If the first mile of the Connect2 Greenway walk (from Crewe to Nantwich) has you spitting feathers then there is an option of hydration with a quarter of a mile detour. For up the long drive you can visit a cafe in the Warner Leisure Hotel Resort at the Victorian Grade II listed Alvaston Hall.

Most of the guests at this venue of a certain age; there’s a whiff of Eau de Cabbage in the air as you enter. I say ‘guests’ not ‘residents’ but there is a feel of a posh old folks home to it even though this is a holiday venue.

I wandered down the corridors through the large eating and entertainment area where some zombied diners watched bemused as unenthusiastic dancers are fruiting about on stage. Then past mobs of pensionable women milling around the gift shop redolent of the theatre foyer of a Daniel O’Donnell show.

In the overpriced café in this overpriced holiday resort, overaged punters shook their Sunday Expresses and Mails expecting their free gift (Swastika armband) to drop into their laps. Two lattes (tasting like a cross between Ovaltine and beef dripping) and two pieces of postage stamp-sized gluten-free toast cost £8.95 so it’s not a place for those with shallow pockets.

Although this feels like God’s Waiting Room, these retirees don’t have to be idle.  There is a gym / pool area (last refurb circa 1975), archery and pistol shooting which looks like it was being run by a reformed East-End gang member (no firearms training required).  There is games room where you can play table tennis, air hockey and snooker where you can get ripped-off again. But then it’s better than leaving it to some ungrateful grandson somewhere…


Verdict: 3/5

Good: Pleasant

Bad: Pricey