- For other places with the same name, see Warrington (disambiguation).
The Wærings were Saxons, so the place they lived was called Weringtun. It was the lowest place you could wade across the Mersey, and for centuries people hoisted their cloaks and tunics to do so. The ford was a mile upstream from the present town centre, so the medieval settlement lay east around St Elphin's church, and a bridge was first documented in 1285. It was a quiet market town until the 17th century. Then the Mersey was made navigable, and the Industrial Revolution powered the growth of Liverpool, Manchester and the corridor between. The Manchester Ship Canal opened in 1894 and enabled large freight vessels to sail 40 miles inland. Warrington developed through textiles and metal-bashing, especially the production of metal wire. It also had military facilities to the east around Risley and Birchwood, such as an RAF base and a munitions factory, best not sited next to residential areas.
This industrial corridor developed professional sports clubs in the 19th century, and Warrington was part of the faction that broke away from the rugby union in 1895. They did so for the right to recompense players for time and wages lost from regular jobs in mills and collieries and foundries. These clubs became the Rugby League, and Warrington have always played in the top tier - they're called "The Wire" for the town trade. The game in England remains concentrated in the northern industrial cities, but was successfully exported especially to Australia. In 1947 Australia returned the favour when Brian Bevan of Sydney NSW signed for the town club, and scored tries prolifically for the next 13 years.
The Mersey was the historic boundary between Lancashire and Cheshire, so Warrington north of the river was in Lancashire until 1975. Local government changes then risked making it an exclave, a detached part of the county, so it needed a new governance tier to relate to. "Anywhere except Liverpool! Not with those dreadful scallies!" was the popular verdict, so it was assigned to Cheshire - this is nominal, since the town is nowadays a free-standing metropolis. It's a typical post-industrial place, with retail parks populating former factories, and much brownfield. A good start has been made by re-greening along the river and canal, and to the east around Risley, but it's a work in progress.
Get in Edit
By plane Edit
By train Edit
1 Warrington Bank Quay has hourly trains from London Euston taking 2 hours via Crewe, which continue to Wigan North West, Preston, Lancaster, Oxenholme (for Kendal), Penrith, Carlisle and Glasgow Central. A slower hourly service trundles through the Midlands, taking 3 hours from London Euston via Watford Junction, Milton Keynes Central, Rugby, Coventry, Birmingham Airport and New Street, Sandwell & Dudley, Wolverhampton and Crewe, and continues via Preston and Carlisle to Edinburgh.
From Manchester Airport a direct train runs hourly, taking 50 min via Manchester city centre and Newton-le-Willows, and continues to Runcorn, Chester, and along the north Welsh coast to Llandudno Junction, for Holyhead and ferries to Ireland. From the airport it may be more convenient to take a train into Manchester city centre and change. An hourly train crosses the Pennines from Leeds via Bradford, Halifax, Hebden Bridge, Todmorden, Rochdale, Manchester Victoria and Newton-le-Willows, and continues to Chester.
Bank Quay station is west side of town centre. It has a staffed ticket office and machines, toilets, ATMs and a cafe. There is step-free access to all platforms.
2 Warrington Central is the best station for Liverpool and Manchester. Three trains an hour run from Liverpool Lime Street, taking 40 min via Liverpool South Parkway (for airport) and Widnes, and continue to Manchester Oxford Road. Central station is about a 10 min walk from Bank Quay.
Central station is north side of town centre. It has a staffed ticket office and machines, toilets and a cafe. There is step-free access to both platforms.
3 Warrington West is also on the Liverpool-Manchester route, but trains only stop hourly. You might use it for the west edge of town. It has a staffed ticket office, machines, toilets and step-free access to platforms.
Sankey for Penketh is half a mile west on the same line, but is just a rush-hour halt, with one morning and one evening train calling.
By bus Edit
Flixbus runs twice a day from London Victoria, taking 5 hours via Birmingham. Megabus runs once F-M from London Victoria, taking 4 hr 20 min. National Express no longer runs here. You might do better travelling via Liverpool or Manchester.
Go North West Bus 100 runs hourly from Manchester Shudehill, taking 90 min via Eccles, Trafford Centre, Irlam, Hollins Green and Woolston.
Arriva Bus 360 runs from Wigan every 30 min, taking 50 min via Newton-le-Willows. Bus 329 runs hourly from St Helens, taking 50 min via Winwick.
