A Travellerspoint blog

February 2019

Manchester

sunny 12 °C
View Manchester on IainT's travel map.

Downtown, Chinatown

Downtown, Chinatown

As it turns out, my second trip of 2019 was also for ice hockey - Manchester this time. Junior’s team had a Friday night game last week against Manchester Universities in Altrincham, close to the airport.

It is a long way to travel just for a game which will take 90 minutes, so I was unsure what to do. In the end, I went for it. The ease of getting there was a decisive factor.

To drive would have taken 4 hours. It is 266 miles (425 km) and motorway all the way. One tank of diesel, so a cost of about £55. However, I hate the motorways around there - busy and often congested.

I opted to fly there, and take the train back. It was more expensive, but much more pleasant and relaxing for me. FlyBe has a service from Edinburgh to Manchester, so I got a good one-way “hand luggage only” deal at £52 on their 10am flight. It was on time, and totally hassle free.

My journey home was on Trans Pennine Express. They have a service between Manchester Airport and Edinburgh. My train - the 10:10 on a Saturday - only stopped at 3 stations on the way, so it took 3 hours 15 minutes.

Comfort

Comfort

My ticket in 1st class cost £51 using my senior railcard. It was another good choice - fast, comfortable and on time.

I stayed in the Radisson Blu at the airport. There were cheaper options, but I have always enjoyed the Radisson Blu brand going back to when they were SAS hotels in the 90s. Location was a factor again, as it is 100 metres from the airport railway station.

Paradise, Paved

Paradise, Paved

I enjoyed it. The room was big and comfortable. I skipped their overpriced breakfast and used the nearby Caffè Nero instead. Why pay £13 for coffee and croissants if you can get the same thing for £5 by walking 100 metres?

Relaxed

Relaxed

I did have their room service pizza while killing time until Junior’s 23:30 face off. It was excellent - I was surprised - but not good value for money at £15.20. The room was expensive at £153, but I expected to spend most of the evening in it and decided to go for comfort over price.

The ice arena in Altrincham - also home to the Elite League’s Manchester Storm - is just 15 minutes from the airport by taxi. That cost me £16 to go, using Arrow - the airport’s designated private hire company. It was £14 to return (at 1am) using a local Altrincham service.

Warm Up

Warm Up

The best bit? They won 6:3.

Posted by IainT 23:15 Archived in England Tagged trains transport flights ice_hockey manchester airlines Comments (0)

Dundee?

rain 4 °C
View Dundee on IainT's travel map.

St Andrews Typhoons v Edinburgh Eagles

St Andrews Typhoons v Edinburgh Eagles

Occasionally I ponder the meaning of life - as in what constitutes a “trip” worth blogging about.

Is it a matter of distance? Does it involve an overnight stay?

Almost any way I look at it, my trip to Dundee this month qualifies because it involved an overnight stay. Dundee is only 32 miles (51 km) from my home, but the reason for my visit was to watch my son play ice hockey and it was a 23:00 face off.

I had to choose between driving home at 00:30 (with work at 9am) and making the drive the next morning in daylight. After I looked at hotel prices I made my choice. I booked in at the Sleeperz Hotel. £60 - including VAT but not breakfast.

Cool

Cool

It was a good decision. I had a good - but short - sleep and then an enjoyable breakfast before checkout at 7:45. The hotel is newly opened in the last few weeks, and built above the new railway station. The brand is new to me as well, and they seem to have just a handful of other properties.

I liked it, and it was excellent value for money. The location is ideal for the city centre and various places a visitor might want to take in, not least the new V&A Museum.

Sleeperz Bar-Diner

Sleeperz Bar-Diner

Junior’s team won its game 9-5 against St Andrews University - the main rival for the league title - so it all turned out very well!

Posted by IainT 07:23 Archived in Scotland Tagged scotland sport ice_hockey dundee Comments (0)

Best of 2018 (5)

overcast 8 °C
View Vilnius 3 & Vilnius 2 & Toulouse & Lockerbie 2 & Barraigh & Bergen & Vilnius & IIHF & Aberdeen & Steòrnabhagh & Girne '18 & Eagles & Ouarzazate on IainT's travel map.

Spot the Puck

Spot the Puck

The final Best of… category for 2018 is sports trips.

I managed two sports travel adventures in 2018 - both for ice hockey. Horse racing and rugby seem to have had a lean year.

The first trip was to England, supporting my son and his team at their games in Bradford and Sheffield. I took the train - four different services and franchises (not counting the local services between Leeds and Bradford.

Sheffield - Victoria Quays

Sheffield - Victoria Quays

I stayed nights in Bradford and Sheffield. I took the opportunity to visit Leeds for the first time while I was in the area.

Chilling

Chilling

All the travel and accommodation arrangements were successful and his team won both games too!

Norwegian Air

Norwegian Air

My second outing was to Copenhagen for the IIHF World Championships. Again, the travel (easyJet and Norwegian) and accommodation (an Airbnb) went well. The ice hockey was a great experience and it was fun to catch up with old friend Mariel before and after the game.

Face Off Time

Face Off Time

In fact it is difficult to choose between them for a winner - whilst they involved the same sport, they were completely different experiences.

Danish Cool

Danish Cool

Ultimately, the World Championships could be a “once in a lifetime” event, so it gets the award.

Posted by IainT 22:58 Archived in Scotland Tagged planes trains sport transport flights denmark copenhagen leeds airlines sheffield bradford best_of_2018 Comments (0)

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