Catching the train from the metropolis of Manchester to Runcorn East is the easy, relaxing way to travel. Lasting a little over thirty minutes, why not take advantage of our on-board free Wifi and stream the latest episode of your favourite soap while you speed through the countryside?

The town of Runcorn in Cheshire sits on the great River Mersey, just south of Liverpool, and was founded in 915AD to guard against a Viking invasion. Remaining as a small settlement, 1115 saw the founding of an Augustinian monastery on the land. The Industrial Revolution and the extension of the Bridgewater Canal meant that this unassuming town grew, rapidly, into a thriving port. Industries quickly sprung up taking advantage of the ease of transporting goods, including quarries, and shipwrights. Around the turn of the 1900s, the region became known for the quality of its water and lucrative health and spa businesses grew.

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The hidden gem, Norton Priory Museum and Gardens is a great place to start your adventure, and is home to an impressive collection of artefacts. Built on the site of a medieval church, it is Europe’s most excavated monastic site. The museum traces the history of the site across 900 years of Romans, vikings, bloody battles, monks, and so much more. Featuring a gloriously preserved mosaic floor, the medieval undercroft with its rumour of hauntings, and a 2x life-size St Christopher statue, from the museum, head out to the gardens. Home to woodland trails, secret summer houses and sculpture walks, the stream glades are a glorious spot to relax with a picnic. 

Shopaholics are amply catered for in Runcorn, with the high street playing host to many big name brands, and designer labels. If you’re after something special, there are a number of independent boutiques, too. These showcase the local talent, and offer an eclectic mix of treasures, including handcrafted jewellery, artisan soaps and beauty products, and homemade delicacies to enjoy on the journey home to Manchester. 

If culture and the arts are your thing, the award winning Brindley Theatre offers a year round programme of events, performances and displays. From traditional theatre to stand up comedy, dance and art exhibitions all take place within this impressively designed building. With several popular restaurants nearby, why not make an evening of it and enjoy a meal followed by a show?

While you relax on the train ride home to Manchester, download our free mobile app. Delivering regular updates on timetables, allowing the purchase of tickets on the move and even saving you money on those tickets, you know it makes sense.