Because Sunday morning trains don't start very early I'm setting
of mid-afternoon. My plan is to get the train from Preston to
Warrington then start to ride along the Bridgewater canal. I'd
already bought a rail ticket for the 16:17 with a bike
reservation. I checked the on-line departures and say the train
after mine was cancelled. I set off at 15:00 and was at Preston
Railway Station by 15:45.
Preston Railway Station
Virgin trains have not got the franchise and it's now Avanti so
this will be my first time on one of their trains. I spent my
waiting time in the comfy waiting room. There were some small
bottles of water on the information counter in the corner and I
asked the man adjacent how much they were. Just take one, he
said, so I did. The Avanti trains are a boring grey colour
unlike the striking red of Virgin. The 16:17 train arrived 5mins
early and I followed one of the station staff to the rear of the
train to let me in to the bike compartment.
Avanti train interior.
We set off and had a stop at Wigan before continuing to
Warrington Bank Quay. I was ready with my bike and looked out
through the window to see if an operative was around to open the
door. I couldn't see anyone so walked down the carriage to the
passenger door and out onto the platform. A man had arrived and
complained he'd only just been told of my bike by the station
master. I decided to try and find a water tap and asked a lady
operative. There were no public water taps on the station.
Warrington Bank Quay.
I waited in the cafe and saw they had a sink and tap but they
were busy serving with a long queue. I went back on the platform
and the young lady I spoke to earlier took my empty water
bottles and went off with a male operative and filled them
somewhere. I used the lift to get me and bike down to street
level and wheeled my bike out into the dark. With lights on I
set off to find somewhere nearby to camp. Set off north then
left on to Old Liverpool Rd. and on to a left turn that took
over a bridge to cross the Manchester Ship Canal. The road then
terminates at a roundabout and a muddy cycle trail heads off
through the trees. I checked a couple of possible sites but
there were too many brambles. At the third check I found a
suitable pitch site.
Warrington from Forrest Way Bridge over the Mersey.