Warrington Interchange bus station is by Warrington Central railway station.
By road Edit
From the south take M6 to Junction 20 or 21. From Leeds, central Manchester or Liverpool take M62 to Junction 9. From Manchester airport take M56 onto M6, and from Chester or North Wales take M56 to Junction 11.
Warrington does not have a Park & Ride. The car park by Central Station is capacious but filthy - the daily rate is reasonable, but they fine you £100 for pick up and drop-off.
Get around Edit
All buses ply from the Interchange opposite Central station. Warrington's Own Buses is the main local operator: their timetables are posted on the TFGM Greater Manchester website.
WOB 19 runs hourly north to Winwick, Culcheth and Leigh (for Sports Village), and WOB 28A runs hourly to Risley, Culcheth and Leigh.
Driving around town is easy outside rush hour, unless there's been a smash on the motorway and traffic tries to divert through the centre. Central car parks are Golden Square Shopping Centre, the Market and Cockhedge, plus Riverside Retail Park.
Some 30 taxi firms serve the town. Those earning good reviews for helpful reliable service include Lymmited (+44 1925 393111), 242 Cars (+44 1925 242242), Direct Taxi (+44 1925 244244) and PR Cars (+44 1925 877877).
Taxis wait at Bank Quay and Central stations and at the bus station.
- 1 Warrington Town Hall, Sankey St WA1 1UH, ☏ . M-F 09:00-17:00. This was built in open fields in 1750 as a mansion for the Patten family. The perimeter wall and splendid Golden Gates were added in the 19th century when town grew to engulf it. (The gates were intended for the royal residence at Sandringham, but Queen Victoria took against them so they were going cheap.) The building is a busy council headquarters, but even if you're not here to pay your tax or complain about waste bin collections, you can look in on the public lobby.
- Palmyra Square 100 yards south of the Golden Gates is the most attractive part of town, with the Museum, Parr Hall, Pyramid Arts Centre and many 19th century buildings.
- Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, Bold Street WA1 1LG (50 yards south of Palmyra Square), ☏ . W-Sa 10:00-16:30, Su 11:00-15:00. Museum founded in 1857, with local history, natural history, archaeology and art collections. Free.
- 2 St Elphin's Church, 129 Church St WA1 2TL, ☏ . Anglican parish church: the oldest parts are 14th century, but most of it is from the 1860s, when the 281 ft/ 86 m spire was added.
- St Mary's is the Roman Catholic church, on Smith St. It's an elegant Pugin building of 1877.
- Victoria Park is a pleasant riverside park with playing fields on Knutsford Road, half a mile southeast of town centre.
- 3 Warrington Transporter Bridge is the gaunt structure spanning the Mersey west of Bank Quay Station. With a span of 200 ft / 61 m, it was used 1915-1964 to link two parts of a chemical and soap factory without obstructing river traffic on the Mersey. Railway wagons and later trucks were driven onto a gondola then lifted across. It's becoming derelict.
- Sankey Valley Park is south side of town in the long narrow strip between the St Helens canal and the Mersey. Lots of tracks for jogging or cycling.
- 4 Walton Hall and Gardens, Walton Lea Road, Higher Walton WA4 6SN, ☏ , email@example.com. Daily July Aug 08:00-18:00, Sept-Jun 08:00-17:00. The 19th century manor house is now an event venue, no tours, you come for the gardens. These are free but you pay for parking and individual attractions, which include a children's zoo, crazy golf, 9 hole pitch and putt, bowls, putting green and children's play areas. Parking M-F £3, Sa Su £4.
- 5 Risley Moss is a raised peat bog. These once covered much of post-glacial Europe until drained in modern times. This one has been restored by raising the water levels, and is now a wetland nature reserve. Access is via Ordnance Road in Birchwood - a munitions factory formerly stood here.
- 6 Arley Hall: see Northwich for this 19th century mansion and gardens.
- What's on? Read Warrington Guardian, published weekly. The name is a nod to the Saxon Wærings, whose name denotes "ward, guard, guardian".
- 1 Warrington Wolves RLFC, Halliwell Jones Stadium, Winwick Road WA2 7NE, ☏ . "The Wire" (as they're called, never The Wolves) play rugby league (13-a-side) in Super League, England's top tier. The playing season is March-Oct. Their stadium (capacity 15,000) is 200 yards north of Central station. In 2022 the stadium hosted matches in the Rugby League World Cup, postponed from 2021.
