Sunday 20 November 2016

Neston, Cheshire

We hadn’t been to the Wirral for a while so as it was a nice day we thought we’d pay another visit.  Our main destination was the affluent Heswall – birth place of John Peel and home to lots of nice charity shops.  However our first port of call was Neston, which I was surprised to find was not in fact part of the Wirral, but on the very edges of Cheshire.

Normally getting to Neston from north Manchester is about an hour via the M60, M62, M6, M56, A540 and B5134.  However, due to road works we ended up going via Widnes / Runcorn, which wasn’t much better either as we got stuck in more road works.  Hopefully when they finish the bridge works over the Mersey it might be a better route.  At least we found free parking in Neston, which is always good. 
Neston itself is a quiet well-to-do town.  Architecturally small scale with some nice red brick buildings, interspersed with black and white rendered buildings with a hint to the 20th century with a small stretch of newer shops.  There is a modern Sainsbury’s hidden behind the town hall, which helps to retain its small town charm.  There are a number of period pubs you could easily spend a cosy evening in or have Sunday lunch.  It seems like the sort of town you would like to bring up a family in or retire to. 

Obviously we were there to check out the charity shops and we toured the lot.  These included Oakwood Animal Sanctuary, Age UK, Sue Ryder and Hospice of the Good Shepherd.  I regretted not buying a cocktail shaker in one shop, but I eventually got one from Lymm.  Neil didn’t spot much, but then again we were heading off to nearby Heswall which is great for charity shops.
We were heading off to eat in Heswall, so we didn’t get to sample any coffee and cakes here.  Obviously there is a Costa here, although I’d like to know where there isn’t a Costa these days.  However if you are looking for a local independent alternative, Elephant Coffee looked like a really nice option.

To be truthful we didn’t stop long here as Heswall was our main destination, but people have since told us we missed out on going to nearby Ness Botanical Gardens, which is a shame as it was a lovely blue sky day.
Whilst technically Neston isn’t on the Wirral Peninsula, if you are planning a road trip around it, you should definitely take in Neston.  It’s a pretty little town and worth a quick detour, especially if you are going to charity shops or want to visit a botanical garden.  

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