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Bristol - Sandbach - Bolton

A wee trip to bonnie Scotland

View A wee trip to Bonnie Scotland with my Dad 2015 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Inspired by a friend's recent Facebook posting, we are making a road trip 'Oop North' and into Scotland with my dad. We are taking it easy, using two days to get up there, stopping a couple of places along the way.

Sandbach Crosses

Our first stop is in Sandbach, Cheshire, where we find two massive Saxon stone crosses, elaborately carved with animals and Biblical scenes including the Nativity of Christ and the Crucifixion.



The crosses, which date from the 9th century, dominate the cobbled market square of Sandbach, a rather quaint looking town. Originally painted as well as carved, these are among the finest surviving examples of Anglo-Saxon high crosses in the country.


I always love the way history is such an everyday part of life in these places, surrounded by families having lunch in the local pub, shoppers and workers, none of whom are taking any notice of the ancient monument in their midst.



As we pull up at tonight's hotel outside Bolton, I can immediately see that that it is in a less-than-salubrious area. The drunk, tattoo-covered, shirtless lads on the benches outside the pub give it away; and the family in the courtyard confirms it. Those poor kids stand no chance with pot-smoking, vodka-swilling, foul-mouthed mothers like that. The clientèle inside are not much better. The food is OK, but the service unbelievably slow, despite there being more staff than customers. The entertainment of the evening is watching the staff running around placing buckets under cascades of water seeping through the ceiling from the flooding washing machine in the flat above; a waitress tripping as she approaches a table and emptying the entire contents of a pint glass into the lap of the customer; and another server taking a sip out of a customer's glass before taking it to their table. The only saving grace of this place is that the meal is cheap.

We retire to our room as soon as we have finished eating. The bedroom window, however, is immediately overlooking the courtyard where the loud, raucous, swearing, shouting drinkers and their screaming kids are sitting. Never before have I been so grateful for a sudden thunderstorm. Listening to the pouring rain is far preferable, and I fall into a peaceful sleep.

Posted by Grete Howard 01:46 Archived in England

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At least the restaurant was 'entertaining', even if it didn't plan to be!

by David

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