Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Mystery Weekend Was Superb

My wife Anne and I went on a Mystery Weekend Coach Tour recently with Woods Coaches of Leicester, and it was absolutely superb.

I know the Woods company very well. They are the company from whom I hire coaches for my own excursions.

Anne and I don`t very often get to spend any time away together, so when we do it`s pretty special. We had been on a Mystery Weekend before, a couple of years ago with another company, and it was quite enjoyable, but this was in a different class entirely.

After leaving St. Margarets Bus Station, we travelled North West, wondering where we were going, of course. Some places became more likely, and the likelihood of others receded.

After a few suspicions were proved to be unfounded, we made a morning stop at Dagfields, at Walgherton near Nantwich. Only a few days before, one of the drivers had recommended me to have a look at this place, so I did so much sooner than expected.

We had coffee and a scone at Dagfields, and had a look round some of the various interesting shops on the site, which even included a specialist soap shop. One of their flavours is rhubarb and custard.

From there, we went on and made a longer stop at the historic cathedral city of Chester. We had a look round the impressive St. Johns Church, once a cathedral, and strolled down to the river.

While I was admiring the vintage open top bus that is now used for sightseeing tours of the city, three ladies appeared and called out "Look, it`s Colin Crosby!" They were on another tour.

Then we carried on for a while, before arriving at our hotel. This turned out to be the Crowne Plaza at Speke, on the outskirts of Liverpool and close to John Lennon Airport. The hotel has been converted from the old art deco buildings of Speke Airport, including the control tower.

Once we had checked in, we went for a walk, to the Elizabethan Speke Hall. This proved to be difficult to find, but we succeeded in the end, although we were too late to go in. We did, however, admire the house from the outside, and the lovely gardens.

The Crowne Plaza turned out to be an excellent hotel. Our room was very good and very comfortable, the staff were courteous and efficient, dinner was very good (and we were not made to feel like second class customers, which sometimes happens with coach parties) and breakfast was very good. It was an absolute pleasure to spend the night there.

In the morning, after we all got ourselves and our suitcases onto the coach, our driver introduced us to Jackie, who turned out, she later told me, to be a Liverpool Blue Badge Guide. She took us on a tour of locations associated with the Beatles, which was a very nice surprise.

We saw houses where all four of the lads lived, and where John and Paul first met. I was very pleased to be shown Penny Lane, as I had been pretty sure that I had identified it while on a coach a few years ago.

It`s good to be proved right sometimes!

At the end of the tour, we were dropped at Albert Dock. Anne and I had a quick look round the Tate Liverpool, and then sped up into the City Centre and Matthew Street, visiting The Cavern, where our son Kevin had performed, as had some other famous musicians. Before getting back on the coach, we had a look at the new Museum of Slavery.

Then it was time to start coming home. We stopped on the way back at Keele Services, and then it was back to Leicester, arriving in the early evening.

We had a really good time. Thanks to Woods Coaches, to the Crowne Plaza, and to Jackie the guide for making it such an outstanding weekend.