- Football: Warrington Town play soccer away down in the amateur leagues. The nearest pro clubs are Wigan, Bolton and Tranmere, but for top-tier games head to Manchester or Liverpool.
- Cinema: Cineworld is on Time Square in town centre. Odeon is on Westbrook retail park.
- Pyramid is a multi-use live entertainment venue on Palmyra Square, incorporating Parr Hall.
- Tenpin Warrington (formerly LA Bowl), 10 Chetham Court, Winwick Quay WA2 8RF, ☏ . Daily 10:00-00:00. Large entertainment complex with bowling, music, arcade games, bumper cars, food and drink. On-site pub with a big screen for TV sport.
- North West Face, St Ann's Church, Winwick Rd WA2 7NE (100 yards north of rugby stadium), ☏ . M-F 10:00-22:00, Sa Su 10:00-18:00. Climbing centre inside the old St. Anns Church.
- Golf: nearby courses are Warrington GC, Walton Hall, Antrobus GC, Alder Root, Poulton Park, Birchwood, Lymm GC and Fiddlers Ferry.
- Transpennine Cycle Trail stretches coast to coast from Southport to Hornsea. The local section eastbound approaches along the St Helens Canal towpath to Fiddlers Ferry and Sankey Valley Park, then loops south onto the Manchester Ship Canal towpath to Latchford Locks, then continues east through Lymm.
- 2 Gulliver's World, Shackleton Close, Old Hall WA5 9YZ, ☏ . June Th-Su July Aug daily, Sept-Dec & Feb Mar Sa Su, all 10:30-17:00. Theme park for ages 2 to 13. They have motel rooms, and room rates include admission. They have extended opening during half term. Assistance dogs only. Adult or child £28.
- Teamsport Go Karting, Unit 2 Bank Quay Trading Estate WA1 1PJ (200 yards south of Bank Quay station), ☏ . M-F 09:00-23:00, Sa Su 08:00-23:00. This is the largest indoor karting circuit in the UK.
- Apple Jack's is a farm-based play park open April-Sept. There's a maize maze in mid-summer, but no animals on show. It's five miles south on B5356 near Stretton.
- Golden Square is the mall behind the bus station with some 120 stores. Hatters Row is its extension east, and Cockhedge is another 200 yards east.
- Riverside Retail Park is southeast edge of the centre beside the Mersey.
- The Market, open daily, has a food hall and other small shops under cover.
- Junction Nine is a retail park a mile north of town on Winwick Rd A49.
- Gemini Retail Park is two miles north of town along M62.
Town centre Edit
- Efes Brasserie, 137 Sankey Street, ☏ . A wide range of Indian and East Med cuisine. It remains closed in 2022.
- The Cottage, 90 Church Street WA1 2TF, ☏ . M-Sa 17:30-23:30, Su 14:00-21:00. Smart brasserie near St Elphin's serving Indian and Bangladeshi food.
- Tayef is a Balti place at 104 Buttermarket Street, open daily 17:00-23:30. Great food, but you'd better come hungry.
- East Orient is a Chinese buffet at 54 Horsemarket Street, behind the bus station.
- Donatello at 75 Orford Lane is deservedly popular for Italian staples. It's open M-F 17:00-22:00, Sa Su 12:00-22:00.
- Caffe Caruso is a friendly Italian at 32 Horsemarket, open M-W 09:00-16:00, Th-Sa 09:00-22:00.
- Danny's Kitchen at 90 Bridge Street is a trad chipper with a sideline in Chinese food, open daily 11:00-16:30.
- The Botanist on Time Square is an attractive pub-bistro open Su-Th 12:00-00:00, F Sa 10:00-01:30.
Further out Edit
- Anmol, 62 Warrington Road, Penketh WA5 2JP (Bus 110, 30, 32), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 17:30-23:00, Su 15:30-22:30. Smart reliable Indian restaurant two miles west of centre. Sunday is a buffet.
- Delgados at 19 Honiton Way, Penketh is a pizzeria open W Th 17:00-22:00, F Sa 11:00-22:00.
- Choy Hing Village at 97 Knutsford, Grappenhall do good Chinese and Thai, M-F 12-14:30, 17:00-22:30; Sa Su 16:00-22:30.
