last I reach the Nursing Home with its welcoming gardens.

I finally arrive at 11.30am five hours after leaving home, but it's worth it:


  1. That is a very long trip you made but the end is worth it. Did you return the same day?

    1. Yes I returned that evening! It is a long day of 10 hours of travelling but it means I can see Mum on a regular basis even if it is for just 5 hours.

  2. this is a nice sequence of shots...everyday life I guess but your camera captured it well...gives me an idea of what it is like there...we go everywhere in the car here, that is a long train ride but worth it to see your mom. many of us are now caring for our parents it seems... cheers

  3. That's a lot of travel, but the fact that you can take public transportation the entire way is amazing. You couldn't do something like that here in the US. Of course, the UK is not a Third World country, and the USA is becoming more and more behind the times every year...

  4. What a beautiful smile your Mum has... I'm sure she is glad to see you... That is quite a trip for you--but I am impressed with your train systems there. My Dad worked for the railroad for many years (retired in 1964)... Back then, trains were popular in this country. Our family did alot of traveling by train... THEN--the country gave up the trains ---and everyone goes by car or truck or plane these days... I miss the trains! We do have Amtrak in a few places around the country--but nowhere near where we live.

    Hope you have/had a nice visit.

  5. What a great post- images I know so well from my frequent London-Manchester and v.v. travels. Fab blog too- I shall return. good luck with all those bucket list achievements.

  6. Great record of your trip. Hope you bought your mum some Eccles cakes!

  7. What a great way to chronicle your trip! I love travelling by train... but those are a lot of changes!

    It's nice you can get up to see your mum so often, can't be easy though when you do it in one day... 5h each way!


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