Sometimes you visit somewhere new and it just surprises you. That was Warrington for me. I live just 30-40 minutes away, but I’d never actually been into the town. Just the stadium (once). I didn’t realise it had so much around there…
My trip was all down to the English Half Marathon. Although I do live quite close, I’d decided to stay the night in a hotel for ease. The race was a 9am start and I didn’t fancy driving to somewhere I’d never been before and trying to find a parking spot, all before 8am. No thanks.
I stayed at the Patten Arms, luckily just a few minutes down the road from where the race was taking place. Perfect. It was really easy to find and I was surprised actually at how big the hotel was. And look how pretty it is on the outside! The Patten Arms is both a pub and a hotel, so they had a bar and served ‘proper’ food during the day. I didn’t actually use either services, as I treated myself to a Nandos in town and obviously didn’t want to drink alcohol or fizzy stuff before a half marathon! Not a good idea, right?
The staff there were lovely and helpful, and I was really impressed that they were putting breakfast on half an hour earlier on the Sunday morning (at 7:30am) so the runners staying there could eat. I was told it would be cereals/toast and stuff but they did have cooked food out too. I stuck to toast, something simple.
Anyway, as I arrived around 3pm on the Saturday, I decided to go have a little adventure and see if I could find the start/finish (easy) and the Primark in town (a little more difficult – SO many shops and little streets) to do a bit of shopping.
When you visit somewhere for the first time, you notice little things that someone who lives their might just walk past – seen it all before. I snapped a few things that jumped out at me, so here’s just a few photos from my day spent wandering!
And of course, the wonderful Golden Gates have to appear in this blog post. If you follow me on instagram, you will have already seen these, but I just can’t not post this photo. These gates are SO beautiful. Honestly, I didn’t even know they existed until I signed up for the race. They open up with the town hall perfectly situated behind, and a nice little green area to relax on.
This is where I spent most of Sunday, and of course I’ll have my race recap coming up on Friday. It was so quiet here on the Saturday, but Sunday it was filled with hundreds and thousands of people. So, so busy. The gates are pretty though. Can’t get enough of them.
I’d love to come back. The shopping centre is huge and has so many shops in there, including a couple of cool running/outdoorsy ones. It’s just a nice little town to shop in, and makes a difference to going to my hometown!