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Things to do in Crewe, Cheshire

Crewe and Nantwich Borough
© Jeremy via Flickr

Crewe is not a town that grew naturally, it was created for the purpose of serving the railways as they grew in the 19th century.

Railway Town

Crewe. Prince Albert street  © Dale
The name was taken from nearby Crewe Hall (which itself was named after a family not a place) when the station was created at the junction of various lines.

At that time there was no town around the station, Church Coppenhall being the nearest hamlet.

After the station was established the Grand Junction railway company created it's main workshops to the north of the junction and the town expanded rapidly.

The works also grew and spread westwards along the side of the Chester line. Today only the far western end of the works survive.

Engineering Centre

In the late 1930s Rolls-Royce opened their factory to produce Merlin aircraft engines for the RAF, this factory later became the production centre for Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars.

Over the years ownership changed several times and today the factory is owned by Volkswagen Group and only builds Bentleys, the Rolls-Royce brand name having been bought by BMW who built a new factory in southern England.

As heavy engineering contracted, new businesses such as IT have moved in and Crewe is also home to part of the Manchester Metropolitan University.

So what attracts tourists to Crewe? To be honest, not much especially if they aren't interested in railway history. There are few old buildings and the small railway museum has restricted opening hours. Crewe Hall still exists and is today an upmarket hotel.

Train and Road Travel Hub

However, for tourists wishing to explore Britain using a Britrail pass but without dragging their luggage with them everyday, Crewe comes in very handy.

Easy links to Manchester, Liverpool and even Birmingham airports coupled with a range of mostly newly built hotels close to the station make it an easy base.

And the reason why Crewe was built in the first place makes it ideal for getting away everyday, with a huge variety of destinations within reach by train (London around 100 minutes, Chester 20 minutes, Liverpool 40 minutes, North Wales less than an hour and even Edinburgh possible in a day trip as examples).

For business travellers the station/University area is also becoming established as the hotel district which makes it very convenient to reach, because as well as easy access to trains this area has direct and relatively new roads to junctions 16 & 17 of the M6.

So no problems finding your way around an unfamiliar town after a long drive. This is also something to bear in mind if you have to arrange a conference for a national organisation.

Description by Steve Bratt

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