- The Friar Penketh is a JD Wetherspoons on Friars Gate in town centre.
- The Looking Glass on Buttermarket is no longer part of Wetherspoons, and customers say it's gone to the dogs.
- Barley Mow at 29 Old Market Place is a trad old pub with good food, open Su-Th 10:00-22:00, F Sa 10:00-00:00.
- The Tavern is a sports bar at 25 Church St, open M-F 15:00-23:00, Sa Su 12:00-00:00.
- The Warrington Rodney is next to the rugby stadium and has rooms.
- The Blue Bell in Golden Gate Shopping Centre is a trad pub with food open M-Sa 09:30-22:00, Su 09:00-22:00.
- The Postern Gate on St Austins Lane has live TV sport. It's open Su-Th 12:00-00:00, F Sa 12:00-02:30.
- Borough Arms at 120 Buttermarket St is open Su-Th 12:00-00:00, F Sa 12:00-01:00.
- The White Hart at 56 Sankey Street has bar food and upstairs gigs. It's open Su-Th 11:30-23:00, F Sa 11:00-01:00.
- The London Bridge is a family-friendly pub south of the Ship Canal at 163 London Rd, Appleton Thorn, open daily 12:00-23:00.
- Ferry Tavern in Penketh is on the ribbon of land between the Mersey and the canal. It's by the marina and on the Trans Pennine Trail, a good stop-off for cyclists, open Tu-Th Su 12:00-23:00, F Sa 12:00-00:00.
- Reflex & Babylon, 65 Bridge St, WA1 2HH, ☏ . Th-Sa 22:00-03:00. Nightclub with 1980s style and playlist.
- Brewery: Coachhouse produces various ales. No tours.
- Distillery: Quintessential Brands in Birchwood make gin and other spirits. No tours.
- Travelodge Warrington, Leigh Street WA1 1UZ (200 yards west of Central station), ☏ . Convenient location but tatty and smelly. B&B double £85.
- 1 Village Hotel, 110 Centre Park Square WA1 1QA, ☏ . Busy functional sort of place, feels like an airport hotel. B&B double £80.
- Waterside Hotel (formerly Premier Inn), 1430 Centre Park Square WA1 1PR (facing Village Hotel), ☏ . Comfy budget hotel south of town centre. Now run by Greene King, and no longer part of Premier chain but similar style. B&B double £115.
- 2 Warrington Fir Grove Hotel (Best Western), Knutsford Old Rd, Grappenhall WA4 2LD, ☏ . Budget hotel, tatty and service erratic. B&B double £120.
- 3 Premier Inn Warrington, Manchester Rd, Woolston WA1 4GB (M6 jcn 21), ☏ . Slick chain hotel by motorway 3 miles east of town. B&B double £105.
- Holiday Inn, Woolston Grange Rd, Woolston WA1 4PX (just north of Premier Inn at M6 jcn 21), ☏ . Okay budget hotel, price and quality a notch lower than Premier Inn across the road. B&B double £80.
- 4 Travelodge Warrington Gemini, Gemini 8, Charon Way, Westbrook WA5 7YA (by M62 jcn 8), ☏ . Basic but well-run place north by M62. B&B double £95.
Stay safe Edit
Usual caution about traffic, safeguarding valuables, and steering clear of rowdy drunks.
As of Oct 2022, Warrington has 5G from all UK carriers, and its surrounds and approach roads have 4G.
Go next Edit
- Knutsford is a well-preserved old market town.
- Quarry Bank Mill in Styal is a preserved cotton mill and estate near Manchester Airport.
- Liverpool and Manchester are both unmissable lively cities.
- Chester is an attractive old town that retains its ancient city walls.
|Routes through Warrington|
|Glasgow ← Newton-le-Willows ←||N S||→ Knutsford → Birmingham|
|Chester ← Runcorn ←||W E||→ Altrincham → Manchester (Airport and South)|
|Liverpool ← St Helens/Widnes ←||W E||→ Salford → Manchester (West and Central)|
|follows until Preston ←||N S||→ Northwich → Shrewsbury|
|END ←||NW SE||→ Knutsford → Macclesfield|
|Chester ← Runcorn ←||SW E||→ Lymm → Manchester (South)|
|St Helens ← Widnes ←||NW NE||→ Eccles → Salford|